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In the Senate of the UnTED States, 

Mamk 3, 1879. 
Tke foUowing resolation v/m agreed to bj the Senate Febmary 10, 1679, and coa- 
cmredm by the House of Eopreaentatives Msrch 3, 1879: 

Smolted bt/ the Sinaie {the Soute of SepreKntativrs coneiirring), TbaA 10,500 copies 

cf the Report of the SmithBOniai: InstitiitioD for the y eai 1R76 be piitited, 1,000 copies 

of which shall be for the use of the Beiiate, 3,000 copies of which shall be for the uise 

of the House of Bepreoentatives, and 6,500 for the use of the Smithsonian Institution. 



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The annual report of ihe liatiiutwa for the year 1878. 

FsBRUART 8, 1879.— Ordered to be printed. 


February 7, 18T9. 
Sm: In behalf of the Bo»^ of Begente, I have the honor to sabmit 
to the Congrefls of the United States the annual report of the opera- 
tions, expenditores, and condition of the Smithsonian Institation for the 
year 1878. 

I have the honor to be, yonr obedient servant, 

Secretary Smithsonian In»tUution. 
Hon. W, A. J^HEELEE, 

Pretidmtof the Smote. 

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This document contains : 

1. The annual report of the Secretaiy, giving an account of the opera^ 
tions and condition of the establishment for the year 1S78, mth the sta~ 
tistics of collections, exchanges, &c. 

2. The report of the Execntive Committee, exhibiting the financial 
affairs of the Institatton, inclading a statement of the Smithson fiind, 
the receipta and expenditures for the year 1878, and the estimates for 

3. The proceedings of the Board of Eegents for the sessions of May, 
1878, and January, 1879. 

i. A general appendix, including translations fh)m foreign jonmals' 
or ^orks not generally accessible, bnt of interest to the collaborators 
and correspondents of the Institution, teachers, and others interested in 
the promotion of knowledge. 

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KUTHEEFORD B. HAYES, President of the United States, ex oj«io Presiding Officer, 
MORRISON B. WAITE, Chief Juatice of the United States, Chancellor of the Insti- 

tation (President of the Board of Regents). 
SPENCER P. BAIRD, Secretary (Direetor of the Institalion). 
WILLIAM J. RHEES, Chief Clerk. 


MORRISON R. WAITE, Chief Jufltiee of the United Stotea. 
WILLIAM A. WHEELER, Vice-President of the United States. 
HAKNIBAL HAMLIN, member of the Senate of the United States. 
AARON A. SARGENT, member of the Senate of the United States. 
ROBERT B. WITHERS, member of the Senate of the United States. 
HIESTER CLYMER, member of the Hoose of RepresentatiYes. 
ALEXANDER H. STEPHENS, member of the Hoose of Representatives. 
JAMES A. GARFIELD, member of the House of Representatives. 
JOHN MACLEAN, citiien of Hew Jersey. 
PETEE PARKER, citizen of Washington, D. C. 
ASA GRAY, citizen of Massaehosetts. 
HENRY COPPEE, citizen of Pennsylyania. 
WILLIAM T. SHERMAN, citizen of Washington, D. C. 
NOAH PORTER, citizen of Connecticnt. 




RUTHERFORD B. HAYES, President of the United 8Ut«s. 

WILLIAM A. WHEELEE, Vice-President of the United States. 

MORRISON R. WATTE, Chief Justice of the United States. 

WILLIAM M. EVART8, Secretary of State. 

JOHN SHERMAN, Secretary of the Treasnry, 

GEORGE W. McCRARY, Secretary of War. 

RICHARD W. THOMPSON, Secretary of the Navy. 

DAVID M. KEY, Poatmaeter-General. 

CARL 8CHURZ, Secretary of the Interior. 

CHARLES DEVEN8, Attorney-General, 

H. E. PAINE, Commissioner of Patents. 

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Secrttary, Director of the /ixKtultoii. 

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CUrk, Corre»ponden»e. 

CUrk, Aeeount*. 

Ckrk, Foreign ExtAanget. 

Clerk, JjibnuTf. 

Clerk, DiiMbKtitm cf Fablioatim*. 

CUrk, IVatuporlaliott. 


Curalor of the Mueetmt. 

Aitieta»l, Mineralogy, 

Amittant, OmilioJogg, 

A$si$ta»t, lehihgotoffg. 

J>»i»tttnt, Ar<3ueotogs, 

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To ths Board of'BegenU of (ke Smithsonian InatitutiMi : 

Gentlemen: I have tbe honor herewith to present the report of the 
operations and condition of the Smithaonian Institution for the year 

The most important event during that time, and, indeed, in the history 
of the establishment, is the death of Professor Henry, its lamented Sec- 
retary, to whom was intrusted its organization in 1846, and under whose 
firm and judicious direction it ha« been carried safely forward, surmount- 
ing in its progress many obstacles and trials, to its present condition of 
efficiency and prosperity. 

It is difficult to overestimate the importance to science and humanity 
of the administration of Professor Henry in this connection. It was a 
mere chance that the right man for the place would be selected, and 
whether any other of the candidates would have done equally well it is, 
of course, imxtossible to say. It is very certain, however, that the chances 
would have been adverse to such a result. The most logical methods 
of operation and researeh, the strictest economy of administration, the 
restriction of the Institution to its legitimate fanctions in the increase 
and diffusion of knowledge among men, and the avoidance of all en- 
tangling alliances of every kind, signally characterized the administra- 
tion of affairs by Professor Henry for the long period of nearly one third 
of a century. This time sufficed to impress upon the Institution a defi- 
nite policy, and one which will, I trust, be permanent. It will certainly 
be my endeavor, as the successor of Professor Henry, \o carry out his 
principles during whatever period Providence and your good-mil may 
grant me the direction of afi^irs. 

The characteristics of the policy adopted by Professor Henry at the 
beginning of his administration, and sanctioned by the Board of Regents, 
were, first, never to attempt to do with the fiinds and appliances of the In- 
stitution what could equally well be done by other appropriate agencies ; 
secondly, to attempt nothing which might not strictly bo considered as 
coming witbin the department of science, theoretical or applied j thirdly, 
to keep all expenditures witbin the income of the Institution, and never 
to allow the operations of one year to be hampered by indebtedness 
carried over from the preceding; and, finally, not to restrict the opera- 
tions of the ittstitution to Washington, or even to the United States ; 
but to extend its benefits to the whole world, in view of the proper i otor-' 


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pretation of the will of Mr. Smithson that the main functions of the 
institution should be "the increase and diffusion of knowledge among 

Numerons illnstrations of the policy of FrofeBsor Henry in regard to 
the first principle adopted hy him can be adduced. No matter hou 
favorite the branch of research might have been with him, nor what 
amount of reputation might be gained to the Institation by prosecating 
it, he was always ready to transfer it to those who could capy it on with 
success. The most noteworthy instance, perhaps, was that in connection 
with the subject of meteorology, which bad fix)m the be^nning been one 
of special interest to him. The very earliest action in the scientific direc- 
tion of the Institution had reference to the adoption of a general system 
of meteorological observations throughout the United States and the 
adjacent portions of America, and the proper reduction cf the results in 
a systematic form. Up to the time of the establishment of the Signal 
Office, this was by far the most important feature of Smithsonian activity. 
It embraced a connection with about six hundred observers from all 
the walks of life and in all parts of the country. "With these, constant 
communication was held, and from them were received monthly detailed 
observations of various degrees of minuteness and accuracy on blanks 
furnished to them previously by the Institution; and an extended 
correspondence was maintained with them, not only on meteorological 
subjects but upon others of scientific interest For more than twenty- 
five years this relation continued with the most important results, the 
work extending and enlarging year by year in a rapid ratio. 

As soon as the operations of_ the United States Signal Office were 
established by government, under (General Myer, Professor Henry 
oflered to turn over the Smithsonian system witii its observers to t^at 
establishment, and this offer being accepted the transfer was made; 
since then the Institution has confined itself to working up the results 
of a Quarter of a century's labors and publishing them in a systematic 
and digested form. The series of such digests has been nearly com- 
pleted and the whole will be finished as rapidly as the funds of the 
Institution will permit 

It was to this restriction of effort to subjects of importance, in a scien- 
tific or practical point of view, which were not otherwise provided for, 
that is due the impression made upon the progress of learning by the 
Smithsonian Institution as administered by Professor Henry. There 
are numerous establishments in the United States, not of precisely sim- 
ilar character, but with the same general object, and with equal or larger 
funds of endowment, but which are scarcely known or even heard of 
outside of the limits of the city in which they may happen to be sit- 
uated. The name of the Smithsonian Institution, on the contrary, is a 
familiar one in every part of the world ; and it may almost be said that 
it is even better understood, comprehended, and appreciated in the 
lemoteat parts of Europe than it is in some sections of the United States. 


At the beginnmg of the active operations of the instdtation, Professor 
Henry prepared what he called a "Programme of organization." This 
waa first submitted to the judgment of leading men of science throagh- 
out the United States and Europe, and received general approval. It 
was presented to the Board, and adopted as the hasis of future opera- 
tions. It is interesting to note that whatever new lines of research or 
of practical work have been taken up from time to time by the Institu- 
tion, were simply the carrying out into practical effect of one or other of 
the subdivisions of the proposed programme. 

The board at its special meeting, held on the 17th of May, 1878, di- 
rected the preparation of a suitable biography of its late Secretary, and 
also the holding of a memorial service in one of the halls of Congress, if 
it could be obtained for the purpose. The preparation of this biography 
was intrusted to a committee, consisting of President Porter, of Yale 
College, Dr. Maclean, of Princeton, and Professor Gray, of Harvard ; 
and it has been prepared by the latter gentleman, and will be submitted 
by him to the Board. 

The arrangements for the memorial services have been made, to take 
place on the evening of Thursday, January 16, 1879. In addition to 
the records prepared by the direction of the Board, two other memoirs 
have been written, and were presented, October 26, 1878, to the Philo- 
sophical Society of Washington, of which Professor Henry had been the 
presiding officer from the time of its organization. One of these me- 
moirs, by Dr. WeUing, president of Columbian University, gave an 
account of Professor Henry's life and character with reference to his 
personal, social, and educational qualities ; and the other, by Mr. Will- 
iam B. Taylor, set forth more particularly bis scientiftc work and the 
snccessiou of Ms discoveries. 

Professor Henry's last illness dates from the autumn of the year 1877, 
and was apparently induced in a considerable measure by exposure 
while carrying on a series of experiments in behalf of the Light-House 
Board. After his return from Staten Island, he was able to bestow but 
little attention to the details of the work of the Institution; although, 
up to the very day of his death, he was directing and controlling it as 
from the beginning. Shortly after his return in the autumn, he made a 
visit to Philadelphia, for the purpose of being under the care of Dr. S. 
Weir Mitchell, and came back to Washington after an absence of a few 
weeks. His death took place on the 13th of May, 1878, — a peaceful and 
happy death — surrounded by his family and friends. 

After his decease, as in his life, he was signally honored. Congress 
adjourned to attend the funeral, which was also marked by the presence 
of the highest dignitaries of the country, including the President and 
his cabinet, the justices of the Supreme Court of the United States, and 
those of the District of Columbia, the diplomatic corps, and numerous 
organizations of which be was a member, as well as others from abroad. 

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HoDored by the Board in being selected to sncceed Professor Henry, 
it was with the greatest diffidence, and with an unaffected distrust in my 
ability to administer worthily the operations of the Institution, that I 
accepted the trust. Animated by a desire to secure the continuance 
of the wise policy inangarat«d and maintained by Professor Henry, — 
by a consciousness of familiarity with the varied duties required, — and 
by a natural sympathy of purpose resulting from a long association with 
him — ^holding steadily before me his example — ^I venture upon the ex- 
periment ; hoping only that the contrast of the present administration 
of the Institution with that of the past will not be too unta^vorably marked. 

I may, perhaps, be pardoned for calling attention to the feet that my 
own connection with the Institution and association with Professor 
Henry dates back to the year 1850, and that consequently, for more than 
twenty-e^ht years, I have been engaged in carrying out the principles 
established by the late Secretary, and that the details of administration, 
and the general plans of operation, are consequently not unfamiliar to 
me. My association has indeed been, indirectly, longer than the time 
mentioned, since as early as 1848 I visited Professor Henry and was en- 
gaged by him to carry out certain researches in reference to the natural 
history of Pennsylvania, aided by a grant of money from the fhnds of 
the Institution, for the purpose. 

Althoagh the fact of the death of Professor Henry was promptly 
spread over the United States and transmitted throughout tie Old 
World by means of the telegraph, it was thought proper, in accordance 
with the usage of similar establishments, to make a formal annonnce- 
ment by a circular letter, addressed to the foreign correspondents of the 
InstitutioD. A circular was accordingly prepared in the name of the 
Chancellor and widely distributed. This has elicited a great number of 
responses, containing gratiiying expressions of condolence and sympathy. 

The regular session of the Board of Begents for the winter of 1877 
was held in January, 1878, at which time the report for 1877 was pre- 
sented by Professor Henry and approved. An extra meeting was called 
on the 17th of May, on the day after Professor Heniy's funeral, at whloh. 
an election of his successor took place, and arrangements were made for 
a proper eulogy and the memorial meeting in January, 1879. 

The law of Congress establishing and organizing the Smithsonian 
Institution makes no provision for the discharge of the dnties of the 
chief officer by any person other than the Secretary ; and as no bills for 
services, for salaries, labor, supplies, &c., can be paid without his 
indorsement, the disability or death of the Secretary daring the recess 
of the meetings of the Board is likely to involve very serious difficulties. 
For the purpose of providing for this contingency, Senator Hamlin, a, 
Eegent of the Institution, has introduced a joint resolution intO' the 
Senate, providing that in case of the death, disability, or absence of the 
Secretary, the Chancellor be empowered to appoint some one to discharge 


his duties until any necessary provision can be made by tbe Board in 
ftill session, it not being expected that the Board could be brought 
together outside of the period of the meeting of Congress. This reso- 
lution has already passed the Senate, and it is hox>ed will soon pass the 
Hoose and become a law. 

The only change in the Board of Eegents to be placed on record is 
the resignation of Mr. Bancroft and the election of Greneral Sherman, a 
former Eegent, to fill his place. General Sherman was also elected by 
the Board at its special meeting of the 17th of May to serve as one of 
the I^xecutive Committee. 

The continued expansion of the operations of the Institution, especially 
those connected mth its department of international exchanges, has 
called for accommodations more extended than those that have been 
available; and Professor Henry, for some time before his death, had in 
contemplation a removal from that portion of the building occnpied by 
his &mlly, to a private residence in the city. He was considering this 
qnestion more urgently when his illness supervened, and of course inter- 
rupted any further action on his part. 

Although the occupation of the eaat wing of the building free of rent 
was one of the privileges of the Secretary of the Institution, X found 
that all the rooms in the bnUding could be used to great advantage as 
offices of the Institution ; and I therefore determin^, with the consent 
of the members of the Executive Committee, to devote them to that 
purpose. A door was opened in the wall separating the present rooms 
&om the apartments adjacent to them, and some other trifling icex- 
pensive alterations were made, by which the entire house was trans- 
formed into a series of offices and wort-rooms. Every room is now in 
use, and the entice force of clerks and empIoytSs has been concentrated 
in llie east range and wing, so that they are closely connected in their 
work, adding very greatiy to the efficiency of operations. 

A system of electric bells and telephones has been established threugh- 
oat the building, by means of which instant communication can be had 
between the several offices and work-rooms without involving the loss 
of time required to pass &om one to another, or without calling any one 
from his work. 


In the report of the Esecntive Committee will be found a detailed 
statement of the finances of the Institution, which are believed to be in 
a satis&ctory state. The amount to the credit of the late Secretary at 
the time of his death was $8,522.98. This was transferred on the 28th 
of May, 1878, to the credit of his snccessor, with whom a new account 
was opened at the Treasury. The premium on the gold-bearing interest 
of the Smithsonian endowment, which has heretofore constituted a more 
or less prominent item of the receipts for the year, has, of course, disap- 
peared; only a small percentage having been realized on the July pay- 
ment. As the natural eounterpart to this, however, the reduction in 


the price of labor and tbe decrease in the cost of macy articles of gen- 
eral snpply leaves the Institntion in a correspondingly better financial 
condition than before. 

Q?he following is a statement of the condition of the Smithson fond at 
the beginning of the year 1879 : 

^e amount originally received as the bequest of James 
Smithson, of England, deposited in the Treasury of the 
United States in accordance with the act of Congress of 

Angnst 10, 1846 $515,169 00 

The residuary legacy of Smithson, received in 1865, depos- 
ited in the Treasury of the United States in accordance 
withtbeactofCongressofFebruaiy 8, 1867 26,210 63 

Total bequest of Smithson 541,379 63 

Amount deposited in the Treasury of the United States, 
as authorized by act of Congress of February 8, 1867, 
derived &om savings of income and increase in valae of 

■ investments 108, 620 37 

Amount received as the bequest of James Hamilton, of 
Carlisle, Pa., February 24, 1874 1, 000 00 

Total permanent Smithson fund in the Treasury of - 
the United States, bearing interest at 6 per cent, 

payable semi-annually in gold . 651, 000 00 

In addition to the above, there remains of the extra Aind 
firom savings, &c., in Virginia bonds and certificates, 
viz: Consolidated bonds, $58,700; deferred certificates, 
$39,375.07; fractional certificate, $50.13} total, $88,125.20, 

valued January, 1879, at 34,000 00 

Cash balance in United States Treasury at the beginning 
of the yeai 1879, for corrent expenses 19, 632 57 

Totol Smithson fiinds January 8, 1879 704, 632 57 


Some damage was done to the Smithsonian building by tlie severe 
storms of the summer of 1878, and considerable expense incurred in re- 
pairs. The finial on the west tower was blown off and a large limuber 
of slates torn away, all of which required reconstruction. The occasion 
was talcen to give the gutters, sponts, and lightning-rods a thorough 
overhauling, leaving everything, it is believed, in the best condition. 
The basement has been cleaned and whitewashed, and all unserviceable 
material, induding scrap-iron, &c., has been suitably disposed of. 


As has been fireqnently stated in former reports, the publications of 
the Institution consist of three classes : The first, the " Smithsonian Oon- 
tributioQS to Knowledge"; the second, the "Smithsonian Miscellaneous 


CoUectioiis''; and the third, the "Annual Seports of the Begents** of 
the !bistitntion. The works of the first class, the Smithsonian Gontribu- 
lions to Knowledge, are published in qnarto form, and are intended to 
embrace original memoirs, either the result of special investigations 
authorized and directed by the Institation, or prosecuted under other 
auspices and presented to it. The worts of the second claiss, the Mis- 
cellaneous Collections, are similar in plan and conatmction to the "Con- 
tributions," but are in octavo form, and embrace more particnlarly mono- 
graphic and descriptive papers in natural history, formal or systematic 
hBts of spedes of animals or planta, physical tables, reports on the pres- 
ent state of knowledge in some department of physical or biologic sci- 
ence, &e. As with the "Contributions," eaeh volume is composed of 
several distinct and independent papers, having no necessary connection 
with each other, the collection being determined chiefly by the aggregate 
number of pages suitable for a volume of average size. The average 
number of pages in the quarto volume is about 600 ; in the octavo volume, 
about SOD. Each paper or memoir in either class is separately paged and 
indexed, with its own title-page, so as to be complete in itself, and sepa- 
rately distributed according to its subject. Of the qnarto "Contribn- 
tions," twenty-one volumes, and of the "Collections," fifteen volumes 
have been published. 

The Smithsonian annual reports commenced in 1847, and being made 
to Congress, are published by that authority, and not at ^e expense of 
the Smithson ftind. The earUer reports of the Secretary were printed 
in small pamphlet editions, but were collected and reprinted with the 
report for 1853, and with this the series of bound volumes may be said 
to have begun. The number, or edition, ordered by Congress has varied 
from year to year, but the proportion of copies placed at the disposal of 
the Institution ^as been distributed to its correspondents as fiilly and 
liberally as possible. 

Smithsonian Contributions to Knowledge published in 1878. — For sev- 
eral years past the Institution has had in its archives a paper by the 
late Prof. Henry J, Clark, relating to the LucemariEe, an extremely in- 
teresting group of marine animals closely allied to the Acalephs, or 
Jelly-flsh. The death of the author before the work could go to press, 
and the difficulty of finding any one wilhng to undertake the editing of 
it, prevented immediate action on the memoir ; but Prof. A. E. VerriU hav- 
ing agreed to take charge of the work, it wasat length putto press, and. 
was finally pubUshed in 1878. The memoir consists of 138 quarto pages 
and eleven plates, and it has been distributed to the leading zoologists. 
The Institution is under great obligations to Professor Verrill for tiie 
careful and critical supervision of the typographical execution of the 
work, as well as for some important notes and rectifications. Mr. 
Samuel F. Clark, of Johns Hopkins University, is also entitied to the 
thanks of the Institution for assistance in revising proofs during the 
period when Professor Yerrill was ill. 


The second gnarto memoir, pablished in 1S78, is a paper by Mr. 
WiHiain H. Dall, "On ttie Bemains of later Prehietorie Man, obtained 
from caves in the Catlierina Archipelago, Alaska Territory, and espe- 
cially from the caves of the Aleutian Islands." In the Secretary's re- 
port fof 1875 (page 48} wiU be foond a brief notice of some interesting 
mnnunifled hnman remains from the Aleutian Islands presented by the 
Alaska Commercial Company. These comprised a series of nine mnm- 
mies from Eagaymil Island and one from Prince William's Sound. Mr. 
Ball's memoir on the subject has been printed, containing the result of 
a caiefiil examination of these remains and the relics found with them, 
an account of the tradition and history relating to them, and snch ez- 
planatipns of the manufacture, cfau^cter, and nse of the various asso- 
ciated articles as the author's observations during eight yeafs in that 
region enabled him to furnish. Ten hellotype iUustratioDS accompany 
l^e memoir, 'which, though inferior to finely engraved views in an 
artistic point of view, offer a style better suited to convey a correct idea 
of the complicated details represented than any other mode of Illustra- 
tion at present in use. 

Two remaining quarto papers now in press will be published early in 
the year 1879. The first of these is the memoir of Dr. S. Habel, describ- 
ing " The Sculptures of Santa Lucia Cosumalwhuapa, in Guatemala.^ 
As this interestiog work was qnite fully described in the Secretary's last 
Keport (for 1877, pages 13 to' 16), it is unnecessary here to particularize 
it further. 

The other paper referred to (constituting the fourth of the above- 
mentioned series) is "A Classification and Synopsis of the Trochilidie,'' 
by Mr. D. G, Elliot. The beautiful and brilliant-colored "metallic" 
plumage of the humming-birds in many instances assumes, among 
individuals of the same species, widely-contrasted h<i^ rendering 
the correct identification of the species by the naturalist only possible 
through a considerable experience or the opportunity of examining a 
large series of specimens. Within the past ten years a large number of 
new species have been discovered in this group, supplying important 
links between previously-known species that could not have been here- 
tofore harmoniously ranged in the fiimily. The vast collection which 
has produced the material for this work contains many types and speci- 
mens of great rarity, obtained from such well-known trochilidists as 
Bonrcier, Gould, Verreanx, &c. Of the 426 species acknowledged in the 
■ work as worthy of such rank, 380 are contained in the author's collection, 
represented by about 1,800 specimens. A novel feature of the work is 
the engraving that accompanies the diagnosis of each genus, illustrating 
the charact^stics by which any specimen may be readily r^erred to its 
proper genus. The characters recognized as most important for deter- 
mining a system of classification are taken from the msde bird alone, it 
beiDg found impossible to harmonize in so large a group any that should 
be selected from the two sexes indiscriminately. The present synopsis 


will be nseAiI both to the student and to the naturalist by enabling 
them to easily identil^ their specimens, and will assist ttiem to a natural 
classification of the family. 

Miicellaneoua Collections published m 1878. — ^Among the " Collections'' 
pnblished in the past year have been several very important circolara 
intended to facilitate the collection of material for scientific research. 
The first of these, prepared by Prof. O. T. Mason, at the request of the 
Institution, relates to the varions remains of American arcbteology scat- 
tered throughout dififerent parts of our continent, consisting of mounds, 
earthworks, ditches, graves, &g. A vast amount of isolated and discon- 
nected research has been directed toward these objects, in most cases 
by persons ignorant of the true method of examination or of the precise 
nature of the problems to be solved in connection with them. The cir- 
cular referred to comprises 15 pages, indicating the features of special 
interest, a record of which it is desired to possess, and giving a table of 
symbols W be used tx) secure uniformity of illustration and facility of 
reference. It also invites contributions of notes, surveys, maps, illas- 
trations, &c., of the objects, and also requests the contribution of such 
specimens as may be found in tiie localities described, including stone 
implements, pottery, bone tools, &c. Of this circular many thousand 
copies have been distributed, and these have elicited a vast amount of 
material. This is all carefully and systematically classified and arranged, 
and as soon as It appears to be measurably complete it will be placed in 
the hands of one or more specialists, by the aid of whom it is hoped the 
Institation may be able to prepare an exhaustive treatise on the sub- 
iect which will mark as important a stage of progress in the history of 
American archasology as was done by its publication, in 1849, of Squier 
& Davis's work upon the ancient mounds of the Mississippi Valley. 

The second circular published was one prepared by P. E, Uhler, of 
Baltimore, in reference to th e collection of specimens of craw-Jishes. This 
gronp of ftesh- water crustaceans, which is found In moat parts of the world, 
withsome curious exceptions, fumishesaninterestingficldfor inquiry into 
the modifications produced in animal forms by certain physical or other 
conditions, Professor Huxley, among others, having lately prepared an 
elaborate paper upon the subject. In previoas years quite a number of 
new craw-fishes were described from the collections of the National 
Museum, by Mr. Charles Girard. The gronp was afterwards made the 
Babject of a very comprehensive investigation by Dr. H. Hagen, of 
Cambridge. It is, however, thought that there is room for still further 
Inqairy, and the material in possession of the Smithsonian Institution 
will be placed in the hands of competent specialists for investigation. 
In the circular an illustration of the crawfish is given, for which the 
Institution is indebted to Messrs. Appleton & Co., !N'ew York. 

The third circular, to form part of a forthcoming volume of Smithstm- 
ian Miscellaneous Collections, is in reference to the living reptiles of 


Korth America. Tbe nnited States Fisb Commission, nnder tbe an* 
spicea of the Smithsonian Institution, exliibit«d at the Fhiladelpfaia 
Centennial of 1876 an extremely interesting series of plastei' and papier 
mach6 casts of fishes, cetaceans, and some reptiles, all carefally colored 
tcom natare, and representing a much larger nnmber of snch objects than 
had ever been brought together under one roof. Since that time the 
artists connected with the Kational MuBcnm have been diligently en- 
gaged in extending and improving the series, and for nearly two years 
past their efforts have been conducted especially in the line of the rep- 
tiles. The circular ia qaestiou was iuteDded to indicate precisely the 
forms or species desired, and it has been extensively distribnted. As 
the resnlt, the Institution was the recipient, in 1878, of very large nnm- 
bers of living turtles, serpents, lizards, salamanders, &c., the greater por- 
tion of which has been carefiilly molded and reproduced in artistic style. 
It is believed that do muBenm extant can show snch a series of serpents, 
in their natarsrl attitudes, as is now on exhibitioa in the If ational 

Anoth^ publication of 1878 is a new " List of Foreign Correspond- 
ents." The rapid increase in the number of scientific establishments in 
relationship with the Institntion requires a new edition of this list every 
few years ; and although the present one is much more extensive than 
that published in 1872 (containing 2333 numbers of titles as compared 
with 1919), evennow arrangements are being made by the Institution for a 
still more complete and exhaustive edition. With this view a circular 
has been sent to all tbe names upon the present list, asking for recti&- 
catioDS or typographic corrections, and tbe addition of any addresses 
of public libraries, learned societies, or scientific bureaus of govern- 
ments not already included. The Institution also requested secretaries 
of societies to furnish a list of the names and addresses of persons act- 
ively engaged in scientific or literary investigations in their respective 
towns, together with the particular branches of learning to which each 
was devoted, with the view of facilitating commnnication and exchanges 
with epeeialists in all parte of the world. The responses to these re- 
gueste are coming in rapidly ; and when all are received, a suitable ar- 
rangement and publication of the material will be made. 

Twenty years ago (in 1858), the Institution published a list of the 
IHptera (flies, mosquitoes, &c.) of Sorth America, by Baron E. Osten- 
Sacken, at that time attached to the Kussian Legation at Washington. 
The author, although especially a student of the order of diptera, was 
interested in other groups, and coming to the United States at a time 
when our entomologists were few and widely scattered, he devoted a 
considerable part of his leisure to travel over the country, making the 
personal acquaintance of most of those interested in this branch of natu- 
ral history. In that connection he rendered a valuable aid to the ex- 
tension of American entomologic science, which is entitled to public 
recognition. Throu^ his efforts numesous entomologists, situated fitx* 


apart, and prosecatiug atndies of a aimilar character, witboat the koowl- 
edge of other labors than their own, were brought into relations of 
correspondence and exchange, and thns, by their matoal sympathy and 
sapi>ort, and by the concentration of effort on the part' of each to some 
specif hne of research, the common interest of science was advanced. 
We regret to say that after many years sojourn in this country. Baron 
Osten-Sackeu has returned to Europe, where, however, his assistance 
is contdnnally invoked by entomologists desiring information in regard 
to tyi>e specimens, books not procurable in the United States, &c 

The list of Diptera aforesaid (pubhshed in the Miscellaneous Collec- 
tJons) brought together a mass of references to the descriptions of about 
1,800 species, scattered in more than one hnndred different works 
and scientific papers. Such a publication was an indispensable prelim- 
inary step before any study of the diptera conld bo attempted. This 
formed the first of a series of works undertaken by the Institution to 
fiwilitate the study of entomology, which has included diptera, coleop- 
tera, lepidoptera, neuroptera, and hymeuoptera. 

During the past year the work of Baron Osten-Sacken, much extended 
by his later critical studies, has been republished by the Institation. 
This new edition of the work is not merely a revision of the catalogue 
pablished twenty years ago; but it is an entirely new one prepared on 
a difiierent plan. The difference between eleven and gixiy-six, the num- 
ber of species of one genus, Trypeta, represents the addition made to 
oar knowledge during the interval between the two catalogues. Other 
genera give similar results. Another important difference between the 
old and new cat^ognes consists in the fact ttiat the m^ority of the 
qiedes ennmerated in the latter are represented in a collection no w in the 
Uoaenm of Comparative Zoology in Cambridge, Mass., which contains 
ov^ S,000 named and described species of diptera from North America. 
The region embraced in the present catalogue is the whole of Sforth 
America, including the West Indies. It has been the effort of the 
author to make sure that every name in the list should actually rep- 
resent a different species. To attain this result, he visited and examined 
the museums in Loudon, Paris, LiUe, Berlin, Frankfort, Darmstadt, 
Tnrin, and Vienna. Of all orders of insects the dipt^^ offer probably 
the most difficulties to the deseriber, arising &om the minuteness of the 
ebaracters on which generic and specific distinction are based. Each 
fomily regm'res a special stndy, raid a dipterologist may be very well 
versed in some fanulies, without being able to express any opinion with 
regard to questions concerning others. In the inCrodnction to the cata^ 
logue, the author presents some recommendations as to the best course 
to be pursued in the study of diptera, and advises apedalization. 
Amatenrs may collect and name specimens, bat should not pubUsh 
aaytiiing until they have' chosen some single famOy and nearly ex- 
haosted it by study and collecting. "The exhaustive study of a single 
fomily IB far more remunerative both In pleasure and in usefulness 
S. Mis. 59 ^2 


than the random description of nnmeroua new species." The catalogue 
forms an octavo volume of 334 pages, and includes a full index. 

Another paper puhlished in 1878, to be mentioned, is a " Botanical 
Index," prepared by Prof. Sereuo Watson, of Cambridge, Maes. The 
purpose of this index is to furnish references to whatever has been pub- 
lished respecting the plants of North America, under their Linnean spe- 
cific names, in works or papers that may be classed as belonging to sys- 
tematic botany. For the region west Of the Mississippi and for British 
America, the literature of which is almost wholly fragmentaiy and 
greatly scattered, and on account of which especially the work was orig- 
inally begun, it is intended to be complete. And it is essentially so also 
for the eastern Hera, where, however, there is not the same necessity 
that the citations should be exhaustive. To avoid the perpetuation of 
■errors it was desirable to ehminate false species and to correct wrong 
determinatious wherever they had gone upon recoixi. This could not 
have been thoroughly done without a complete revision of the flora 
itself, which was of course out of the question; nevertheless it was ren- 
dered to a considerable extent possible as respects the western Dora, hy 
the author's connection with the "Botany of California"; and in many 
other eases he was enabled to decide upon the validity of species, and 
to verify determinatious or to settle doubtful synonymy by comparisons 
of specimens themselves in the collection of the Harvard Herbarium. 

The delays that have arisen in the preparation of the volume have 
not been without compensation in the far more complete and satisfactory 
results which were only thus made possible; and the deficiencies of the 
earlier portions are largely supphed by the copious appendix, which 
makes the whole essentially complete, up to the date of pnWication. 
The portion now printed covers the ground of Torrey and Gray's Flora 
of North America, which was published in 18.38-1840, and is now so com- 
pletely out of date as to leave this portion of our botany nearly as much 
in need of revision as any other. Until such revision can be made 
(and it must stiU he delayed some years), the " Index " will necessarily 
be a parti^ substitute — in some respects sufficient, inasmuch as it shows 
what genera and species are recognized as forming our fiora, and also as 
concerns the synonymy, which could not be given with any such com- 
pleteness, within the limit* of the desired revision, and moreover suffi- 
cient in its references to all existing descriptions of those species. In 
any given case, these descriptions may indeed be practically inaccessible, 
or they may be incomplete or faulty, and it is herein that nothing can 
be a substitute for a " Flora," which shall bring together into one vol- 
ume perfected descriptions, together with such grouping of genera and 
species as to indicate their natural affinities. For the preparation of 
such a Flora, or for the study of any special portion ot the field, the 
present Index will meantime be an important aid, giving as it were a 
skeletonized history of each individual species, and affording a cine to 
all that is known toward the needed filling out of the outline. The 


total number of orders given in the Index is 69; of genera, .545; of 
species, 3,038. The wort forms an octavo volume of 484 pages. 

A work too long delayed, and constituting a most imi)ortant addition 
to the ]Miscellaneoiis Collections — a memoir of the founder, James Smith- 
son, with a collection of his pubUshed contributions to science, followed 
by a doenmeutary history of the organization, rise, and progress of the 
institution — has during the past year been collected and prepared, and 
is now io press. 

At a meeting of the Board of Regents, held January 23, 1878, it was 
resolved that the Secretary be requested to have a memoir of James 
Smithson prepared and published, to include all his scientific papers now 
iiL'ccssible ; and that the Secretary prepare and publish a history of the 
origin and progress of the Institution. lu accordance with these resolu- 
tions, the Secretary directed Mr. William J. Rhees, the chief clerk, who 
had been connected with the Institution for more than tweuty-tive jeivrs, 
to commence the collection of material for these works, and on the death 
of Professor Henry, Mr. Ehees was requested to continue his labors. No 
lompilation of this character having been previously attempted, the ui- 
VMtigation involved a laborious research. 

Tlio scientific papers of Smithson, which originally appeared in the 
Philosophioal Transactions of the Eoyal Society of London, and in Thom- 
sou's Annals of Philosophy, have been collected and reprinted ; they 
occupy 120octavo pages. Hiese memoirs were submitted to several chem- 
ists and mineralogists for an estimate of the scientific value of Smith- 
xou's researches, and the present acceptance or recognition of the results 
obtained by him. 

The history of the Institution contains the will of Smithson, the man- 
ner in which the bequest was obtained by the United States, the corre- 
s|>ondence between Hon. Kichard Hush, the special agent of this govern- 
ment, and the officials and attorneys in England, an accouut of the suit 
ill chancery which was found necessary to obtain the fund, an account 
of tile residuary legacy or sum left in England as the principal of an 
annuity to the mother of the nephew of Smithson, and how this was 
finally obtained and added to the fund. The legislation of Congress in 
n-ference to the bequest is given, including a reprint of every resolution, 
memorial, report, speech, and act from the proceedings of Congress that 
liiive any reference to the fund or to the establishment and objects of the 
Smithsonian Institution, from December X7, 1835, when President Jack- 
Kon first informed Congress of the bequest, down to the 1st Jannary, 

The collection of this part of the history involved a minute examina- 
tion of everj^ imgo of the " Globe," containing the report of the proceed- 
ings of Congress, and also a large number of documents and many of the 
ivcords printed and in manuscript on file at the Capitol or elsewhere. 
The various plans propose<l in the Senate and House of Eepreseutatives 
for the carrying out. the intentions of Smithson, by John Qnincy Adams, 


Mr. Bobbins, Mr. Choate, Mr. Marsh, Mr. Owen, and many others are 
given in full, and form an exceedingly interesting exhibit of the viewa 
of men in political Ufo as to the best means of increasing and diffnsiug 
knowledge. This part also includes the history of the controversy iu 
relation to the management of the Institution arising &om the resigDa- 
tion of Mr. Choate from the Board of Regents, and the speeches of Sen- 
ators Pearce, Mason, Doaglas, Badger, and Clayton, and of Bepresenta- 
tives English and Meacham, together with the reports of the Senate 
Judiciary Committee, and of a special committee of the House. As 
throwing light on much of Congressional action and to show the intense 
interest Mr. John QuMoy Adams felt in the bequest, copious extracts 
are made &om his diaries. 

The volume also contains the vaiions plans proposed for the organiza- 
tion of the Institution by scientific and literary men, inclnding Mr. Kush, 
Dr. Wayland, Dr. Cooper, Dr. Chapin, with the report of the commiltue 
of Organization of the Board of Segents ; the programme presented by 
Professor Henry in December, 1847, and the opinions of this programme 
ei^ressed by Dr. Beck, Professor Silliman, Dr. Gray, the American 
Academy of Arts and Sciences, the presidents of Columbia, Williams, 
Hamilton, Delaware, Pennsylvania,, Georgetown, Amherst, Saint John's, 
Brown, Bowdoin, Charleston, Hampden Sidney, Madison, William and 
Mary, Cnmberland, Alabama, Marietta, Tennessee, North Carolina, 
Trinity, and many other colleges and societies. . 

These articles will form parts of the Smithsonian Miseellaneons Col- 
lections, and will not only be of interest to the Begents and those imme- 
diately connected with the management of the Institution, but to all who 
wish *o ascertain the ^'iews and acts of some of onr most prominent men 
in relation to science for nearly half a century. The history of the 
Institntion will show what difficulties surrounded its organization, the 
diversity of opinion as to its proper functions, the opposition to be over- 
come, and the value of the wide and comprehensive plans of the Secre- 
tary, Professor Henry, to whose clearness of conception, firmness of 
purpose, and purity of character the success of the Institntion is mainly 
indebted. His views, though but little understood and appreciated at 
first, have steadily gained the favor of the scientific and literary' world, 
and are now university recognized as the best adapted to accomplish 
tlie great purpose of Smitbson. 

BuVetina of ^e-Jfational Museum. — In the Secretary's Report for 1875 
(page 14) it was stated that, during the past year another series of pub- 
lications, which would form a part of the Miscellaneous Collections, had 
been commenced under the above title. This series is intended to illustrate 
tiie collections of natural history and ethnology belonging to the CTnited 
States, and constituting the stock of the National Museum, of which 
the Smithsonian Institntion is the custodian. These bulletins, prepared 
at the request and mainly by the attach^ of the institntion, have been 


printed under Hie anthority of the Secretary of the Interior. They fonn 
an independent series, vbich has proved very a^iceptable to naturalists, 
as enabling them to obtain prompt inibrmation as to the additions to 
and the components of the National Museam. 

The following is a list of the Bulletins already published: 

No. 1. Check-list of North American Batrachia and Reptilia; t^ 
Edward D. Cope. 1875. 106 pp. 

No. 2. Contributions to the Natural History of Kergueleu Island; by 
J. H. Kidder, M. D.; Part I, Ornithology; edited byElUott Coues. 
1875. ai pp. 

No. 3. ContributionstotheNaturalHistoryofKcrguelen Island; Pare 
II, Oology, Botany, Geology, Mammals, Fish, MoUusks, Insects, Crus- 
taceans, Annelids, Echinoderms, Anthozoa ; by Kidder, Coues, Gray, 
Kndlich, Gill, Ball, Oaten-Sacken, Hagen, S. J. Smith, VerrUl, and S. F. 
Clark. 1S76. 122 pp. 

No. 4. Birds of Sonthwesteru Mexico ; collected by Francis E. Sami- 
chrast. By George N. Lawrence. 1876. 56 pp. 

No. 6. Catalogue of the Fishes of the Bermudas; by G. Brown Goode. 
187«. 82 pp. 

No. 6. ClasaificationofthecollectiontoillastratetheAnimalResources 
of the United States; by G. Brown Goode. 1876. 139 pp. 

No. 7. Contributions to the Natural History of the Hawaiian and 
Fanning Islands, and Lower California; by Thomas H. Streets, M. D. 
1877. 172 pp. 

No. 8. Index to the names which have been applied to the subdivisions 
of the class Brachiopoda previous to the year 1877 ; by William H. Dall. 
1877, 88 pp. 

No. 9. Contributions to North American Ichthyology; Parti; Eeview 
of BaSnesqae's Memoirs on North American Fishes ; by David S. Jordan. 
1877. 53 pp. 

No. 10. Contributions to North American Ichthyology; Part II; Cot- 
tidas, Etbeostomatidifi, Percid^, Ceutrarchidie, AphododeridBe, Doryso- 
matidiB, Cyprinidfie, Siltiridie. By D. S. Jordan. 1878. 120 pp., with 
45 plates. 

No. 11. Not yet published. 

No. 12. Contributions to North American Ichthyolojry; Part HI; by 
D. S. Jordan and A. W. Brayton. 1878. 237 pp. 

Of the above, ttiose pnbli^ed during the past year are the Bidletins 
numbered 10 and 12. The former comprises the second part of Prof. 
Da\'id S. Jordan's Contributions to North American Ichthyology, and 
includes notes on Cottidse, Etheostomatidje, Percida;, CentrarchidiE, 
Aphododeridse, Dorysomatidse, and Cyprinidie, with revisions of the 
genera and descriptions of new or little known species ; and Syuopsis 
of the SUuridffi of the fresh waters of North America, with a bibliogra- 
phy of all the genera and species. It tbrms an octavo pamphlet of 120 
pages, with 45 plates. 



The latter (No. 12) coiaprises the third part of Contributions to North 
American Ichthyology, including the distribution of the lishes of the 
Allegheny region of South Carolina, Georgia, and Tennessee, with de- 
scriptions of new or little known species; hy David S. Jordan and 
Alembert W. Brayton. This paper is based primarily on the collections 
made by the authors and a party of students of Butler University, 
Ohio, during the summer of 1877, in various streams in the Southern 
States, classified under the following basins : 1, Santee; 2, Savannah; 
3, Altamaha; 4, Chattahoochie ; 5, Alabama; 6, Tennessee; 7, Cum- 
beriaud. In the course of the investigations detailed in this paper some 
light has been thrown on the laws which govern the distribution of fresh- 
water fishes in general. A synopsis is also given of the family Catosto- 
midiB ; by David S, Jordan, and a bibliography is given of all the known 
works on CatostomidEe. 

Proceedings of the National Museum. — In imitation of the practice of 
those learned societies which publish periodically descriptions of new 
species, &c., in the form of proceedings of weekly or monthly .meetings, 
and thus present to the world the discoveries connected with the estab- 
lishment at the earliest practicable moment, it appeared to l>e very desir- 
able that the National Museum should hare some medium of prompt 
publication for announcing descriptions of specimens received (many of 
which are new species), as well as other interesting facts relative to 
natural history furnished by the correspondents of the Institution. To 
meet this want, an order was obtained from the honorable Secretary of 
the Interior, authorizing the publication of a volume of "Proceedings 
of the National Museum" for the year 1878, not to exceed 500 pages. 

The publication of the " Proceedings of the National Museum " has 
accordingly been commenced, the work comprising short descriptions of 
the additions to the Museum, and accounts of new species, or illustra- 
tions of species collected in particular regions of countrj'. It is printed 
in successive signatures, as fast as copy sufficient for 10 pages is pre- 
pared, each signature having printed at the bottom of its first page the 
date of actual issue, for settling any questions as to priority of publica- 
tion. It is at once distributed to scientific societies and leading natu- 
ralists in this country and in Europe, A large number of important 
articles of greater or less length have already been printed, to form the 
volume for 1878, now nearly completed. They consist of articles 
on new species of fishes collected by the United States Fish Commission ; 
papers on the birds of the West Indies, collected under the auspices of 
the Smithsonian Institution, &c. Of this series, about 250 pages have 
been printed during the year 1878, being produced (as in the case of 
" Bulletins") at the expense of the Interior Department, by which all the 
disbursements connected with the service of the National Museum are 

Reports of the United States Msh Commission. — A series of publications 
which may be cousideretl as in some respects connected with the work 
of the Iijstitutlon not only in the personnel, but in the subjects of uatn- 


ral history diactiiised and in the resulting contributioQS to our knowledge 
iiiay properly be here noticed. The present Secretary being at the head 
of the United States Commission of Fish and Fisheries, and the work 
accomplished by this agency in increasing and diffiising scientific as well 
as practical information being quite within the objects and province of 
the Institution, ranch of the material would legitimately form a portion 
of the Smithsonian Contributions or Miscellaneous Collections. These 
reports are. however, published by the government, and am distributed 
by Congress. 

Four volames of this series have been published, each being of octavo 
size and comprising about 1,000 pages. The last of these reports, pub- 
lished in 1878, contains 1,089 pages, and embraces : (A) General con- 
siderations on the progress of opei'ations ; (B) Inquiry into the decrease 
of the food-fishes; (C) The propagation of food-flshes, as the shad, the 
salmon, the white-flsh, and the carp ; (D) Tables showing the distribu- 
tion of shad, salmon, &c., the places, dates, and quantities hatched by 
tie United States Fish Commission from 1872 to 1876, The Appendix 
contains a number of important papers, the most elaborate of which is a 
historj- of the American whale fishery, by Capt Alexander Starbuck. 
This is followed by one on the carp and its culture, by Budolph Hessel. 

Smitlisonian annual report.— ^Thc Annua) Report of the Institution for 
1877 was transmitted to Congress on the Otb of February, 1878, and 
10,500 extra copies of it were ordered to be printed, 1,000 for the use 
of the Senate, 3,000 for the House of Representatives, and 6,500 for the 
Institution. It forms an octavo volume of 500 pages, with 49 woodcut 
illustrations. The principal articles in the Appendix are a list of the 
more impoilant explorations and expeditions, the collections of which 
have constituted the main sources of supply for the National Museum 
frem 1850 {and even earher) to 1877 ; a translatien of Holmgren's memoir 
on color-blindness, in connection with which is imprinted an article on 
the same subject by Professor Henry, published in 1845; translations of 
the reports of the transactions of the Geneva Society of Physics and 
Xatural History for 1875, 187C, and 1877, of Weisman's article on the 
change of the Mexican AxolotI t» an Amblystoma, and of short memoirs 
on meteorological subjects, byHann, Reye, Sohncke,Colding, and Pes- 
lin ; notes on the history and climate of New Mexico, by Thomas Mc- 
Parliu, and brief articles on ethnological topics, by C. Ran, George L, 
Cannon, Moses Strong, J. N. de Hart, E. E. Breed, M. W. Moulton, .Mrs. 
Gilbert Knapp, W. H. R. Lykins, James Shaw, J. Cochrane, George W. 
Hill, U. B. Case, F. Miller, Joseph Fiiel, W. M. Clark, Charles C. Jones, 
Jr., W, B. F. Bailey, A. S. Gaines, K. M. Cunningham, S. S. Haldema: 
.v. M. Hanison, S. P. Mayberry, William M. Taylor,'Edwiu M. Shepjii'd, 
George J. Oibbs, F. L, Gait, and Stephen Bowers. 


An in i>rPviou8 years, the .subject of the anthroiwlogy of North America 
received siiecial attention fiom the Institution. Its earliest pnblicar 


tion, constituting the flret volnme of the " Smithsonian Contribotiona 
to Knowledge," was the work of Sqnier and Davis on the aocient 
monaments of the Mississippi Valley ; and to this the ingtiipies of the 
past third of a century into the early history of man in the Northwest 
owe their chief impetns. The book is a niuTersal gnide, and is even now 
a standard. The edition at the command of the InstitatioD has long 
since been exhausted, and it has been proposed to republish it to meet 
the nrgent calls, of the public. Unfortunately, the destractiou of the 
wood-cats by the fire of 1865 would raider the cost of reproducing them 
BO great as to mahe it doabtfdl whether it woold not be better to nse the 
money that would be needed for it in the preparation of a more ex- 
tended work on the same subject, which has been in contemplation by 
the Institution for several years past. 

In the list of publications of the year is mentioned an archaeological 
circular, prepared by Professor Mason, and distribnted in very large 
nnmbers. The object of this has been to secure information of the 
minntest details in reference t« the construction of mounds, earthworks, 
and other traces of aboriginal engineering, aa well as of articles of every 
description and character found in the mounds, in the graves, and in 
the superficial soil. 

The answers to this circular have been unexpectedly abundant and 
varied, and a great mass of material is now in the possession of the In- 
stitution and in process of elaboration. The papers in relation to the 
monuds, earth-works, &c., are placed in the hands of Professor Maaon, of 
Columbian University, for critical investigation and examiuatiou; and 
under his editorship they will be arranged and ultimately printed, to- 
gether with numerous illustrations which accompany them. A series 
of maps will also be completed, containing information obtained from 
these and other sources, so that we shall have some satis&ctory idea of 
their geographical distribution, extent, &c., throughout the country. 

The investigation of the aboriginal relics is in charge of Prof. Charles 
!Ran, the superintendent of the archseological department of the National 
Museum. As preliminary to a systematic work in this direction Prof. 
Sau has lately completed the rearrangement of the archfeological col- 
lections of the Maseum, carefully eliminating the duplicates, bnt retain- 
ing whatever may serve to illustrate the geographical distribution of 
forms and material, or the variation in pattern. Under his direction, 
also, numerous drawings have been made on wood and partially engraved. 

A detailed statement of the donations to the National Museum relat- 
ing to this branch of science will be found in the list of Contributors to 
the Museum, and also in the general account given subsequently, of 
the several additions to the Museum. It may, however, be well to call 
soecial attention to two northern collections in this department ; one 
received from Mr, E. W, Nelson, a signal -station observer at Saint 
Michaels, in Alaska; the other from Mr. L. Kumlien, the naturalist of 
the Howgate expedition to Arctic America. These illustrate very fully 


the Datnre and character of art among the Esqnimaux on both sides of 
the continent, and with what has been heretofore obtained from the 
same region, as also the coast of Arctic America, throngh the agency 
of Mr. B. B. McFarlane, render this series the most complete of its kind 
in existence. 

Special acknowledgment is dae to the Amerieau Express Company, 
through Jas. G. Fargo, esq., general saperintendent, for giving instrac- 
tions to fdl the agents of the company to co-operate with the InstitutioD 
in the coUectiOQ of aicbceological material for the Museum. 


Among the first objects of consideration by Professor Henry, after 
the commencement of active operations on the part of the Smithsonian 
Institution, was that of meteorology, and for more than twenty-five 
years ithaa receivedalarge proportion ofhisown attention and considera- 
tion, as well as the aid of the Institution as far as its means would 
permit. Prior to the period named more or leas attention had been paid 
to the subject, and efforts had been made to secure an extensive and 
continuous series of observations. These, for the most part, however, 
were limited to single places, and more rarely extended to counties or 
States ; and it is to Professor Henry that we owe the establishment of 
a uniform system over an entire continent. Little by little the work was 
extended until, at the time of its ftUlest activity, it had its agents in 
nearly every county of moat of the States of the Union ; indeed, Uirongh- 
oat the whole of British North America, and even in the remotest post 
of the Hudson's Bay Company, in Mexico and Central America, the 
services of observers were utilized. Some of these were provided with 
full sets of meteorological apparatus, so that observations could be made 
■with the utmost precision; others had only a thermometer and barom- 
eter, while still others had nothing but a thermometer. 

Several different series of blanks were distributed by the Institution 
corresponding to the different classes. The blanks were returned 
monthly and duly filed. In the earUcr part of the work some instru- 
ments were furnished, such as barometers and thermometers. Subse- 
quently, however, it was found that the expense was too great, and only 
occasionally were thermometers and rain-gauges supplied. There was, 
however, no lack of persona who were ready tfl take part in this system, 
and not only to give their time, but also to purchase their own instru- 

The interest of the observers was maintained by a constant corre- 
spondence with the Institution. Copies of the Smithsonian Reports 
and other publications were duly transmitted to tliem, and any inquiries 
or commnnications fi^m them on scientific subjects were promptly re- 
sponded to. 

In this way a body of collaborators was secured to the Institution, 
whose services cannot be overestimated, since they not only furnished 


informatiou relating to meteorology, bat they were always ready to sup- 
ply ioformation and assistance in other directions. To that body of men 
the National Museum owes a very large part of the extensive and com- 
plete series of illustrations of North American natural history that gives 
to it so great a prominence, this being the result of successive a])plica- 
tions for aid from particular classes. Thus, whenever the attention of 
the Institution was directed to the fact that some particular branch of 
natural history required its fostering care, circulars were prepared and 
issued to the meteorological correspondents, invoking cooperation, and 
asking them to collect objects of the bind that might be found in their 
neighborhood, so that, not only all North American species might be 
gathered, but accurate determinations made (if their geographical dis- 
tribution. Very extensive responses usually followed these appeals, 
and in many cases sufficient material was secured to place the subject 
on a permanent and satisfactory basis. The works of the Institution on 
many orders of insects and on fresh-water and land shells, reptiles, 
birds, mammals, &c., were all based more or less entirely on collections 
and information obtained by the Smithsonian observers. 

As a result, therefore, of over twenty-live years' observations by such 
men, the maiss of .meteorological information obtained became very great, 
and even though a certain per cent, of the observations could not lay 
claim to that minute aecuracy which is generally required, yet it was 
found that, for many purposes, such as the general indications of varia- 
tions in temperature, barometrical pressure, rain-fall, &c., in the colla- 
tion of all observations the errors disappeared, and an average was se- 
cured which did not differ essentially irom what would have been derived 
from more accurate observations. 

The results of these observations have been pubhshed by the Institu- 
tion in several forms. During the time when the work was carried on 
partly by the assistance of the Department of Agriculture, the reports 
of that establishment contained the general results. In 1855, two quarto 
volumeswereifublishetlattheexpenseof the government. Subsequently, 
however, a system of special digests was undertaken under the super- 
vision of Professor Cofan, for the winds; and of the temperature, rain- 
fall, &c., under Mr. Charles A. Schott, of the United States Coast Sur- 
vey, a full account of which will be found in the former reports of the 

A second edition of the work on the Winds of the Globe, commenced 
by Professor Coffin, and imfinishe<l at his death, a few years ago, was 
completed under the auspices of his sou, and ]niblished by the Insti- 
tution. This is one of the most important treatises on meteorological 
science that has ever appeared fix)m any press. 

Shortly after being honored with the appointmeat as Secretary, I in- 
vited a committee, consisting of Mr. Charles A. Schott, Prof. Cleveland 
Abb6, and Mr. William Perrel, to consider the subject of the unfinished 
meteorological work of the Institution, and to suggest a plan by which 


it could be carried on and completed, with due reference to tlie state of 
its finances. This committee met at the Institution and carefully con- 
sidered the whole subject, with the toaQuscripts before them, and con- 
cluded that a new edition of the rainfall tables should be completed as 
soon as possible, this being a subject of great interest, both theoretically 
and in its practical applications. An allowance was therefore made for 
the completion of this work, and it will be ready for the press during the 
present year. The publication of this new edition of the rainfall tables 
will be commenced and completed as soon as practicable. The baro- 
metrical reductions, the digest of the periodical phenomena of animal 
and vegetable life, &c., will be prosecuted as rapidly as the funds of the 
Institution will warrant. 

It is, of course, unnecessary to refer to the fact that active operations 
in regard to meteorological observations, in accordance with the iK>licy 
of Professor Henry have been transferred to the Weather Bureau of the 
Signal Department of the United Stat«8 Army, under the care of General 
A. J. Myer, and that hereafter the meteorological expenditures will be 
confined to completing the presentation of the results obtained during the 
twenty-five years of the active work of the Institution in that direction. 


The appropriation made to Dr. H. C. Wood, jr. in 187G and 1877 for 
experiments to determine the nature and cause of the increased tempera- 
ture of the body during fever has been expended and a report of the 
investigations is being prepared for publication by the Institution, A 
brief abstract of this memoir will be found in the appendix to this 

The first point to he determined was whether fever was as complex 
as it appears, or whether there be not some dominant symptom charac- 
teristic of the process. By artificially heating living animals, generally 
and locally, it was found that elevation of the bodily temperature is 
sufficient to produce all the nervous and circulatory symptoms of fever 
and that the cooling of the heated part is capable of removing the 
symptoms, so that fever may be defined to be a morbid process which 
produces elevation of the bodily temperature. 

The next point was to determine whether the increase of the bodily 
temperature in fever was due to an increase of the amount of heat pro- 
duced, or to the failure of the body to throw oft' its heat. For this pur- 
pose the laws govemiug the productiou and loss of animal heat in health 
were studied by means of calorimetric and cardiometric observations on 
animals under various conditions, and it was determined that there is in 
the cortical region a nerve-center which controls the production of animal 

The subject of fever itself was then investigated. The experiments 
were mostiy made upon dogs, each experiment continuing for from three 
to six days. Thermometrical readings were made everj- twenty minutes 


by nigbt and by day, and the nonoal and febrile states Trere studied 
both yrhea food was administered and when withheld. The resolt of 
this was to show that there are two sources of animal heat, one fi-om the 
stored-np materials of the body, and the other from the food, the first 
being the one manifested in fever. 

The results of the whole investigation are summed np in eleven con- 
dnsioQS which are given in the abstract referred to. 

The pnblication of recent investigations of the motion of the moon* 
has rendered a re-discussion of the ancient solar eclipses desirable. 
This work has been commenced under the anspices of this Institution 
by Mr. D. P. Todd, M. A., Assistant ITautieal Almanac OflQee. Hansen's 
tables of both the sun and moon are employed, the latter being corrected 
firom the results of Professor Newcomb's researches. So &r as the work 
has now progressed, the computations relate to seven eclipses — those 
of Tbales, at Larissa, of Ennius, of Agathocles, at Stiklastad, and the 
two eclipses of the thirteenth century which have been discussed by 
Celoria, of MQan. The adopted value of the secular acceleration hav- 
ing be^ deduced from entirely independent data, it is hoped that this 
investigation will throw new light on the interpretation of the ancient' 
eclipses, and point toward the true value of the secular acceleration 
which ought to be adopted in the constmction of new tables of the moon. 
The progress of this investigation will be mnch &ciUtated by the new 
tables of eclipses, t now in press ; and it is proposed tfl extend the original 
sco^ie of the research to include a large namber of supposed ancient 
echptio dates. 


The original act of Congress calls for a laboratory as one of the ele- 
mentary features of the Institution, and an estabUshment of this kind 
has always been maintained, with a greater or less degree of efficiency. 

In consequence of the limited appropriations by Congress for the 
maintenance of the National Museum, it has for several years been im- 
possible to secure the services of a mineralogist. Arrangements have 
been made, however, for such an officer ; the laboratory has been pat in 
thorough order; additional fittings have been introduced^ necessary for 
its efficiency, and a complete stock of chemicals and other materials 
procured. It is now in proper condition for the prosecution of investi- 
gations requiring chemical and mechanical apphauces. 

The principal work of the laboratory at present is examining min- 
erals sent to the Institution for tiiat purpose from various parts of the 
country, very few days passing without the reception of one or more par- 
cels, many of them from members of Congress, requiring consideration. 
The Institution does not undertake to make quantitative analyses, ex- 

* Researches on the Motion of the Moon. By Suuon Newoomb, Ptofeeeor U> S. Hsrj. 
Waehington Obseirations for 1875, Appendix II. 

tTables of Eclipses, from B. C. 700 to A. D. 2300. By Simon Newcomlj, Saperin- 
tendent Nantical Almaoae. Washington, lEf79. 



cepting in bebalf of the gOTermnent, l)at is always ready to indicate 
the general comx>osition of specimens sent for tbe purpose. 

The laboratory will also be nsed in the identification of large qaanti- 
ties of cmde Diineral substances in charge of the Institution, to be clas- 
sified preliminaiy to the selection of duplicates and their distribution 
to colleges and academies of the United States. 


As in previous years, the Institntion has served as the medium for tel- 
egraphic communication between astronomers of the Old and New 
World, in regard to such astronomical discoveries as require i)rompt 
announcement, for the purpose of havjng all their phenomena investi- 
gated by concurrent action on both sides of the ocean. An accompany- 
ing list represents the announcements referred to and the dates at which 
they were respectively made. This feature of the work of the Institu- 
tion is one of great imxwrtance, and is a very satisfactory demonstration 
of the extent to which its labors are prosecuted for the world in general, 
and not merely for a restricted portion of the United States. 

The following is a list of the minor planets discovered in 1878 : 








Jannaiy 39 
February 2 

Febroary 7 
February 8 
Febmary 28 
Marcli 1 
April 6 
April 11 
June 18 
September 9 
September 22 
September 30 









Pr. Henry 



The comets of 1878 have been — 

Comet I, discovered July 7, by Lewis Swift, of Rochester, N. T. 
This comet was observed in America by Dr. G. H. F. Peters only, the 
majority of American observers being in the West on ecUpse espedttioos. 
It is probably identical with a comet discovered by P. Ferrari at Eome 
in July. On July 20, Tempel's periodic comet was found by Winnecte, 
quite away from its ephemeris place. 

Encke's comet was found on August 3 by Mr. Tebbntt, of Windsor, 



Mention has been made by my lamented predecessor on several occa- 
sions of the general character of the correspoudence of the Institution, 


and of Its increasing extent. As might naturally be expected, this is^ 
now greater than ever before- 
Daring the past year the number of letters received and sent ont ex- 
ceeded that for any previous corresponding period in the history of the 
establishment, the latter covering about 8,000* pages of press copy books. 
This increase was largely due — 

(1) To renewed acrivity in the department of exchanges ; 

(2) To the execution of a comprehensive plan for extending the arclise- 
ological cabinet.of the Institution ; and 

(3) To the acbnowledgmeut of letters of condolence on the death of 
the,late Secretary. 

As explanatory of the first of these sources of increase in the corres- 
pondence it may be stated that some months since a systematic effort 
was made looking to the early completion of as many as possible of the 
series of publications of foreign societies in the Smithsonian library, 
and, reciprocally, to supplying deficiencies in the numerous series of 
Smithsonian publications held abroad- To this end a commnnication 
was addressed to each of the nearly 3,000 foreign estabUshments in cor- 
respondence with this Institution, mentioning the volumes or parts of 
their respective transaetious not at the time in possession of the Insti- 
tution, and requesting that these be supplied ; one of the conditions of 
a favorable response being a promise that the Smithsonian Institution 
would, in turn, fill whatever gaps it could in its own series. The re- 
sponses, as was expected, were very prompt and most gratifying. Re- 
sulting thereirom, the Smithsonian library — now constituting the science 
library of the government — has been enriched by the addition of hun- 
dreds of valuable works of a character not nsoally obtained even by 
parchase, while the Institution itself has been brought into closer and 
more active relations than ever with its foreign correspondents of both 

Regarding the second source of increasein the correspondepce, it 
may be remarked that more recently a wide-spread distribution has been 
made of a circular relative to archeology. Indeed, it is hardly too 
much to say that this circular has been scattered broadcast over the 
land. Not only was it distributed to organized establishments of a lit- 
erary, educational, and scientific character, to newspapers, postmas- 
ters, and, by generous permission of express companies, through their 
agents to individuals who might be known to them aa specially inter- 
ested in the subject, but a copy was systematically mailed with each 
written communication sent out by the Institution, no matter what the 
subject. This circular has proved more prolific of correspondence than 
was anticipated by its most sanguine friends. Inquiry soon followed 
inquiry for more detailed information as to desiderata in the way of 
specimens and information ; requests were continuous to know if this or 
that article would'be welcome; offers to lend objects for copying were 
numerous from individuals possessing nniqae and choice specimens, val- 


uable to them only as heirlooms or curiosities, but who, while easily 
convinced of the little value of isolated collections in comparisou with 
the importance to science of one grand, complete series, could not be 
l>er8uaded to part with their archieological treasures ; now and then 
private cabinets of more than ordinary character and extent have been 
brought to light; and, finally, modern "manufefitorieB" of relics have 
been detected, and in this way forgeries, to some extent, driven irom 
the market. Thus an extra amount of correspondence has been en- 
tailed that has proved no inconsiderable addition to the previous ardu- 
ous labors of the officers of the Institution. 

As the result, the Jnstitutioii has received hundreds of specimens fh>m 
all parte of North America as gifts, while by making copies in plaster or 
metal it has added to its cabinet many forms that would otherwise be 
unkno^vn and inaccessible to the student as well as to the public at large. 
Many of these objects have proved of great archieological interest, and 
while not a few of them are almost indispensable for comparative study, 
all are more or less valuable in the elucidation of questions relating to the 
geographical diatribntion of aboriginal remains in the United States, and 
for filling gaps in State series. Moreover, by soliciting illustrations and 
descriptions of the rarer or more curious fcM-ms in private cabinets, the 
Institution has been saved mncb expense for transportation, its archteo- 
logical experts rarely finding recourse to the original specimen necessary 
m determining what is or is not a desideratum. 

As In previous years, the Institution was the recipient in 1878 of a 
large number of coromunicatious, having as a principal object the over- 
turning of theories established by Newton aud others, which, founded 
on experiment and observation, have long since been accepted as true 
by the scientific world. These, as is usual with papers -of this class,* 
while purporting to furnish the only rational explanation of the pheno- 
mena to be accounted for, generally displayed a degree of assumption 
entirely out of keeping with the spirit of true science; and while it. 
would not be a work of much moment to prove to the unpr^udiced, 
who may be acquainted with the subjects of such essays, that the pro- 
|)ositions enunciated are wholly at variance with the fundamental and 
generally accepted principles of science, it is always exceedingly difficult 
to convince the authors of these " new doctrines" that they are not ia 
accord with the scientific world. It would sometimes appear either that 
tliey are incapable of receiving the truth, or that, convinced of the fal- 
lacy of their reasoning, they prefer to cling to a false notion of original- 
ity rather than confess their error. Such communications, never brief, 
liave, teom time to time, been simply reiterations of previous expres- 
sions. "Correspondence with this class" of writers, as has been most 
tmly observed by tlie late Secretary, is, indeed, "not only very onerous 
l>ut difficult to manage, inasmuch as the rejection of their propositions 
Is generally attributed to prejudice." 

Another class of communications of a more intelligent character was 


also receivecl during the past year, relating to subjects in physics and 
chemistry. In accordance with the custom of the establishment, these 
were submitted to gentlemen eminent in the several sciences to which 
they pertained, who for many years have cheerfully acted as collabora- 
tors of the Institution. 

Although the Soiithsonian system of meteorology was several yeai-s 
ago transferred to the United States Signal Office, communications con- 
tinue to be received on practical questions connected with this subject. 
These with few exceptions have been referred to General Myer, and their 
authors so mformed. 

But Increase in the correspondence of the Institution is by no means 
wholly attributable to the sources above mentioned. As the character 
of the establishment has become more widely known tmm year to year, 
the number of applications for information in the line of natural history 
has annually increased, particularly in botany, zoology, and mineralogy. 
In the last branch, supposed discoveries of mineral wealth are frequently 
made known to the Institution, and the specimens forwarded for exam- , 
ination — which is always gratuitous. The determination of their char- 
acter, however, seldom requires more than a qualitative analysis, and 
in the great majority of instances the specimens are found to be of no 
commercial value. 


There is, perhaps, no one feature of the Smithsonian Institution by 
which its mission for the diifusion of knowledge, if not its increase, is 
more thoroughly accomplished than by its extended system of interna- 
tional exchanges. This began in the earliest days of the Institution, from 
the necessity of making some suitable arrangement by which its publi- 
cations might be promptly transmitted to the learned societies of Amer- 
ica and the world, and corresponding works received in return. This 
required the organization of a thorough system, including special ar- 
rangements for transportation agencies in the various parts of the United 
States and of foreign countries ; and as the machinery was sufficient to 
carry a larger amount of material than that belonging to the Institution 
its^, it was considered in strict accordance with the policy of the In- 
stitution to offer its services to other establishments. 

Tear by year the number of participators in the exchange was in- 
creased, and at the present date it is world-wide in its extent With 
very few exceptions the institutions of learning, not only of the United 
States but of all America, carry on the greater portion of their scientific 
exchanges with the rest of the world tlirough the Smithsonian Institu- 
tion. Among the outside countries more especially to be mentioned 
are Canada, Mexico, Chile, Venezuela, Sec 

The institutions are for the most part scientific societies publishing 
transactions, colleges and universities, State historical and agricultural 
societies, and technological institutions. All the departments of gov- 
ernment in Washington, with few exceptions, also depend upon the same 


system for their foreign relatioosliips. The system also inchidea the ex- 
change of pulilicatioDS of Bpeoial students in science. 

For a long time the Smithsonian InBtitntion carried on this work by 
the establishment of agencies throagh which its own transmissions were 
distributed to their destination, and from which all the returns were col- 
lected and forwarded to Washington. Of late years, however, in certain 
countries, these labors have been materinlly lightened by a portion of 
the exchange being undertaken by some learned society or by the gov- 
ernment. These being constituted Smithsonian agents in their respect- 
ive conntries, receive whatever may be sent to them for distribution, 
collect the returns and transmit them, thus gi"Dg to the Institution the 
benefit of an intelligent superintendence of the work. The first of these 
organizations was that established some years ago by the University of 
ChiistiaJiia, Jforway; and by Holland in the patronage of the Scienrific 
Bureau at Harlem, under the efficient supervision of Dr. E. H. Von 
Baomhaner. During the past year a similar organization has been 
effected for Belgium, and it is hoped that their numlter will continue to 
increase. Even now, without any formal arrangement to that effect, the 
Academies of Science of Stockholm, of Copenhagen, of Madrid, and of 
Milan discharge the services of agcLts of the Institution for tiieir respect- 
ive countries. 

A still more recent movement has in contemplation the establishment 
«f departments of exchange in all countries under the direction of their 
respective governments ; and this is intended primarily to facilitate a 
mutual interchange of government documents, but is broad enough in 
its scope to include the publications of societies and of men of science. 
At present this arrangement has only been carried oitt formally for Bel- 
gium by the "Commission Beige d'Echanges intemationaux," and for 
Prance by the " Commission Fran^aise des Ecbangcs intemationaux." 

In the Appendix will be found the usual series of tables, showing, 
first, the number of parcels sent out by the Institution in behalf of es- 
tablishments in North America ; and, secondly, the packages received 
for the same parties. The total number of shipments of boxes, contain- 
ing such transmissions, has not be«n quite so great in 1878 as in the 
year preceding. This was due to the interruption of the business caused 
by the death of Professor Henry, and in the desire, by the reorganiza- 
tion of departmeuts, to give greater efficiency to that of the exchanges. 
On this account a large number of bundles have accumulated, which, 
however, will be distributed in the earlier months of the year ; after 
which there will be no iotemiption to the usual routine of transmission. 

Up to the present time the entire expense of this system of interna- 
tional exchanges has been borne by the Smithsonian Institution, be- 
yond requiring that all outgoing parcels be delivered to the Institution 
free of expense- The enormous increase, however, in the number and 
bulk of the packages delivered to the Institution has made it necessary 
to charge a small amount on this class of transmissions, and under the 
B. Mis. 59 3 



authority of the board, a circular has been prepared and issued, making 
one of the conditions of receipt the paymeut of five cents per pouud on 
the parcels. This is actually below the cost, as it includes the expense 
of wrapping, of boxiog, of forwarding, and a share of the s^ary of em- 
ployes and agents, and other incidentals. It is about the same rate as 
is charged by the express companies for freight in balk firom Washing- 
ton to Chicago. 

To facibtate the business connected with the system of the Smith- 
sonian exchanges the followiog rules have been adopted : 

1. Transmissions through the Smithsonian Institution for foreign 
countries to be confined exclusively to books, pamphlets, charts, and 
other printed matter, sent as donatioks or exchanges, and not to in- 
clude those procured by purchase. The Institution and its agents will 
not receive for any address apparatus and instruments, philosophical, 
medical, &c. (including microscopes), whether purchased or presented; 
nor specimens of natural history, except where special permission from 
the Institution has been obtaiued. 

2. The Departments of Bureaus of the TTnited States Government to 
pay the Smithsonian Institution five cents per ponnd on their packages, 
which includes all expense of boxing, shipping, and transportatiou. 

3. A list of the addresses and a statement of contents of each send- 
ing to be mailed to the Smithsonian Institiition at or before the time of 

i. Packages to be legibly addressed and to be indorsed with the name 
of the sender and their contents. 

5. Packages to be enveloped In stout paper, and securely pasted or 
tied with strong twine — never sealed with wax. 

6. Ko package to a single address to exceed one-half of one cubic foot 
in balk. 

7. To have no inclosnres of letters. 

8. To be delivered to the Smithsonian Institution or its agents free of 

9. To contain a blank acknowledgment, to be signed and returned by 
the party addressed. 

10. Should returm be desired, the fact is to be explicitly stated on or 
in the package. 

Unless these conditions are complied with, the parcels cannot be for- 
warded by the Instltation. 

iStalUtio of exchaitgei eent during tAe hut ten years. 

1870. Iftn. IBT2. 1S7S. 1871. 1876. lB7t 1877. 

Number of bona.. 112 121 IM 1TB IM 181 

Balk tnouWofeet. 1,IB3 l, 18» 773 SM 1,47« 

WdRht S3,37B 81,383 %«0 28. — ' — 

SO, 7S0 ra. 250 

The following table exhibits the number of 
with which the Institation is at present in 

or, in other 


words, to vhich it sends publications and fix)m which it receives others 
in return: 

Foreign institutioTts in corrtspondence with the Smithsonian InsUtutian. 


Argentine Repnblio 

Anatratia aiid ToHniaiiia.. 

Bolivia .. 

BritiBh America ...... ...... - 

British Gniana 

Cape Colony and St. Helena. . 

Central America 










Great Britain and Ireland- -.-. 




Liberia , 

MamitiDs • . . — ■ 


New Zealand 

Noinaf . .. 


Philippine Islands .. 



Sandwich I^anda... 

Sweden ..,.., , 




West Indies 

International societies .. 

Special reference has been made in previons reports to the arrange- 
ment by which Congress places fifty copies of all the publications of 
the United States Government at the disposal of the Libraiy Conunittee 
of Congress. These copies are to be exchanged, under its direction, 
through the Smithsonian Institution, for correspondingly complete series 
of the publications of sncb other governments as agree t» the proposi- 
tion. At present, the number of sets amounts to thirty-two, and includes 
the following governments. Of these, several came for the first time into 
the arrangement during the year 1878, and seventy-three boxes of the 
publications referred to, each box measuring seven cubic feet, have been 
distributed : 

International exchange of government publications in 1878. 

Argentine BepnblJo 2 

Bavaiia -- H 

Bclginm .*. 2 

Braril 2 

BnenoB Ayres 2 

Canada (Ottawa) 2 

Canada (Toronto) 2 

Chili 2 

England 2 

France 2 

Geimany 2 

Greece 2 

Hayti 2, 

Holland 2 

Japan 2 

Mexico...... . ...... 2 

New South Wales 9 

New Zealand 8 





Qoeensland 3 



SoDth Australia 

Switzerland S 

Taemaiiia 3 

Turkey 2 

Tesezuela 3 

Victoria 2 

Total 37 

In accordance with the arrangement entered into shortly after the 
fire of 1S65, between the Smithsonian Institution and the Congress of 
the United States, all the publications received by the Institntion, in 
exchange or by donation, ai-e tranaferfed to the Library of Congress. 
The following enumeration represents the sum total of snch increment : 

Btatemmt of the books, maps, a«d charts received by tke Smithsonian Insti- 
tution during the year 1878, and trans/erred to the lAhrary of Congress, 


Octavo, or less 860 

Qnarto, or larger 403 


Parts of volumes : 

Octavo, or less 2, 356 

Quarto, or larger 2, 620 


Pamphlets : 

Octavo, or less 1, 953 

Quarto, or larger 463 

2, 416 

Maps and charts 74 

Total 8, 729 

Of conrse, as heretofore, the more important works, like the publica- 
tions of the leading scientific and industrial societies and academiea 
throughout the world, by their aggregations have continued to render 
the Smithsonian library one of tlie most valuable of the kind extant. It is 
believed that no collection elsewhere contains so large a number of vol- 
umes of scientific transactions and jonmals, or in 50 complete a series. 

For the purpose, however, of perfecting the catalogue, it is proposed, 
in the early part of 1879, to print a list of what the Institution possesses 
of this character, inviting contributions of deficiencies and promising 
similar courtesy, so far as the publications of the Smithsonian Institu- 
tion are concerned. 

The following is a list of some of the principal works received by the 
' Bmit^iBooian Insritntion in 1878 : 


From the Miuistry of Public Works, Commerce, and Indiistrj', Lisbon: 
O Archive Bural, vols, i-xv, Lisboa, 1858-1874, 4to. Memoria sobre 
a Popula(;9o e a Agricnltura de Portugal, Lisboa, 1868, Svo, Chimica 
Agricola, por J. I. F, Lapa, Lisboa, 1875, 8vo. Geographia e Estadistiea 
Geral de Portugal e Colonias, por G. A. Perry, Liaboa, 1875, 8vo. Ee- 
latorio do Conselho Especial de Veterinaria, Lisboa, 1873, 4to. Mannal 
de Viticultura pratica, por Visconde de Villa Major, Coimbra, 1875, 8vo. 
A Agrieultura no Districto do Vizen, por J. B. Eeie, Lisboa, 1871, 4to. 
Fomento da Povoa^ao Hural em Hespana. por D. F, Caballero, Lisboa, 
1872, 870. A Lombardia a Boisse e o Monte Bosa, per E. de Laveleye, 
Lisboa, 1871, 8ro. Hecenseamento Geral dos Gadus no ContiueDte do 
Buino de Portugal en 1870, Lisboa, 1873, 4to and Atlas. A Vinha e o 
Vinho em 1872, por A. B. Reis, Lisboa, 1873, 8to. 

From the Society of Medical Sciences of Lisbon : Jonmal da Socie- 
dade das Sciencias Meilicas de Lisboa, 1836-1877, Lisboa, 8vo (54 vols). 

From the Ministerio dos Negociaa da Marinha e Ultramar, Direycfio 
Geral da Marinha, Lisboa : Bnllarium Patronatas Portugallite, cnrante 
Vicecomitede Paiva Maoso, vols, i-iii, and App., voLi, Lisboa, 1868-1873, 
4to (3 copies). Fxamen des Yiagens do Doutor Livingstone, por Jos^ 
de Lacerda, Lisboa, 1867, 8vo (3 copies). Belatorios dos Governadores 
das Provincias Ultramarinhas, vols, i, ii, Lisboai, 1876, 4to (3 copies). 
Tratado de Hygiene Kaval, por J. B. Fonssagrives, Lisboa, 1862, 8vo 
(3 copies). Descripyao e Koteiro da Costa Occidental de Africa, por A. 
Magno de Castilho, vols, i, ii, Lisboa, 1866, 8vo (3 copies). A&ica Oc- 
cidental, vol. i, Lisboa, 1864, 8vo (3 copies). Begulamento para o Ser- 
vijo de Sande Naval, Lisboa, 1871, 8vo (3 copies). Viagem da Corveta 
Dom Jo5o I a Capital do JapSo no Anno de 1869, Lisboa, 1863, 8vo {3 
copies). Historia Ecclesiastica Ultramuriaa pelo Visconde de Paiva 
Manso, vol. i, Alrica Septentrional, Lisboa, 1872, Svo (3 copies). Ensaios 
sobre & Estatistica daa Possessdes Portagnezas no Ultramar, vols, i-v, 
Lisboa, 1844-1862, 8vo (3 copies). Begulament para o 8ervi90 de- 
Eazenda a Bordo dos Kavias do Estado, Lisboa, 1875, Svo (3 copies). 
Belatorio 6cerca do Bervico de Sande Publica, Lisboa, 1871, 8vo (3 
copies). As PossessSes Portaguezas na Oceania, por A. de Castro, 
Lisboa, 1867, (2 copies). Codigo Commercial de Signals para use Xnter- 
nacional, Lisboa, 1868, Svo (2 copies), &c, &c. 

From the Australian Museum, Sydney : The Mammals of Australia, 11- 
IaBtrat«d by Miss Harriett Scott and Mrs. Helena Porde. With a short 
account of all the species hitherto described. By Gerard Krefft. Syd- 
ney, 1871. Folio. 

From the Hellenic Philological Society of Constantinople: Periodical 
Journal (Greek), vols. iv-\iii, Constantinople, 1871-1874, small 4to. 
Homeric Theology, by George KonstantinidOH (Greek), Constantinople, 
1876, Svo, Les Grecs de I'Empire Ottoman, par A. Synvet, Constanti- 
nople, 1878, Svo. 

From the Government of France; Direction O^n^rale dee Douanes. 


Tableau g^^ral dn Commerce de la France, avec les Colonies et les 
Pnissaiices fitraiigferes, 1869-1875, Paris, 1871-1876, 4to (7 vols.). Tableau 
g^n^ral des Moavements du Cabotage, 1869-1875, Paris, 1871-1876, ltd 
(7 vols.). 

Prom the Medical Society of the State of New York, Albany: Trans- 
actions, 1807-1831, 1867-1870, 1873-1877. Albany. 8vo (9 vols.) 

From the State Library of Pennsylvania, Harrisburg: Reports on 
G«ology, Mineralogy, Oil- Wells, &c., &c. Harrisborg, 1876-1878. 8vo 
(21 vols.). 

From the liibrary of the German Parliament, Berlin: Stenographische 
Berichte iiber die Verhaadlangeii des dentschen Beicbstages. iii. sess., 
1875-76,. vols, i-iiij iv. seas., 1876, vols, i-iii; i. aess., 1877, vols, i-iiij 
Berlin, 1876-1877, 4to. Beichs-Geeetzblatt, 1875-1876, Berlin, 4td. 

From the University of Chile, Santiago : Anales de la Universidad de 
Chile, 1875-1876 (4 vols.), Santiago, 8vo. Memoria del Interior, 1876, vols, 
i-ii, Santiago, 8vo. Memoria de Belaciones Esteriores, 1876, Santiago, 
Bvo. Memoria de Justicia, Culto, &c., 1876, Santiago, 8vo, Memoria de 
Hacienda, 1876, Santiago, 8vo. Memoria de Gnerra y Marina, 1876, San- 
tiago, 8vo. Sesiones del Congreso National de Chile, 1875 (4 vols.), San- 
tiago, 4to. Anuario Estadistieo de Chile, vol. xvii, Santiago, 1876, 4to. 
Anuario Hidrograflco de la Marina de Chile, ano ii-iii, Santiago, 1S76- 
1877, 8vo. Qninto Censo Jeneral de la Poblacion de Chile, 1875, Valpa- 
raiso, 1876, 4to. ColeecioQ de Tratados celebrados por la Eeptiblica de 
Chile con los Estados estraujcros, tomo ii, Santiago, 1875, 4to. La Chili 
tel qu'il est, par E. Seve, tome i, Valparaiso, 1876, 8vo. Historia de Chile, 
1831-1871, por Don E. 8. Valdes, tomo i, Santiago, 1876, 8vo. La Cro- 
nica de 1810, por M. L. Amun^tegni, tomo ii, Santiago, 1876, 8vo. Ensaye 
sobre los depositos metaliferos de Chile, por Bon I. Uomeyko, Santiago, 
1876, 8vo. 

From the Royal Academy of Sciences, Lisbon : Memorias da Acade- 
mia, Nova Serie, tomo iv, v, parte i, Lisboa, 1872-1877, 4to. Becada 13 
da Historia da India, i, ii, Lisboa, 1876, 4to. Portugalliie Monnmenta, 
2 parts, Lisboa, 1873, folio. Subsidies' para a Historia da India Portn- 
gueza, tomo v, Lisboa, 1868, 4to. Corpo Diploraatico Portugueza, tomo 
V, Lisboa, 1874, 4to. Quadro Elementar dns Bela5es politicas e diplo- 
maticas de Portugal, vols, xii and xiii, Lisboa, 1874, 1876, 8vo. Flora 
Cochinchinensis, vols, i, ii, Lisboa, 1790, 4to. Historia dos Estabeleci- 
' mentos scientiUcos e areiaticos de Portugal, toms iii, vi, Lisbon, 1873- 
1876, 8vo. Jomal de Sciences Mathematicas, toms iv, v, Lisboa, 1873, 
1876, 8vo. Tratado Elementar de Optica, Lisboa, 1874, 8vo. Historia 
de Congo, Lisboa, 1877, Svo. Carro de Meteorologia, Lisboa, 1869, 8vo. 
Cbimica Agricola, Lisboa, 1875, 8vo. 

From the British Government : Facsimiles of National Manascripts of 
Scotland, selected under the direction of the Eight Hon. Sir William 
Gibson-Craig, Bart., lord clerk register of Scotland, and photozinco- 
graphed by command of Her Mtgesty Queen Victoria by Colonel Sir 
Henry James, pait iii, Edinburgh, 1872, folio. GooqIc 


Prom the Eojal Library, Stockholm : Government Docamenta, 1877, 
1878, Stockholm, 17 vols, and 8 parts, 4t6. 

From the Governmeut of South Australia, Adelaide: Acts and Ordi- 
nances of the Province of South Australia, 1837-1835, Adelaide, 4to 
(6 vols.). Proceedings of the Parliament of South Australia, 1857-'8, i, 
ii; 1858, i,ii; 1859, i,ii; 1860, i-iu; 1801, i-iii; 1862,i-iii; 1863, i; 1864, 
i-iii; 1865, i, ii; 1865-'6, i, ii; 1860-7, i-iii; 1867, i-iii; 1868-1), i-iii; 
1869-'70, i-iii; 1870-'71, i-iii; 1871, i, ii; 1872, i-iii; 1873, i-iii; 1874, 
i-iii ; 1875, i-iii ; and Bpecia! session, Adelaide, folio (53 vols.)- Statis- 
tical Sketch of South Australia, by Josiah Boothby, London, 1870, 8vo. 

From the Norwegian Government, Christiania : Norges Ofliciclle Sta- 
tistik, 13 volumes and 43 parts, Christiania, 1870-1876. Forklaringer 
til K. Korges Statsregnskab, 1875, Christiania, 1876, 4to. 

From the second geological survey of Pennsylvania : Reports 1875- 
1878 (20 volumes). 

From the Universities of Wiirzbnrg, Marburg, Berlin, Lonvain, Bonn, 
Halle, Gottingen, Jena, Erlangen, Leipzig, Znnch, Greifswald, Heidel- 
berg, Dorpat, and Freiburg : Inaugural dissertations for 1877. 

From Dr. A. Ernst, Caracas: Statistical documents, 24 volumes, 
Caracas, 1875-1877, 4to. 

From the Library of Parliament, Ottawa, Ontario : 18 volumes gov- 
ernment documents. 

From the State Library of Ohio : 14 volumes State documents. 

An addition of special interest will be found in the palfeoDt«logical 
library of the late Prof F. B. Meek, whose death at the Institution, 
after many years' sojourn within its walls, was recorded in the report for 
1877 (p. 10). Mr. Meek died without any known heu-s, and his books 
tieing appraised in due leg^ manner, the Institution purchased them. 
This was the more desirable as, in regard to many of the works there was 
some uncertainty whether they had been presented to Professor Meek 
in his individual capacity or as the officer in charge of the palteoutolog- 
ical department of the Institution. This question is, of course, now set- 
tled. Tlie books of this library {especially the volumes enriched by 
copious manuscript notes and interi>olations) have been rex>eatedly cou- 
solted by paheoutologists and conchologists. 


The relations existing between the Smithsonian Institution and the 
National Museamhave been so iVequently referred to by my predecessor 
that it is only necessary to mention briefly that the Museum constitutes 
DO orgianic part of the Institution, and that, whenever Congress so 
directs, it may be transferred to any designated supervision without 
aftectiag the general plana and operations connected with the "increase 
and diffiisiou of knowledge amou g men." For the most part, the iirticles 
consist of the collections made by the United States surveying and 
exploring expeditions, and the eipense of their care is entirely covered 


by government appropriations, which have been sufficieut to meet the 
actual cost of maintenance and a restricted supervision, although with 
a larger fund the Museum could be placed ou a more satisEiuitory basis, 
and one much more serviceable to science. 

Attention has been called, in several previons reports of my lamented 
predecessor, to the importance of suitable provision for the accommo- 
dation of the vast amount of material now stored in the Armory build- 
ing and in the basement of the Smithsonian edifice, and thus withdrawn 
from public examination. This surplus consists of the following essen- 
tial elements: 

First, the collections made by the United States exploring expeditions. 

Second, the contributions sent by private individuals vsho reside iu 
every section of the country. 

Third, the exhibits of the Smithsonian Institution, the Indian Bu- 
reau, and the United States Fish Commission, at the Centeunial. 

Fourth, the donations to the United States by domestic and foreign 
visitors and commissions on that occasion. 

The number of private contributions to the National Museum con- 
tinues to increase in value and magnitude year by year, and embraces 
specimens of mineralogy and geology, objects of American antiquity, 
and other desirable articles. The government surveys, too, of Messrs. 
Hayden, Wheeler, and Powell have furnished a very large number of 
specimens of great value as illustrating the reports published by these 
parties. It is, however, under the two last-uientioned heads (the Cen- 
tennial exhibits and donations) that by ikr the greater amount of this 
unexbibited material is comprised. 

By means of an appropriation by Congress, as fully set forth in the 
Reports for 1875 (pages 8 and 46) and for 1876 (pages 8-11, 42, and 
75-77), the Smithsonian Institntion was enabled to exhibit a very full 
collection illustrating the animal and mineral resources of the United 
States ; the Fish Commission to present every variety of boat, net, hook 
and line, harpoon, and other fishing implements, as well as models and 
illustrations of all the fishes useful for food or other purposes ; tlie In- 
dian Bureau to sliow a valuable representative ethnological series of 
ancient implements, of dressed figures, and of objects illustrating the 
life and customs of the Korth American aborigines. 

At the close of the Exhibition, the foreign commissioners, induced by 
a desire to do honor to the United States, presented, with scarcely an 
exception, the whole of their exhibits (corresponding with those made 
by the Smithsonian Institution) to the United States Government, em- 
bracing the contents of many thousands of square feet in the difterent 
Centennial buildings. Of forty-one foreign commissions, thirty-four gave 
to the United States either the whole of their displays or a tUIl series, 
probably representing 75 per cent, of all such matter as was shown under 
the patronage of the respective governments. 

Many private exhibitors from abroad made similar contributions, some 


of these valued singly at over $20,000 eacb. A large proportion, too, of 
the more desirable exhibits by State eommiseions, as also of home ex- 
hibitors, was added to the mass, and nearly two months were spent at 
the close of the Exhibition in simply removing these articles to the gov- 
enunent building and there packing them for transportation to Wash- 
ington, a large force being required for the purpose, 

The collection sent from Washington to Philadelphia filled twenty 
freight cars, and the donations received at the Centennial required forty 
more for their tTansxK)rtation, the entire amount to be brought to Wash- 
ington making sixty car-loads, a quantity far beyond the storage capac- 
ity of the basement of the Smithsonian building. 

In anticipation of these donations, Congress had previously anthorized 
the transfer to the Smithsonian Institution, for the purpose of storage, of 
the Armory building, on the square between Sixth and Seventh streets, 
and made an appropriation to fit it up for the reception of the collections. 
To this building a portion of these collections was transferred, where 
they now fill four floors, of about 5,000 square feet each, from top to 
bottom, the remainder bemg stored in the basement of the Smithsonian 
Institution. At present, with the articles received from other sources, 
it is estimated that the quantity of objects not exhibited represents 
nearly five times the bulk of those at present displayed in the Smithson-: 
ian building. 

It is to be understood, too, that these objects are not simply specimens 
of natural history, possessing an abstract interest to the student, but 
represent the application of natural objects to the industries, and as 
snch are of great importance. In what is now a fairly complete series 
of economical minerals, such as ores, combustibles, building stones, 
clays, earths, &c., t^om all parts of the world, with their incidentals of 
reduction and application, and specimens of similar objects of art and 
industry derived from them, we have a collection of very great indus- 
trial Importance, for it fiunishes to the American manu^turer and de- 
signer information of the utmost value. The illustrations of means and 
appliances for the pursuit, capture, and application of food-fishes, from 
all parts of the world, are also of exceeding value, while the articles of 
Indian manufacture from Alaska, Washington Territory, and the Pry- 
bilov Islands are of the utmost interest. 

Several donations from foreign countries are of considerable magnitude 
and importance ; the first being from the King of Siam as a present to 
the ITnited Statea Government; the second the display of the manners 
and customs of the Chinese made by the Chinese Commissioner) the 
third an exhibition of the industries illustrating the manners and cus- 
toms of the Japanese, presented by the Japanese Government. The 
intrinsic value of all these objects presented to the United States is very 
great, having probably cost their respective contributors, either govern- 
ments or individuals, not for from three-quarters of a million to a million 
of dollars. 

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The necessity, therefore, of some adequate means of displayiug this 
rich collection, now withdrawn from the inspection of the pahlic, has 
weighed very heavily upon the officers of the Smithsonian Institution, 
and several eftbrts have been made to secure an appropriation from 
Congress for the erection of a fire-proof linilding sufficient to contain 
it, but of the most inexpensive form of construction compatible with 
protection against fire, and allowing the greatest convenience of display. 
A plan was prepared on the basis of suggestions from General Meigs, 
and approved by the Committees on Public Buildings and Grounds of 
both the Senate and House. The Senate, at the second session of the 
Forty-fourth Congress, passed a bill appropriating- |2£iO,000 for the 
erection of a building of the kind, without a dissenting vote. This also 
passed the House; but obtained only a majority vote, undOT circnm- 
Btances requiring a two-thirds vote. 

A bill making an appropriation for the erection of such an edifice 
was again introduced into Congress at the current session, which it is 
hoped will be more successful. Owing to the particular form of con- 
struction of the proposed building, it can be completed in probably not 
more than a year, and the collections removed into it. 

It is DOW proposed to place this building in the southeastern comer 
of the reservation of 52 acres, situated between Seventh and Twelfth 
streets and North and South B. It will be so situated as not to obstruct 
the view of the Smithsonian from the Capitol or from any other impor- 
tant iK)int. As originally contemplated, the building was to occupy the 
space between the present Smithsonian edifice and Twelfth street; bnt 
it was finally concluded that if plaeed there it would obstruct the view 
of the Agricultural building, and the change of location was accordingly 
determined upon. 

Attention was called by the report for 1877 (page 36), to the continued 
increase of the namber and variety of the collections received during the 
year, the exceptioual year of the Centennial being the only one that fur- 
nished a la^er quantity of material. The returns for 1878 have again 
been much larger than nsual, exceeding considerably those of the pre- 
vious year. The total number of donors was 635 for the year, to 335 in 
1877, of which 180 were contributors to the collections of the United 
States Fish Commission at Gloucester. The number of donations was 
455, to 489 in 1877 ; and of separate packages 1,197, to 815 in 1877. A 
largo part of the increase is due to the extensive contributions made to 
the United States Fish Commission by the fishermen and merchants of 
Gloucester, Mass., in which city the Coramiseion has had a station fbr the 
prosecution of researches and the propagation of food-fishes during the 
last half of the year. The hearty appreciation, by all classes of the com- 
munity, of the operations of the Commission, caused those fisherm^ re- 
siding at the port to save many articles brought up on the trawls firom 
the deep water, and to bring them to the office of the Commission at 
Gloucester. The result is to be seen in several hundred donations, some 


of tbem embracing specimens of very great interest, and adding largely 
to our knowledge of the distribution of animal life in the waters off the 
coafit of New England. As the result of these contributions, together 
with the gatherings of the Fish Commission itself, man; species of fishes 
and of marine invertebrates have been added to the fauna of the coun- ■ 
try, several of them being entirely new ; others were previously found 
only in the deep waters off the Enropean coast or in those of Spitz- 
bergen and Greenland. 

Beference is, of course, quite impossible to even a small percentage of 
those collections added to the Kational Museum during the year covered 
by the present report, and tbey will he found under the names of the 
donors, alphabetically arranged, in the appendix. Even this, however, 
fails to give a complete idea of the magditude of the additions, as a 
collection embracing from five to twenty or more boxes may be included 
in a single line of the record. The books of the Institution, in which all 
theae articles are entered systematically, give a more detailed statement; 
and the fact that a portion of these has regnired 9,973 eutries, will Inr- 
nish some idea of the aggregate. 

Among the more important general collections received are those 
made by the United States Fish Commission at Gloucester, as already 
referred to, embracing a complete and exhaustive series of the marine 
animals of the ocean betwieen the Kew England coast and that of Nova 
Scotia, Kewfoundland, and the outer Banks, including the Georges, the 
Grand Banks, Flemish Cap, Le Have, Bank Quero, &c. This material 
embraces a great many duplicate specimens, which will, in time, be 
distributed to the educational and scientific estabUshments of the United 

Next to this in importance and magnitude are two collections from the 
far North, one from £. W. Nelson, Signal Office observer at St. Michaels, 
in Alaska, consisting very largely of ethnological articles and birds ; the 
other made by Mr. L. Kumlien, while a member of the Howgate expedi- 
tion to Arctic America, this embracing much the same class of objects 
as those sent by Mr. Nelson. 

The collection of birds and ethnological articles, gathered by Mr. Ober 
in the islands of the West Indies, to which further reference will be 
made, has aiao been of great moment. Mr. J. Zeledon, formerly an as- 
sistant in the Institution, and for many years resident in Costa Bica, 
visited Washington in the spring of 1878, bringing a very large collec- 
tioa of birds, mammals, &&, of his country. 

Large colleotions have also been received from Lieut. George M. 
Wheeler, the proceeds of the expeditions of 1877 and of earlier years, 
transmitted by him Ui accordance with the law of Congress requiring 
their deposit in the National Museum. 

In another part of the report will be given a more detailed account 
of some of the explorations to which reference has been made. 

Following the plan of previous reports, we shall now proceed to indi- 



cate, briefly, the character of the more important additions to the Ma- 
seam in systematic seqaence with some reference to the result in in- 
creasing our knowledge of particalar regions. 

Anthropology. — Beginning with anthropology as the most interesting 
and important of such additions, I may refer again to the collections 
made by Mr. Kelson at Saint Michaels. These are very exhaustive and 
complete, and taken in connection with those sent by Mr. Lucien M. 
Turner from the same region supply a very full illustration of man- 
ners and castoms of the Indian and Esquimaux races found in nor^i- 
westera America. A special feature of Mr. Nelson's collection, like that 
of Mr. Turner, is the immense variety of carvings in bone and wood, 
representing varioua animal forme either in contour or in simple lines; 
the latter calling to mind the engraving upon bone, especially of antlei^ 
of reindeer found in the caverns of France and Germany, and throw 
mnch light upon the region and character of these remains. Many 
models of boats, traps for securing animals, fishing apparatus, articles of 
clothing, and many other objects constitute the mass of the great collec- 
tion sent by Mr. Nelson. 

Not at all inferior in interest, and only less in extent, are the collections 
of Mr. Eumlien made by bim dnxing several months' residence at Cum- 
berland Oulf, in Arctic America, and on the opposite coast of Greenland. 
They include great numbers of ancient stone implements found in the 
Esquimaux graves, and supply a previous deficiency in the collections 
of the National Museum. There are also many articles of dress and 
adornment, implements of war, and the chase, &c. In the last year's 
collections of both Mr. Nelson and Mr. Kuralien are many stone imple- 
ments, objects of horn, bone, or wood, illustrating in a very high degree 
the functions and applications of certain articles of stone farailiar to the 
American archaeologist, the uses of which were previously conjectural. 
These embrace scrapers, knives, planes, gouges, drillB, and many other 

During the past year the attention of the Institution has been called 
especially to the subject of the soap-stone quarries, where the aborigines 
obtained their material for soap-stone bowls, dishes, &c., constituting 
so common a feature in American archaeology, but the source of which 
has been heretofore but little noticed. Of these quite a number were 
met with during the year, and an examination more or less extensive 
has been made of each under the auspices of the Smithsonian Institution. 

During the spring of 1875, some specimens of steatite were received 
from the quarry of John B. Wiggin, in Chula, Amelia County, Virginia. 
Among these were fragments of rude vessels, which, from their number 
and nnfinished condition, were regarded as indicating that the place in 
question was once an aboriginal mine. Mr. Wiggin was requested to 
carefully save and forward all specimens of the kind which he might 
discover; and the receipt from him during the centennial year of an 
additional collection proved beyond donbt the correctness of the eon- 


Inasmuch as, at the time, no Quarry of this kiod had been discoT^^,* 
and as, moreover, aboriginal methods of mining and working pot-stone 
were entirely unknown, it was thought advisable to have a earefnl ex- 
ploration of the place undertaken, which was intrusted to Mr. P. H. 
Cusfaing, who visited the locality in June last, causing excavations 
of safQcient extent to be made to reveal a large portion of the rock- 
Burface worked by the Indians. Again, in Angast and September, fur- 
nished with suitable instruments, and a complete photographic outfit, 
he continued these investigations, and, with the sanction and kindly aid 
of Mr. Wiggin, was enabled to greatly extend the diggings, thus making 
his examination very tboroagh and sufficient. 

The anrface indicatioDS of aboriginal gnarrying were fonnd to be shal- 
low circular depressions, from ten to seventy feet in diameter. Mr. Gush- 
ing began operations by causing a space of earth, 60 feet in length 
by 40 in width at the base, to be cleared awayfrom the center of the 
largest of these depressions. Everywhere over the rock-snrface, thus 
exposed he found grooves and hollows made by the Indians in taking 
out sugar-loaf shaped masses of the rock ; and throughout the soil re- 
moved he found numerous ftagments of these masses mostly hollowed 
as the beginning of pots, together with equally numerous nide quartz- 
picks, some broken axes and mauls, and a few hammers of soapstone, 
which had been used in quarrying and working the material. 

From the base of the triangular excavation a cutting was made, about 
17 feet in width by nearly 40 in length. This was extended to the left 
IS feet, to remove the earth from aronnd a large out-cropping bowlder, 
from the base of which it was found that the Indians had cut the rock 
away piece by piece, until only a slender stem remained as its sup- 
port. Another extension, nearly 40 feet to the right' and 30 feet wide, 
laid bare one side and the center of a second quarry almost as much 
worked as the first. From this last a ditch 3 feet wide was carried for- 
ward more than 80 feet, all along tlie course of which were found Indian 
cuttings wherever the rock-surface was exposed. Thus the area worked 
over by the aborigines in one direction was shown to he not less than 
180 feet. How tax to either side of this their work extended can only 
be conjectured. The number and extent of those depressions not exca- 
vated, however, seemed to indicate that less than one-third of the In- 
dian work was exposed by the diggings just described. Mr. Gushing 
not only procured from the earth removed, a collection of several hundred 
specimens, but also made and brought away photographic views and 
accurate plaster models of portions of his diggings. 

Attention being drawn to these explorations while in progress by no- 
tices in some of the Washington newspapers, Mr. Elmer B. Beynolds, of 
the city, brought to notice some similar specimens of vessels which he had 
found within the District, on Soapstone Eun, a branch of Bock Creek, 

* InteUigence bad been i«ce ived of Bome Borfsce workings in Chester County, Penit- 
^iTonia ; so sUgbt, however, that the; could hafdl; be regarded as qoanyiugs. 



wliicli were recognized at once aa indicationa of another quarry, and Mr. 
Gushing was directed to make a thorough examination of it. Here, as 
In Virginia, depresaiona along the hill-aide in which the quarry occurred 
ahowed that the Indians had worked the underlying ledge, although ex- 
eavationa snbseqnently made revealed the fact that they had depended 
mainly upon surface material for their anpply. Large numbers of un- 
finished vessels, quartz-picka, hammer-atones, &c., were here found. 

Another quarry has been repored by its proprietor, Mr, M. E. Holmes, 
as occurring on the right bank of the Potomac above Little Falls. This, 
though rich in ancient remains, has not yet been thoroughly examined 
by the Institation. 

Mr. J. D. McGaire, of Ellicott City, Maryland, called our attention to 
still another quarry, not unlike the one on Kock Greek, and remarkable 
for the fine specimens of Indian work that it furnished. Through the 
hospitality and kind assuitance of this gentleman, Mr. Gashing was en- 
abled during the month of December to make a personal examination 
of the place, and secure for the museum nearly two hundred superior 

It may be well to add that since the discovery of the Virginia quarry, 
public attention having been drawn to this kind of research by widely 
circulated newspaper notices, similar sonrcea of aboriginal supply have 
been discovered in Bhode Island, Maasaehnsetts, Connecticut, Pennsyl- 
vania, Tennessee, Georgia, Alabama, and Wyoming, from several of 
which the Institution has already received specimens. 

An aboriginal quarry, recently discovered near Providence, E. I..on the 
farm of Mr. Angell, was visited by myself in July, accompanied by Pro- 
fessor Jenks, throngh whoae assistance I was enabled to obtain specimens 
of the unfinished pots and of the mining app^^tus. 

Reference has already been made to the plans of an extensive work 
on the American Stone Age, to be prepared under the direction of the 
Institution, to serve as a manual for thia department of archseology. The 
publication of the circular referred to as among the publications of the 
Institution for 1878 has been of great benefit in bringing in both large 
and spiall collections, aa will be seen by reference to the list of donations. 
Every part of the country is represented in these returns, which are so 
many indeed as to render it somewhat invidions to select any for special 
notice. Justice, however, to the contributors, makes it proper that I 
should mention a few of these in greater detail. 

The first collection to be noted is that presented by Mr, A. B, Critten- 
den, of Middletown, Conn., a large and extensive one, made during sev- 
eral yeara of effort. This is particularly rich in the shell heap or KJ5k- 
enmoeddiug depoaita, from Cape Cod, ahowing a variety and complexity 
not previously exhibited. 

To one correspondent, Mr. J. B, Gere, of Riceville, Wisconsin, of the 
Institntion, is indebted for an important increase of its collection of 
ancifflit copper implements. Mr. Gere, during a visit to the InstitntioD, 


three years ago, had his attention called to the paucity of saeh objects 
in the iN'ational Museum, and offered liis asnistance in obtainlag and 
forwarding snch specimens. As the result of iiia promise, the Institu- 
tion has received from him during the year a large number of these 
articles, greatly adding to the variety of the series. Masses of natire 
copper, plowed up by Mr. Gere on his own farm, were sent to illustrate 
the source of the material of these implements, aud to show that it does 
not necessarily follow that it must have been obtained in barter or oth- 
erwise firom the copper mines of the Lake Superior region. 

From Mr. William Brady, of Minong, in the Lake Superior region, 
was received a bairel of hammers, used by the ancient miners in that 
vicinity, enabling us to make a very interesting comparisou between 
these and corresponding instruments used by the Indians in workiugthe 
soapstone quarries already referred to. 

The collections received from Dr. Frank L. James, of Arkansas, are 
of great beauty and variety, as also those from Professor Bandle, of 

The result of long-continued examinations of shell mounds iu Florida 
by Mr. Henry J. Biddle, of Philadelphia, is also of very great value. 

Dr. Benjamin H. Brodnax, of Louisville, in continuation of previous 
sendings, has contributed articles of special interest; and the collec- 
tions made in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, by Dr. T. H. Beau and 
Mr. Galbraith, have also added greatly to the specimens from that 

Among the more important colleetioiis received from regions outside 
of the United States is a number of implements, vases, &c.. ttom Peru, 
presented by Mr. W. W. Evans, who has been ibr many years a corre- 
spondent of the Institution, and ei contributor to the National Museum. 

The arehtEology of Japan is represented by collections received from 
Professor Morse, consisting of shell-heap pickings and mound diggings 
on the Japanese coast. The fragments of pottery in this collection are 
rude aud unfinished, scarcely more advanced than those found in the 
ancient graves and mounds of North America. They are supposed to 
have been the production of the Ainos of the early days, who are believed 
t^ have occupied, at one time, the entire country. 

Au interesting contribution to European anthropology was made by 
Professor Kollmann, who presented a series of crania of the earher, al- 
thoagh scarcely prehistoric, inhabitants of Germany. 

Mammals. — While many single specimens or small collections of mam- 
mals have been received from various parts of the country, those re- 
ceived ftom Lieut. George M. Wheeler, of the Engineer Bureau, repre- 
senting quite a variety of species, collected by Mr. Henshaw and other 
collaborators of the survey, deserve special mention. 

A series of the seals of Arctic America, both of skins and skeletons, 
brought back by Mr. Kumlien,-8npplies a very important gap iu the col- 
lections of the National Museum, exhibiting the variations of condition 



in several species, ftam the fcetal to tlie udnlt 8tal«, of both aexes, with 
correspondiag skeletoDs of all these gradations. 

The collection brought by Mr. Zelcdon includes neai'ly all the known 
mammalB of Costa Bica, ^m the largest to the smallest, and in most 
admirable condition of preservation, well fitted to mount for exhibition 
in the National Mnseain. 

The Zoological Society of Philadelphia has presented a spedmeu, in 
the flesh, of the Aodad (Ovm I^agldaphua), which died in the menagerie 
of that establishment. 

From the Pabhc Library and Masenm at Calcntta, in India, under the 
direction of Mr. Murray, was received quite a number of specimens of 
Indian mammals, including skins of the smaller kinds, and a considera- 
ble number of stuffed heads of tigers and other felidffi,as well as several 
crania of much value. 

Birds. — The collections of birds received during the year have also 
been extensive and important, as shown by the number of specimens 
entered in the record book. Principally noteworthy is tbe donation by 
Hr. George B. Sennett, of Erie, Fa., of a series of the collections made 
by him during the preceding year In the vicinity of Brownsville, Tex. 
This embraces several species new to tbe Museum. In view of their 
admirable preparation, it is proposed to mount the greater part of them 
for permanent exhibition in the Museum. 

From Dr. James C. Merrill, U. S. Army, stationed at Brownsville, 
Texas, was also received a very acceptable collection of skins and eggs 
of birds, from that region. 

The collections of Mr. Nelson in Alaska and of Mr. Kumlien in Arctic 
America^ already referred to, embrace many s;pecies of much interest, 
although none actually new to the Museum. 

The more important addition made to tbe collection has been a series 
of oceanic bu-ds, found off the coast of the United States. Mr. Baymond 
L. Newcomb having been sent out by the Smithsonian Institution on 
board the schooner Marion, Captain Collins in command, for the pur- 
pose of ascertaining what were the birds occurring on the fltibing- 
banks, in such numbers as to be serviceable in furnishing bait for the 
capture of codfish, he brought back a large and well-prepared collection, 
embracing some quite rare species, although none previously unrepre- 
sented. Some of the plumages were new, and it became possible, fiom 
the collections and bis notes, to interpret the meaning of various appellar 
tions employed by the fishermen. 

For the assistance rendered to Mr. Newcomb, as well as in furnishing 
information to the Fish Commission, Captain Collins and his crew deserve 
special mention. 

Of extra-limital collections, those made by Mr. Fred. A. Ober in the 
West Indies, referred to in another part of this report, are of particular 
value and importance. As the result of these the National Museum is 
now in possession of by Ikr tbe most complete series extant of birds of 


the West Indies, showing better than any found elsewhere tlie geo- 
graphical distribution peculiar to each island, and the precise diatribu- 
tion of those common to two or more islands. 

To this end especially have contributed the labors of Dr. Henry 
Bryant, in the Bahamas, and of Mr. William T. March, in Jamaica; of 
Dr. John Gtmdlach, Mr. Charles Wright, and TS. H. Bishop, in Cuba; of 
Mr. Alfred Newton, in Santa Cruz ; of Mr. George Latimer, and Mr. 
Thomas Swift, in St. Thomas and Porto Eico; of Dr. Bryant, in Porto 
Bico, and of Mr. Galody, in Antigaa. 

Not only were many species -previously described contained in Mr. 
Ober's collection, but he furnished types of nearly twenty new species. 

A series of memoirs, by Mr. George N. Lawrence, published in the 
"Proceedings of the National Museum," includes lists of the collections 
and embraces descriptions of the new species. 

From foreign regions an interesting collection, for the most part of 
water-birds, was sent irom the Bosphoms by the Robert College of Con- 
stantinople, and one from the coast of Syria by Mr. William T. Van Dyck. 

Entiles. — Reference has been made in i>reviou8 reports to a very 
extensive collection of casta of American fishes which were prepared 
originally for exhibition at the Centennial, and continued since then by 
the addition of new species, coming to the Institution in proper condition 
for reprodaction. 

It was determined to include the North American reptiles in the series 
of life reproductions of such olrjectsasare not easily exhibited as stuffed 
specimens. In order, therefore, to secure living objects ftom all parts 
of the country, a circular was distributed, inviting contributions of ser- 
pents, frogs, lizards, and salamanders, in all their variety; and, as in 
previous appeals from the Institution for assistance, the response was 
generous and extensive. A large number of specimens, both of rare and 
common species, was received, and kept the entire force of Smithsonian 
artists occupied during the year. 

Resulting therefrom, the National Mneeum now has an extremely 
interesting and attractive collection of these animals in their natural 
attitudes, either as plaster or papier mach6 models, and very carefiilly 
colored fr<om sketches made while the animals were alive. In some cases 
it was found possible to make the casts from the living specimens, and 
in several different attitudes, from the same individuaL As heretofore, 
the casting and molding have been under the direction of Mr. Joseph 
Palmer, assisted by Mr. A. J. Forney and Mr. WilUam Palmer. The 
coloring of the reptiles has been performed by Mr. A. Z. Shindler ; that 
of the fishes by Mr. J. H. Richard. 

Besides the living reptiles referred to, quite a variety of species has 

been obtained from other sources, among others from Mi*. Ober in his 

"West Indian explorations. Dr. Ruth,TJ. S. N,, the surgeon of the steamer 

Enterprise, in which Captain Selfridge made his exploration of the Am- 

8. Mis. 59 i 



azon in 1848, also famished a valuable coHection from that river. From 
Dr. Hering was alao received a collection of tlie species of Surinam. 

FUhes. — ^As might naturally be expected, from the close connection 
of tbe operations of the United States Fish Commission with those of 
the Smithsonian Institation, the additions in this depari^ment have been 
especially noteworthy, and inclade not only various specimens of im- 
portant scientific interest, bat aUo many illastrating and attesting the 
propriety of national aid in the maltiplicatioa of nsefol food-fishes. 

It is considered especially desirable to bring together in Washington 
a complete representation of the food-fishes of the United States, hotli 
inland and marine ; and also snch kinds from other countries as tend to 
Ulnstrate the American species, or as may suggest fatnre action in the 
way of their intiodaction and acclimation in the New World. 

The series of species of the salmon family, contributed by Mr. Living- 
ston Stone from the salmon-hatching establishment on tbe McCIond 
Kiver, in tbe Upper Sacramento Valley; and those famished by Mr. 
Charles G. Atkins, from his works in Bncksport and Grand Lake Stream 
in Maine, have constitated the moat im^rtant additions of fresh- water 
species; while the special labors of the United States Fish Commission 
at Gloucester, Massaohi^etts, aided by the fishermen of that place, have 
brought to light nearly 20 forms of deep-sea fishes, previously unknown, 

Next to the collections from the station of the United States Fish 
Conunission at Gloucester, the most important additions to the marine 
fishes have been received from Mr. Vinal N. Edwards, for a long time an 
employ^ of the Commission, and stationed at Wood's Holl, whose vigilant 
attentiffli to the subject brought to light a number of additional species, 
80 that now the Wood's Holl record embraces nearly 140 difierent kinds. 

From Mr. Silas Steams, of Pensacola, while connected with the Pensa- 
cola Ice Company; from Mr. James C, Leslie, of Charleston; from Mr. 
Samuel Powel, of Newport ; th>m Dr. Porter, U. 8. A., and Mr, Moore, 
of the Tortugas, have come many additions to our knowledge of the dis- 
tribution of species, tiirough their contributions to the National Museum. 

The Museum is also indebted in a very marked degree, as for many 
years past, to the services of Mr. E. G. Blackford, the well-lniown fish 
dealer of Fulton Market, New York, for the transmission of many vain- 
able specimens. By an arrangement with the wholesale dealers and the 
fishermen, this gentleman is always notified of the appearance in the 
market of specimens that are believed t« have an interest, either trom 
their novelty or any other cause, and, in tbe exercise of an excellent 
judgment, whatever is thought will be value<l in Washington is promptly 
transmitted to the National Museum. To no other single person is the 
Institution indebted for so many favors in this direction as to Mr. Block- 

From the museum of the Wesleyan University, at Middletown, have 
been received aconsiderable number of fishes, collected in the Bermudas 
by Mr. G. Brown Goode; from Professor Felipe Poey also a number of 


Gnban fishes, wiach. bave an especial value, as being types of his proposed 
memoir on the subject, which, should it appear on the scale contemplated, 
will be the most extensive work ever ptiblished on the fishes of any 

From the west coast of the United States the most important additions 
have be^t of the fishes of Ala^s, sent by Mr. E. W. Kelson, from Saint 
Michaels, and those of Paget Sound, by Mr. James G. Swan. 

In the collection of fishes gathered in Cumberland G-ulf by Mr.L. Kum- 
lien, while connected with the Howgate Expedition, were several of kinds 
new to the £anna of uortbeast^iL North Ammca, and others of great 
value as illastrating the species obtained by the United States Fish 
Commission at Gloucester, either by its owii efforts or by the aid of the 
fleet of fishermen b^onging to that port. 

The Natural History Museum of Paris has contributed a series of the 
fishes of France and the Mediterranean. A series of the fresh-water 
fishes of Northern Siberia has been furnished by Dr. Otto Finsch as the 
result of his recent well-known explorations. 

Among the more noticeable results of recent efforts to extend and 
increase the usefnl food-fishes of the United States, that have come to 
hand, are specimens of full-grown shad from the SaCTamento Eiver, con- 
tributed by Mr. Thomas Baseett; a pair of shad from the Ohio, by Mr. 
WiiUam Griffith, of Kentucty; a mature salmon from the Connecticut 
Eiver, obtained through Mr. E. G, Blackford ; one from the Delaware, 
weighing 23 pounds, presented by Mr. E. J. Anderson, Fish Commis- 
sioner of Hew Jersey ; and one of 19 pounds, taken in the Susquehanna, 
by Mr. Frank Farr near the shad-hatching station of the United States 
Fish Commission, five miles below the railroad bridge at Havre de Grace. 
In addition to these, many specimens of young California salmon and 
of landlocked salmon have also come to hand. 

Invert^ates. — In the department of invertebrates the collections have 
been largely confined to the marine species, especially as no particular 
eftV)rt is now made to gather the insects which form the great body of 
terrestrial forms. By an arrangement between the Smithsonian Institu- 
tion and the Department of Agriculture, all the collections in the line of 
insects and terrestrial articulates generally are transferred to the care 
of that department, where, under the supervision of its entomologist, 
they are likely to render excellent service. 

Of land and fresh- water mollusca Ijuite a number of specimens bave 
been received and properly cared for. Of marine invertebrata most 
gatherings have b^u secured, especially through the efforts of the 
■United States Fish Commission, at Gloucester, the labor being per- 
formed under the special direction of Prof. A, E. Verrill, of Yale Col- 
lege, assisted by Messrs. Eichard Bathbuu and Warren J. Upham. In 
this service, however, the work connected with the collection and ar- 
rangement of the marine mollusca was under the direction of Mr. San- 
derson Smith, of New York, a competent conchologist, the value of whose 


gratoitouH serrioes to the Fisb Commission and to the Smi&sonian In- 
stitotioD is not easily to be overestimated. 

With the assistance of the exteDSive and powerful apparatns on board 
the Speedwell vast numbers of specimens of all kinds were secured, ap- 
propriately assorted, and packed by the gentlemen referred to, and are 
now in charge of Professor Verrill at New Haven undergoing the neces- 
sary examination for their arrangement and identification. A great 
number of duplicates was obtained for the purpose of supplying sets to 
educational and scientifle institutions throughout the country. 

A collection of fossiliferous rocks, brought up from time to time by 
the trawls from the varioas banks of the New England coast, and found 
jn the possession of various citizens of Gloucester, by Mr. Warren J. 
TJpham, while connected with the Commission, revealed, under the crit- 
ical labors of Professor Verrill, Mr. Smith, and himself, the existeuce of 
a submarine formation quite different from any now known on the land, 
and embracing a number of new specie, and others in peculiar combi- 
nations. The idea has been suggested by Professor Verrill that at some 
earlier day the whole or the greater part of the interval between North 
America and Europe, extending possibly as far north as Iceland, was 
occupied by a continent, which, after a certain amount of erosion arid 
excavation, was submerged, the plateaus or highest remaining portions 
constituting a portion of the banks, which furnish such rich harvests. 
The indications of this deposit are believed to be found at Gay Head on 
Martha's Vineyard, and possibly at Siasconset in iNantuoket, in the 
Georges, at Le Have and Quero Banks, the Grand Banks, Flemish 
Gap, &q. Of course so important a generalization will require further 
determinations, and it is hoped that the labors of the Fish Commission 
dTiring the coming year may tend to solve the problem. 

In the collections made by the several methods, and from the several 
sources referred to, are to be found all the orders and classes of marine 
invertebrata, such as radiates, mollusks, worms, crastaeea, &c. 

Apart from the collections of shells and of invertebrates referred to, 
we may mention a valuable collection of shells of Florida, presented by 
the Chicago Academy of Sciences, and of those of the German seas, by 
Professor Mobius. 

Of terrestrial fossil remains from the land no important additions have 
been made. Among those received, however, there is an interesting 
and valuable collection of species "from California, presented by Hon. A. 
A. Sargent, United States Senator from that State, and a Regent of the 
Smithsonian Institotion. 

Beference has been made to the arrangement with the Department 
of Agriculture, by which that estabhshment receives all the collec- 
tions of land articulates; and a similar arrangement has been made in 
regard to the plants, special eftbrts in regard to that branch of natural 
history being left to the department. All the specimens offered spon- 
taneously or collected by government expeditions have been turned over 


to the department as soon as received. The most important of those 
consist of a series of species from Japan and Asia, presented by the 
Botanic Garden of St. Petersbarg. Professor Sargent, of the Botanic 
Garden at Cambridge, has contributed quite a number of valuable living 
aquatic plants for the purpose of embellishing the United States carp- 
ponds on the Monument lot in this city, and of famishing desirable food 
for the herbivorous fish. 

Dr. William G. Farlow, of Cambridge, wbile associated with tlie Fish 
Commission at Gloucester, made a large collection of marine algaa, of 
-which, as heretofore, a i)art will be presented to the National Mnseum. 

A circular issued by the Institution some years ago, relative to the 
habits, &c., of the grasshopper and other insects, elicited many responses, 
vhich were referred to Prof. S. H. Scndder. The material, however, was 
never fully worked np, and it has been transferred, with the consent of 
the Institution, by Professor Scndder, to the United States Entomolog- 
ical Commission Iat«ly organized by Congress. 

I have thus furnished as briefly as possible a review of some of the 
more important contributions to the JSational Mnseum, but as the limit 
of space has prevented my going into much detail, I have been obbged 
to make selections from large numbers of contributions of value fully 
eqnal to those si)ecially noted. AH these, as stated, will be found in the 
list of donations entered in the record-books of the Institation. Every 
specimen received has, as far as possible, been recorded in its proper 
register, with a number affixed in some irremovable form; and whenever 
tiie size of the specimen would admit, with the name of the locabty and. 
of the donor attached. Of these entries no less than 9,973 have been 
made during the year, as shown by the table at the end of this Report. 
As heretofore explained, however, one entry may embrace a large number 
of specimens, eq>ecially of the same general character, without any spe- 
cial individuality, gathered at the same date, in the same locality, and 
received from the same person. It may fairly be assumed that the total 
number of pieces actually recorded and provided with numbers amounts 
to 15,000. 

Consideied with reference to geographical distribution — illustratiug 
the several fknnas of the various quarters of the globe, as would nat- 
urally be expected, by fer the greater portion of these accessions has 
been received i^om N^orth America, the regions from which the most 
important materials have been derived being Alaska, fiimished by Mr. 
NelBOD, Arctic America, by Mr. Kumlien, and the eastern coast of New 
England by the Fish Commission itself and its friends at Gloucester ; 
of fishes and invertebrates from Puget Sound by Mr. Swan, fishes of the 
Upper Sacramento by Mr. Stone, fishes of Florida by Mr. Steams, Dr. 
Porter, and Mr. Moore ; and general collections by Mr. Bidgway, are 
among the most noteworthy. 
From South America were received ethnological specimens H-orn Peru, 

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by Mr. W. W. Evans; fishes and reptiles from the Amazon, by Dr. 
Bntli, TJ. S. N., of the United States steamer Enterprise. 

Prom Mexido valaable specimens have been received from Professor 
Dag^H, consisting especially of mammals, birds, reptiles, and fislies; 
illustrations of the ethnology and zoology of Gnatemida have been fur- 
nished by Dr. Flint and United States Minister Williamson. 

Of the animals of Surinam, collections were sent by Dr. Hering; of the 
vertehrata of Costa Bica, generally in a large variety, by Mr. J. Zele- 
don ; of the fishes of Cuba, by Professor Poey ; general collections from 
various islands of the West Indies, by Mr. Ober j fishes of Bermuda, by 
tlie Wesleyan University, of Middletown, collected by Mr. Goode ; fishes 
and archaeological remains from Japan, by Frof. E. S. Morse ; the fishes 
of France and the Mediterranean, by the Mnseimi of Natural History, 
Paris ; of Sorthem Siberia, by Dr. Finsch, of Bremen ; skins, skulls, 
and heads of the xaajninals of India, by tlie Public Library of Kurra- 

Mineralogy. — ^In the department of mineralogy and geology, as usual, 
additions of many specimeus, including several large collections, have 
been received, as it has now become quite a common thing for people 
all over the United States to send samples by mail or otherwise to the 
Institution for determination. 

Many valuable additions have been made by the officers of the Ijaod 
Department of the Interior, especially by Mr. John Waeson, surveyor- 
general of Arizona, and Mr. Hardenberg, the surveyor-general of Cali- 
fornia. By far the most noteworthy and important addition in this line, 
has been that of the greater part of the Swedish exhibit of iron, steel, 
and other metals, made at Philadelphia in 187G, The valuable iron 
and steel exhibit by the Swedish Commission at the Centennial Ex- 
position had in part been promised to the American Institute of Min- 
ing Engineers, and at its solicitation any effort on the part of the Smith- 
sonian Institution to secure the remainder for the government was 
waived in its behalf. It appears, however, that the necessary arrange- 
ments for their acquiring this collection were not completed, and during 
the year 1878, Dr. Joshna LindabI, the representative of Sweden in con- 
nection with the Permanent Exhibition, offered the remainder of the col- 
lection as it stood, to the National Museum. This proposition was, of 
CQjirsG, very gladly accepted, and the collection was duly transmitted 
under the direction of Mr, Thomas Donaldson, including the greater part 
of the display of the Iron and Steel Mining Comi>auy of Motala, and the 
iron and steel of Sandvik, a well-known and conspicuous Swedish estab- 

The institution received also, on special deposit, through the aid (^ 
Dr. Lindahl, the immense mass of native iron, weighing five tons, the 
smallest of three nuggets brought from the island of Disco by the Swed- 
ish Government, the one referred to having been presented to Professor 
Nordenskjold, who had charge of the transfer, and by him sent for exhi- 


bition to Pliiladelphia. Opinions of experts are at present divided as to 
whether this is actually of meteoric origin, or a representative of almost 
the single instance of metallic iron in considerable masses, as a native 
metal. Whatever be the actual fiict, it makes no difference in the in- 
terest of the specimen ; and its acqnisition, even for a short time, by the 
Kational Museum, is a subject of congratulation. 

Sdentifio investigation of collections. — As in jtrevions years the collec- 
tions of the Kational Museum, in charge of the Smithsonian Institution, 
have been freely open to the examination of competent investigators. 
It is preferred, of course, that this work be prosecuted in Washington; 
but where it is impossible to do this there is no hesitation in sending arti- 
cles or collections, under suitable conditions, to any part of the world. 

Most of this work of investigation is done by the resident naturalists 
connected with the Smithsonian Institution, directly or indirectly — the 
mammals by Professor Gill and Br. Cones ; the birds by Mr. Itobert 
Ridgway; the reptiles by Dr. H, C. Yarrow and Dr. Bean ; the fishes by 
Professor Gill, Mr. Goode, and Dr. Bean ; the mollusks and marine inver- 
tebrates by Mr. William H. Dall ; the insects by Professor Eiley ; the 
fossilshy Prof. Charles A. White; the minerals by Dr. F.M.Endlich; the 
plants by Dr- Gea Vasey. 

Oatside of Washington the principal collaborators have been, for the 
mammals, Mr. E. D. Alston, London, and Mr. J. A. Allen, of the Museum 
of Comparative Zoology, Cambridge, Mass.; for the birds, Mr. George TS. 
Lawrence, of New York, Dr. P. L. Sclater, of London, and Mr. Osbert Sal- 
via, of Cambridge, England ; for reptiles and vertebrate fossils. Prof. 
E. D. Cope, of Philadelphia. These gentlemen have all rendered more 
or less service in this connection by investigating the specimens, identify- 
ing those that were previously known, and describing the new species. 

Distribution of collections. — The extent of the distribution of specimens 
during 1878 will be seen by reference to the table at the end of this re- 
port. It has been quite large, and has furnished much educational 
and scientific materia]. It is expected, however, that a very much larger 
amonnt will be supplied during the year 1879. There is a gx-eat number 
of duplicates of minerals, rocks, fossils, &c., which cannot be reached 
until the liberality of Congress shall appropriate the necessary means to 
erect the new building for tbe National Museum. Such building is 
required even for the unpacking of the specimens and the separation of 
the series to be reserved for permanent display. This will leave a large 
quantity of 8ari)lus material, of considerable variety, which will enable 
the Institution to supply to a good degree the wants and applications 
of many colleges, academies, and scientific societies throughout the 


Tbe principle of co-operation and not of competition which has for so 
many years been the basis of action of the Smithsonian Institution, finds 



a portion of its expressioD in the arrangement -witb the Corcoran Art 
Gallery. Its picturesj statuary, and engravings have for the most part 
been removed to the Gallery, and the remainder is being prepared for 
the same deBtioatiou. They are not presented to the Gallery, but simply 
deposited, and are subject to reclamation at any time. 

For many years Professor Henry was one of the trustees of the Cor- 
coran Gallery, and was thus able to look after the interest of the Insta- 
tntiou in its collections. I have been honored by receiving a similar 
appointment at the hands of the board of trustees. 

The propriety of the action of the Board of E«gents in directing that 
a first-class portrait of Professor Henry be painted, the work being ex- 
ecuted in April, 1877, by Mr. LeClear,of New York, has been fully justi- 
ifled. His picture is now exhibited in the Regent's room in the Institu- 
tion, after having been displayed for a time at the Corcoran Gallery. 
Several excellent crayon heads, of life size, of Professor Henry have been 
executed by Mr. Ulke and copies have been ordered for Princeton College 
and other institutions where Professor Henry's was an honored name. 


Attention has been called in the reports of my lamented predecessor 
to the extent to which the time of the ofBcers of the Smithsonian Insti- 
tution has been occupied in the prosecution of labors undertaken by 
direction and in behalf of the general government ; his own record of 
twenty-six years' service in connection with the Light-House Board, for 
a large portion of the time its chairman : his service on various special 
boards, such as those for the selection of building-stOQes for the Capitol, 
for the consideration of the question of ventilation of the Hall of the 
House of Eepresentatives, &c, and in many other cases, furnishing 
ample illustration. 

My own more immediate relations to the general government com- 
menced in 1871, when Congress passed an act authorizing the appoint- 
ment of a Commissioner of Fish and Fisheries, to investigate questions 
connected with the condition of the fisheries of the sea-coast and the 
lakes, and providing that the appointment should be by the President 
and confirmed by the Senate, and that his services should be rendered 
without compensation. 

Having received the appointment from the President, I commenced 
the work by an investigation, of several months' duration, of the condi- 
tion of the fisheries on the New England coast, especially as to tlie 
supposed conditions affecting their extent and development. 

In 1872 the subject of the propagation of food-fishes in the waters of 
the United States was added by Congress to the otherdutiesof the Com- 
missioner, and since then his time has been largely occupied with the 
prosecution of researches into the American fisheries and in the propa.- 
gation and distribution of various desirable species into every State in 
the Union. Previous reports will be found to coutatn general statements 


of what has been done each year ; and I shall therefore give a brief ao- 
connt of what was doue in 1878, premising that the appropriations, 
beginning with $5,000 in 1871, have increased with each year, until those 
for 1878 amounted to $78,200. 

The work of (he Fish Commissioner is now prosecuted under the two 
distinct heads of inquiry, and propagation, each with a corps of assist- 
ants, for the most part occupied in different regions of the country. The 
propagation department has special reference to the shad, the salmon of 
California, the salmon of I^laine, the land-locked sahnon, the white-fish, 
and the carp. 

The invention of apparatus by Mr. T. B. Ferguson, one of the fish 
commissioners of Maryland, by which the hatching of shad could he 
prosticuted on a much larger scale than before, and under more coaven- 
ient circumstances, marks a new era in the art of hsh culture, experi' 
meuts made by him in 1877 having been extensively prosecuted by the 
United States Fish Commission in 1S78. 

For the purpose in question four scows were fitted up in Baltimore, 
two with suitable machinery and apparatus, and two as quarters for the 
men. These were taken to Albemarle Sound and established at a point 
on the fishery of Dr. Capehart, of Avoca, by whom every assistance was 
rendered in the supply of ripe fish, from which 10,000,000 of young fish 
were hatched out and deposited in adjacent waters or transferred to 
distant points. 

After the season for work in that vicinity had passed, the vessels were 
taken to Havre de Grace and anchored about five miles below the rail- 
road bridge, in a sheltered cove. Here a much larger number of fish 
was hatched out, and the youug were distributed by special messengers 
throughout the.TJnion. The work of distribution of the young shad was 
under the special supervision of Mr. James W. Milner, first assistant of 
the commission j Mr. T. B, Ferguson, fish commissioner of Maryland, the 
inventor and constructor of the hatching apparatus, however, having 
charge of the propagation of the shad here, as also daring the greater 
part of the sojourn at Avoca. 

The result of the new experiment was perfectly satisfactory, and so far 
as relates to the shad in the future, there is no limit to the amount of 
work that can be done other than that of the number of ripe eggs pro- 

The labor of obtaining the eggs of the CaUfomia salmon at the Uni- 
ted States hatching-station on the McCloud River, in the Upper Sacra- 
mento Valley, was also carried on on a much larger scale than ever 
before, it 'being possible, as the direct result of the propagation in the 
earlier part of the operations-of the commission, under the charge of 
Mr. Livingston Stone, to procure as many eggs as were caJled for; and 
no less tlian 15,000,000 eggs were obtaiijed, and partly developed, and 
then distributed to various State commissioners and other parties, by 
whom they were hatched out and planted In the waters. A large num- 


ber was Latched on account of the TJDited States Fish Comtnission by 
Mr. Frank ;^. CLarli, of NortliTillo, Mich., and by Mr. Ferguson, at Bal- 
timore. These were distributed to such of the Soathem and Western 
States as were without arrangements of their own for prosecuting the 

Nothing was done with the eaatem salmon j bat the fi»7orable re- 
sults of the work initiated five or sis years ago, in restoring this fish in 
large uambers to the Merrimack and the Oonnecticnt, and in planting 
them in the DelawM« and the Susquehanna, will probably induce the 
renewal of the station at Bucksjiort, Maine, during the coming year. 

The operations oonnected with securing eggs of the land-locked sal- 
mon at 6rand Lake Stream were entirely successful, althoagh not so 
many were obtained as last year. These are now in process of inonba- 
tion, and will shortly be distributed. 

Congress appropriated a sum of money for the pnrpose of fitting np 
the two lakes in the vicinity of the Monument in the city of Washing- 
ton for the culture of Enroi>ean carp, a considerable number of the 
best varieties having been obtained in 1877, and deposited with the kind 
permission of the Park Commissioners in the ponds of Druid Hill Park, 
in Baltimore. When the Monument lot ponds were in proper condition 
a poriJon of the fish were transferred from Baltimore to their new 
quarters, where it is hoped they will find a congenial home. A distri- 
bution of the young will probably be made in the courseof 1879, enough, 
it is hoped, to meet a part, at least, of the demand which has already 
^mng up for supplying fish-ponds throughout the country. 

The most important progress in practical flsh culture has been made 
by the United States Fish Commission during the year, in the applica- 
tion of its methods to the production of the sea-fishes. Fxperimenta 
were tnstitnted at Gloucester, in Massachusetts, in reference to cod, the 
spawning season of which takes place in the winter. The establishment 
was properly fitted np and, after varying results, the proper method of 
developing them was ascertained. Many millions of the young fish were 
hatched out and deposited in the waters, and about 30,000 sent on to 
Washington for exhibition to members of Congress, and others interested 
in the experiment. Nothing has yet been done with mackerel, but it is 
behoved that the arrangements prepared for the cod will be equaUy 
efBcient for that flsh, as also, probably-, for the halibut, while many other 
species, such as the taatog, sea-bass, and scup, caa be treated in the same 

The importance of this new departure of the United States Pish Com- 
missiou cannot be overestimated, as it gives us the means of improving, 
at small expense, the sea fisheries of our coast, and also furnishes the 
opportunity of establishing them at points where they do not at present 
exist. Thus, by carrying the young cod from Massacbusetts and plant- 
ing them on the coast of New Jersey or Maryland, of Virginia or ITorth 
Carolina, there is every assurance that, in accordance with the aniver- 

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sal rale, these fish, when ready to spawn, vill return to their starting 
place and lieconie the meajw of establishing profitable fiaheries to the 
inhabitants of the region. It is well known that in the Southern States 
the fisheries, contrary to the fact in the Northern States, are of little 
moment in the winter season, the most promiaent species coming ap in 
the spring and retnming as the waters become chilly. The estabhshment 
of cod fisheries, and possibly of those of hahbut, aa winter fisheries along 
the southern coast, will therefore be of great importance. 

The second branch of the Fish Commission's work, namely, that of the 
investigation of the sea fisheries, was carried on at Gloucester for three 
months, with the co-operation as heretofore of the Secretary of the Savy 
in furnishing a suitable vessel, and the general work was done with more 
efficiency and completeness. The same vessel, the United States steamer 
Speedwell, used in 1877, was detailed by the Secretary for the service, 
and was in command of Capt. L. A. Beardslee, who bad previously sns- 
taiued similar relations to the Oommission when in charge of the steamer 
Blue Light 

The longer period of service of the vessel and the more favorable 
station enabled the Oommission to perform a very large amount of work, 
the results greatly exceeding those of any pre^^ous year. Important 
determinations were made of the character of the aea-bottom, of the tem- 
perature and chemical constituents of the sea- water at different depths, 
the currents, &c., while the exhaustive collections of marine animals and 
plants showed clearly the character of the food of the fishes, and at the 
same time fnmished a vast amount of natnral history material of the 
greatest scientifle interest. As heretofore, special efforts were made to 
obtain a large number of daplicates, so that by their distribution in 
named sets the colleges and other educational establishments of the 
country might participate la the results of the labors of the Commission. 

As heretofore, the labors of the Commission at Gloucester, connect'Od 
with the invertebrate department, were in charge of Prof. A. E. VerriU, 
of Yale College, New Haven, assisted by Mr. Sanderson Smith in the 
department of the mollusca, and by Mr. Bichard Batbbuu and Mr. 
Warren J, TJpham. The collections made, as iu previous years, were 
ptac«d in the hands of Professor VerriU, who is now engaged in their 
■ classification and arrangement in sets. Br. William G. Farlow, of Cam- 
bridge, as usual, spent considerable time with the Commission, and 
derotetl himself especially to the investigation of the marine algae. 

The investigation into and classification of the various kinds of fish 
hronght in were in charge of Mr. G. Brown Goode, a collaborator of 
the National Museum, assisted by Dr. T. H. Bean, of the swne estab- 
hrihment, and by Mr. B. E. Earll. 

Capt. H. C. Chester had general charge of the laboratory and the di- 
rection of the actual dredging and trawling on the steamer. 

The special superintendence of the batching of the codfish was ooa- 

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ducted by Mr. J. W. Milner, -with tbe assistance of Mr. E. E. EarlL 
The propagation dcpartmeot was in cliarge of Mr. Frank N. Clark, of 
Micbigaji. The machiner; was saperintended by Capt. H. C. Chester, 
and it is to bis ingenuity that we owe the construction of the apparatas 
by which tbe actual work of hatching the codfish was rendered practi- 
cable. The difficulty of using the apparatus employed for hatching 
shad arose from the faet that while the eggs of the shad are heavier 
than the Iresh water, those of the cod are Ughter than the salt water, 
and new conditions had to be devised to keep the eggs down instead of 
lifting them up. This problem, as already stated, was satisfactorily 
solved, after many experiments, by Captain Chester, who is therefore 
entitled to much credit for the success of the work. 


In 1871 a convention was held by the United States and Great Britain, 
at Washington, for the purpose of settling certain questions at issue be- 
tween the two governments, notably that of tbe depredations upon 
American commerce by Confederate cruisers, fitted oat or snppUed in 
British ports ; and also certain disputed points in reference to the fish- 
eries of British North America. 

The treaty agreed npon was not ratified by the several contracting 
parties, consisting of the United States and the five British maritime 
provinces, until 1873, when commissioners were duly appointed by the 
respective governments, Mr. Alexander T, Gait being named by Great 
Britain; Governor Clifibrd, of New Bedford, by the United States, and 
Mr. Maurice Delfosse, the Belgian minister to the United States, as the 
third. For various reasons, and partly owing to the death of Governor 
Clitford, no definite action was taken until 1876, when Mr. E, H. Kellogg, 
of Pittsfield, Mass., was appointed to succeed Governor Cliftbrd ; and 
the place of meeting was fixed at Halifax, Nova Scotia, on ttie 15th of 
June, 1877, and after receiving tbe British claim the commission ail- 
jourued until the 28th day of July, 1877, when it reassembled and 
continued in session until nearly the stipulated limit, in the month of 

The United States commissioner was assisted by Mr. Bichard Henry 
Dana and Mr. William H. Trescott. The British commissioner had, as ' 
his counsel, one distinguished gentleman from each province, namely, 
Mr. Joseph Doutre, for Canada ; Mr. S. E. Thomson, for New Bruns- 
wick; Hon. W.V.Whitcway, for Newfoundland; Hon.LouisH. Davies, 
for Prince Edward Island ; and Mr, E. L. Weatherbe, for Nova Scotia. 
■ At the request of the Secretary of State, I attended the meeting at 
as early a date as my other duties would permit, arriving on the 17th of 
August, and remaining until the 2l3t of October. 

The British commission had on its side the minister of marine, Mr. 
A. Smith, assisted by Mr. W. F. Whitcher, the commissioner of fisheries. 

The dehberations of the court involved a careful consideration of all 


the facts and statistics of the two countries, and a vast, amount of in- 
formation relating to the subject was brought together in the form of 
testimony of witnesses and experts and by the presentation of tables, re- 
ports, and digests. The volumes of the reports of the proceedings of 
tiie commission constitute a rich field for the naturalist as well as die 

Material service was rendered by the United States Fish Commission, 
in the coUection of important statistics gathered expressly for the pur- 
pose, especially in the presentation of tables, showing the catch of fresh 
fish along the coast of the United States within the treaty limits. This 
work was more particularly under the charge of Mr. G. Brown <5oode, 
who executed it to the entire satisfaction of the American coonsel. 

The occasion was made use of by me to collect information and to 
prepare a systematic account of what is known of the habits of the cod 
and mackerel, and the various methods of capturing them, the bait to 
be used, &c, which will form the subject of spefflal leportB hereafter. 

The award of five and a half millioDS of dollars, as representing the 
valne to Great Britain of the privileges conceded to the United States, 
has given very great dissatis&ction in this country, to the New England 
fishermen especially, who denounce it as unjust in the highest degree, 
and express the hope that at the earliest possible moment the treaty will 
be abandoned, even if the original condition of things be restored. 

The very great lack of published information on the subject of the 
American fisheries, as compared with the extremely methodical and 
precise summaries of the Canadian authorities, has Induced me to give 
especial attention to this subject for information in the future, and with 
the co-operation of the State Department, which has placed a small 
fond at my disposal fi>r the purpose, I am ^gaged in collecting, col- 
lating, and digesting the facts and statistics in reference to the Ameri- 
can fisheries, an Information doubtless of much value on the occasion of 
another axbitration similar to that at Halifax. This work is more par- 
ticularly in charge of Mr. Goode. 

-To ascertain the accuracy of the figures presented at the Halifkx 
convention as to the catch by citizens of the United States of mackerel 
off the American and Canadian coast, I employed Mr. Alexander Star- 
t back, of Waltham, Mass., to make a new digest of the records, as 
shown by the State inspections of Maine, New Hampshire, and Massa- 
chusetts. His work has been completed and shows a material difi'erence 
from the old figures, but without affecting the strength of the American 

Statistics of aca Jiskeries. — Eefereneehas already been made to the data 
relative to this subject at Halifax, and the Intention on the part of the 
commission to secure reliable records of the catch, export, and consump- 
tion in the United States of the more important fish. For this purpose 
circulars were issued, requesting answers to certain questions relating to 
the habits, mode of capture, statistics, and disposition of the cod, tite 



mackerel, the mullet, the alewlfe, and the smelt. Also another blank 
inviting information aa to the extent of the fishery marine, the nature of 
the.crewg, the tonnage of the vessels, the appaxatag need for capture, and 
other incidentals. For the purpose of collecting this information, Mr. 
Vrnal Edwards, of Wood's Holl, an assistant of the commission, was 
detailed to visit the fishermen along Buzzard's Bay and Vineyard Bound 
and obtain the data which were needed for the various purposes refer- 
i-ed to. This was found t* snpplemeut very satisfactorily the valuable 
body of statistics now being collected under the direction of the com- 
missioners of inland fisheries of Massachnsetts. These gentlemen have 
been authorized by the legislature to require a report of the statistics in 
regard to the charaeter and catch of all the pounds, weirs, and gill-nets 
in the commonwealth. 

The results of these several circulars will be published in fall in ftiture 
volumes of the report, and I take great pleasure in referring to the 
first of the series — ^ntftaely, that upon menhaden, as prepared by Mr. 
Goode. This is a most exhaustive and complete history of the subject 
in all its relationships, scientific, biological, and economical. It occupies 
520 pages, and is illustrated by 30 plates. It forms one of the same series 
with the exhaustive pajjer by Mr. St^ffbuck upon the whale fisheries, 
published in the fourdt volume of the reports of the Commission. 

It is also proi)Osed to direct special attention to the history of the 
Southern mullet. This fish in many respects represents and may be 
said to replace in the South the mackerel iu the North. It occurs in 
enormous numbers, indeed such as to permit its capture in even larger 
quantities than the mackerel, coming in shore to spawn iu immense 
numbers in the autumn months. It is not at all improbable that a 
catch of half a million barrels could easily be made, and under circum- 
stances involving very much less expense and exposure than would be 
needed for taking one-quarter that number of mackerel. It is caught 
abundantly all the way from North Carohna southward into the Gulf ot 
Mexico, and is destined at no distant day to represent a very important 
element iu the resources and business of the South, At present IJlie 
methods of taking and curing the fish are very inferior to those prac- 
ticedin regard to the mackerel, and the fish is consequently less esteemed ; 
but it is not improbable that in time it will be found to occupy an almost 
equal rank as a food-fish, and a much more important one as an article 

Another subject to which the attention of the Commission is being 
directed is a similar inquiry in regard to the lake herring, the white- 
fish, and the salmon trout, all of them species captured and cured in 
great quantities, and dividing with the mackerel and the cod the demand 
of the market. 


Mr. William H. Dall, for many years an associate of the Institution, 
in charge of its department of conchology and marine invertebrates gen- 


Orally, spent several months in 1878 in a visit to Europe, espedaHy to 
tJie zoologioal maseums and to tlie co-woriierfl in hie special department 
of research in Northeim Europe. Acting as an ao««dited agent of the 
Smithsonian Institution, he was anttiorized to offer its services t« Spedal- 
ists in prosecuting thmr researches, and to invite exchanges of books 
and spef^mens. Many valuable alliances have been formed in conse- 
quence of this visit, and the Institution has had already the pleasure of 
supplying considerable material in response to calls for the game. 

Availing ourselves of a visit to Prance in 1878, by Mr. Thomas Don- 
aldson, whose services to the Institution during the Centennial Exhibi- 
tion had been of great value, that geutlemau was requested to call on 
Mods, de la Batut, who had presented the Institution with relics of James 
Smithson, and procure from him all the information he conld ftimish rel- 
ative to the founder of this Institution. Mr. dc la Batut is the half- 
brother of the nephew of Smithson, to whom the latter bequeathed his 
property, and in case of whose death it was to be devoted to founding 
the Smithsonian Institation. Mr. Donaldson visited Mr. de la Batnt, 
and gathered from him a few facts of interest relative to Smithson, none 
of which, however, were entirely new. He also procured the Ibllowing 

1. An engraved portrait ofHugh Percy, Du'ke x>t JTorthnmberland; 
father of James Smithson and of Col. Henry Louis Dickinson. 

2. A portrait of Henry James Dickinson, son of CoL Henry Louis 
Dickinson, the nephew and heir of Smithson. (Silhontte profile.) 

3. A paper in tJie handwriting of James Smithson, a copy of an article 
by an admiral on the cause of a shipwreck in the English channel. 

4. An inventory of the personal rfEects of James Smithson at the period 
of his death, made by the British consul at Genoa, 

5. An engraved visiting card bearing the inscription: " Henri de la 
Batnt, Hotel Britanniqne, rue Lotus le Grand, 20." 

6. Copy in wax of the seal of the de la Batut family. 

In addition to its irreparable loss in the death of its late Secretary, 
the Institution has also to lament that of a number of valued corre- 
spondents. Among those to be first mentioned is Mr. Donald Giinn, of 
Winnipeg, Manitoba, a veteran correspondent of the Smithsonian Insti- 
tation, one of the earliest of its meteorological observers, and one who 
for more than twenty years has been a constant contributor of informa- 
tion and collections relating to the natural history of the Northwest. 

Mr. Gunn was a Scotchman by birth, and entered the service of the 
Hudson's Bay Company in 1813; but in 1823 resigned and established 
liimself in the Selkirk settlement in the Bed River country, where he 
was for a long time a snccessfiil instmctor of yonth, and ultimately 
was appointed one of the judges of the court of petty sessions, holding 
that position for more than twenty years. He was also a member of the 
first legislative council of Manitoba, in 1871. 

As stated, the first connection of Mr. Gnun with the Smithsonian 


Institution vras that of a meteorological observer. His long-coniinned 
observations of tlie weather are among the most reliable of those within 
its archives. His contributions of objects of natural history were still 
more important, embracing, as they did, nearly every branch in the 
Tarious classes of the animal and vegetable kingdoms, and nnmerons 
collections in archaeology and ethnology. Pew reports of the Institu- 
tion since 1850 are without some reference to his services. 

In 1866 he made a special exploration, in behalf of the Institution, of 
the region west of Lake Winnipeg, spending considerable time iu the 
Ticinity of Shoal Lake and Lake Manitoba, in the course of which he 
collected large numbers of skins and eggs of birds; aniong the latt«r, 
several previously entirely auknowu in museums. Within a year cor- 
respondence was in progress with him iu regard to the renewal of this 

The death of Mr. Ounn took place in the month of December, at the 
age of 81. It is understood that he has left behind him a minutely de- 
tailed journal of his experiences, and his relations to the colony in 
which he lived for over fifty years, which will doubtless be published 
on account of its great historical value. 

Hon, William McKinley, a valued correspondent of the Institution, 
who died on the 2d of May, 1878, was bom in Abbeville District, South ■ 
Oaixilina, in the year 1809 ; became a resident of Georgia in early life ; 
was educated at Franklin College, now the University of Georgia, where 
he was graduated; entered the profession of law, served as a member of 
the Gteorgia legislature ; removed to Milledgeville, Ga., where he spent 
the remainder of his long and nsetul life in the active and extensive 
practice of bis profession. He sought relaxation in other pursuits at 
times, none of which were more pleasing to him than the ethnological 
researches connected with that region, so rich in antiquarian remains, in 
which his life was spent. He made, within the last few years, repeated 
contributions of aboriginal remains to the Smithsonian Institution, re- 
markable for their beauty and value. Mr. McKinley also contributed a 
valuable paper entitled "Mounds in Greorgia" descriptive of aboriginal 
earthworks on the sea^coast, and of the celebrated Pyramid of Kolee 
Mokee in Early County, to the Smithsonian Eeport for 1872. Further 
additions of antiquities by Mr. McKinley are mentioned on page 82 of 
the Smithsonian Beport of 1875 ; and at the time of his death, a still later 
collection was in his possession, destined for the Smithsonian Institution. 

Eespeetfully submitted. 

Seoretari/ Smithsonian Institution. 

Washihgton, Jmmry, 1879. 




Tlie following are brief accounts of the principal explorations of tlie 
government in 1878, from which specimens will l>e derived for increasing 
the collections of the National Museum. They are fomislied by the sev- 
eral directors of the explorations : 


The work of the survey was ictrasted to four parties, viz: One for 
carrying on the primary triangulation ; two parties for geologic and 
topographic work; and a party for special geologic studies and photog- 
raphy. These were so organized that in case of aecessity they could 
be divided for special duty. The field headquarters of the survey was 
at Cheyenne, Wyo,, and the outfits and animals were transported via. 
the Union Pacific Railroad to their points of departure. 

Oeology. — Dr. Hayden, the geologist in charge, accompanied the pho- 
tographic division, and the route pursued gave him an opportunity to 
secure a very accurate general Itnowiedge of the geological structure of 
a large area. The Wind Kiver Range proved one of remarkable interest. 
It has a trend about northwest and southeast, with a length of about lOO 
miles. On the west side all the sedimentary belts have been swept away, 
down to the ArchEeau, older than the Wahsatch, and the latter formation 
rests on the Archaean rocks all along the base of the range, seldom in- 
clining more than 5P to 10°. On the east side of the range the seams 
of sedimentary formations usually known to occur in the northwest are 
exposed from the Potsdam sandstone, which rests upon the Archsean 
rocks, to the Cretaceous inclusive. 

Along the northwestern portion of the range the Wahsatch Group only 
is seen for some distance, but as we proceed down the Wind Eiver 
Valley the formations appear one after the other, until at the lower end 
the entire series is exposed. The Wind River Range may be regarded, 
as originally a vast anticlinal, of which one side has been entirely 
denuded of the sedimentary, except the Middle Tertiary. On the same 
side of the range the morainal deposits and glaciated rocks are shown 
on a scale such as we have not known in any other portion of the W«st. 
Three genuine glaciers were discovered on the east base of Wind River 
and Fremont Peaks, the first known to exist east of the Pacific coast. 
S. MU. 69 5 fl6 

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The morainal deposits are also found on a grand scale in the Snake 
Eiver Valley, on the east side of the Teton Bange. The nnnlerons lakes 
have been the beds of glaciers, and the shores of the lakes are walled 
with morainal ridges. I^orth of the Teton Mountains the preyailiug 
rocks are of modem volcanic origin, and in the Tellowstone Park the 
hot springs and geysera are the later manifestations of the intense vol- 
canic activity that once existed. All these interesting features were 
studied with care, and the results will be elaborated for the twelfth an- 
nual report of the survey. 

Mr. W. H. Holmes acted as geologist to the secood division. The 
first month of the season he was with the fourth division, which pro- 
ceeded from Fointof Books Station northward, along the west side of the 
Wind River Mouutains, and up the Snalre River Valley to the Yellow- 
stone Park, where he joined the second division. In the mean time he 
was engaged in making sketches, panoramic views, and geological sec- 
tions of the intermediate country, all of which will prove of the highest 
importance in illustrating the geological structure of this most interest- 
ing and complicated region. 

The latter part of the summer was spent in making detailed geological 
examinations in the district that includes the National Park. The greater 
portion of the park was found to be covered with somewhat uniform 
flows of the ordinary volcanic rocks. Features of more than ordinary 
geologic interest occur, however, along the northern border of the park 
district. Here a small belt, not more than 15 by 30 miles in extent, con- 
tains a fair epitome of the geology of the Rocky Mountain region. The 
whole series of formations ttora the earliest to the most recent are almost 
typically developed. The only marked irregularity in the succession of 
geologic events occurred during the great mountain-building period of 
the early Tertiary. After that followed a number of inferior oscillations 
of the surface, during which an extensive series of recent Tertiary and 
volcanic rocks were deposited. Connecting this period with the present 
.are the deposits of a number of great lakes, which at the present time 
lave their chief representative in Yellowstone Lake. 

The formations of the Tertiary period present features of more than 
ordinary interest. They consist of upward of 5,000 feet of strata which 
arealmost totally made up of fragmentary volcanic products. The whole 
period seems to have been one of unparalleled volcanic activity, the lat- 
ter part especially having yielded such immense quantities of ejecta that 
the strata are almost wholly breccias and conglomerates. These forma- 
tions are therefore sounlike tliose of corresponding periods iu neighboring 
provinces that it is almost impossible, considering the absence of both 
vertebrate and invertebrate remains, to make satisfactory correlations. 
This difficulty is increased by the fact that these formations have a much 
^■eater elevation than those of any of the neighboring basins of the 
interior or eastern jilains districts. They lie in a horizontal position, 
upon tfie eroded surfaces of the strata of preceding ages, at an eleva- 
tiou oi from 0,000 to 11,500 feet above the sea. 


A very extraordinary featare of these rockB is the occurrence of silici- 
fied forests which are found in situ not only at one horizon but at a great 
uumber of borizooa throughout a great part of the ■whole series. Fos- 
sil leaves found associated with the silicified forests near the middle of 
the series indicate the prevalence of a flora very closely related to that 
of the present time. They belong, according to Professor Lesquereux, 
to late Miocene or early Pliocene times. 

Among the many points of interest in the way of flowed volcanic 
rocks was the discovery and examination of extensive deposits of obsid- 
ian. In one locality upwards of 600 feet of obsidian strata occur, mnch 
of which is solid glass; banded, spherulitic, and brecciat«d varieties are 
interbedded with the more solid layers. A very extensive collection of 
these and other volcanic rocks was made. 

No workable beds of coal have been found within the park area, nor 
Lave any deposits of the precious metals been discovered. 

To Dr. A. C. Peale and Mt. J. E. Mushbach was assigned the special 
investigation of the hot springs and geysers. Owing to the lateness of 
the season when the park was reached, and the early storms in Septem- 
b&c, there was comparatively little time for work. About two months 
vere spent by them in mapping and investigating the springs in the 
Shoshone Basin, Upper and Lower Fire-Hole Basins, Bed Mountain 
Basin, Gibbon's Fork Basin, the Mammoth Hot Springs, and the Mud 
Springs localities of the Yellowstone Eiver. 

Over 1,500 temperatures were recorded, and about 2,500 springs were 
mapped and notes taken for their description. Special attention was 
paid to the geysers and notes of their times of eruption and the heights 
reached by them were taken. 

Two of the geyser basins were almost unknown before and had never 
been described. The Gibbon's Fork Basin presented many features of 
interest, among which were the numerous varieties of the siliceous de- 
posite, many of them probably new to science. Water from important 
springs of the principal localities was brought in for future analysis. 
Sotes were taken for mapping the different groups of springs on a large 
scale, so that hereafter they may enable the tourist to identify the in- 
dividual springs. Many new geysers were discovered and new points of 
interest in relation to the old ones obtained. 

Lai^ collections of sx>ecimens were made and brought east. 

The notes of this division of the survey being largely statistical, the 
complete results of the work cannot foe detailed until they are thov- 
ongbly worked up. 

The following is a summary, by Mr. O. St. John, of the geological 
work prosecuted in the field assigned to the Wind Biver division : 

The region explored comprises a triangular area extending along the 
forty-third parallel from Salt River to the Wind Eiver Valley, a distance 
of about 100 miles. The boundaries on either side converge, uniting 
near the parallel 43© 45'. It thus includes about half of the Wind River 


, Uange and tbe continents water-ahed north to Togwotee Pass, the Gros 
Ventre Mountains southeast of Jackson's Basin, and in the southwest 
the considerable area south of the Grand Cafion of the Snake filled by 
the southern prolongation of the Snake Eirer Mountains, or what is 
here known as the Wyoming Bange, in which latter quarter the work 

The approach was from the soath up the VRlley of Green River, which 
forms a considerable basin area in the sonthem central portion of the 
district, and which is entirely filled with deposits of the age of the Ter- 
tiary. These decline basinwarda on the three sides hemmed by the Wy- 
oming, Gros Ventre, and Wind Kiver Mountains, attaining a thickness 
of several thousand feet. 

The northern end of the Wyoming Bange was here fonnd to-consist 
of several quite well defined low ridges which reach the maximum of 
ruggednesa in the Carboniferons barrier ridge on the western border 
along Salt Elver. To the east of this belt Hoback's River rises in a basin 
area south of the Gros Ventre Range, which, geologically, is part of the 
Gr<!en River Basin, the waler-divide being merely a low ridge composed 
of the soft arenaceous Tertiary beds. The latter are here unconformably 
uplifted on the border of the Hobaok Cai)on ridge, the easternmost of 
the Wyoming Range, and which is made up of Carboniferous and Meao- 
zoic formations occupying a synclinal, either border of which appi-,aTS 
in the monoclinal crests on the oast and west sides of this ridge. 

A tributary of the Hobaek on the west of the canon ridge flows 
through a valley which penetrates aonthwarda nearly to the southern 
border of the district. In this vicinity the western crest of the Hobaek 
Canon ridge shows an antichnal structure, the Carboniferouson the west 
flank being succeeded by the Trias, Jura, and Cretaceous, and finally a 
heavy aeries of sandstones and variegated arenaceous shaJes which prob- 
ably pertain to the Laramie. The latter stretch across the valley, dip- 
ping westwardly, and impinge on the next west-lying mountain ridge, 
which la also composed of Carboniferous strata, abruptly tilteil and 
faulted, with downthrow on the east. Inclining oft' the west slope of 
this ridge the same series of geological formations are met with aa men- 
tioned above, the later-formed showing subordinate folds and makiog up 
the bulk of the highland to the west which has been carved into a very 
broken belt by the erosion of the eastern tributaries of John Gray's 
River and the gorges descending to the Snake Beyond this nearly the 
same stratigraphical and structural features recur in the more bulky 
ridge which occupies the interval extending over to Salt River, viz, 
westerly dipping Mesozoic and Post-Cretaceoua deposita, impinging 
against the faulted Carboniferous in the ridge on the west. 

In the latter region much information was gained relative to the 
identity in stratigraphical and structural elements that subsisthere and 
in the cluster of mountains culminatiDg iu Mount Baird north of the 
(Grand CaQon. Tbe whole region here referred to proved to be exceed- 


ingly rough, but with redeeming valley spaces abounding in good grim- 
ing, while the bills are quit« well wooded with coniferons forests. 

The southern dank of the Gtqs Ventre Mountains was traversed from 
a point near where the Hoback's CaOon ridge first approaches thia range, 
thence east to the broad depression separating it from the northern 
portion of the Wind Biver Bange. In the west the culminating peak 
rises into a bared Archiean cone, the primal rocks occurring at one or 
two points farther east, where they have been laitl bare in the deeper 
canons which all the streams penetrating the mountains from this side 
have excavated. But for the most part this mountain front is heavily 
plated with Palaeozoic formations, including the Potsdam quartzite, 
Quebec limestones, the magnesian limestone, and the still heavier series 
of Carboniferous limestones and sandstones, which latter forms the mass 
of the eastern portion of the range over to the divide at the head of 
water flowing into Green Eiver. The Palteozoic rocks have been np- 
lifbed into great fidds, with abrupt inclination on the southerly flanks, 
contrasting with long declivities in the opposite direction, on which side 
the range loses much of its rugged, imposing character. Here and there 
patches of Mesozoic appear low in the south-side mountain flank, suc- 
ceeded by the unconformable Tertiary beds descending into the Hoback 
and Green Biver Basins. In some of the larger canon mouths interest- 
ing exhibitions of morainal and other glacial phenomena were first met 

The work in the Wind Eiver Mountains was coionienced towards the 
nortliem end on the west side, and thence carried southwards, circum- 
stances compelling a rapid march round ria South Pa«s to Camp Brown, 
from which point the work was prosecuted northwards along the east 
em flank of the range. 

In the vicinity of Green Eiver Canon, on the west side of the Wind 
Biver Bange for a few miles, the outer barrier of the mountains preserves 
a remnant of the PaliEOzoic formations. These deposits are very similar 
to the corresponding formations in the Gros Ventre Mountains, and 
identical with the much more extensive occurrence of strata of that era 
on the east side of the range. They have been lifted high up on the 
mountain with minor undulations, and, as seen from the open basin to 
the southwest, they have the appearance of carving round the extremity 
of the range. But the latter appearance was found to be deceptive, the 
Archsean soon reappearing in the outer slope to the north of Green 
Biver Canon, and thence continuing until all the more ancient rock 
series is hidden by the Cenozoic and Post-Tertiary accumulations at the 
northern end of the range. 

The brief visit paid to the summit of this portion of the Wind Eiver 
Mountains afforded what is to the student of American geology a field 
of greatest interest in the existence here of li\ing glaciers. The snow- 
fields were found to be much more extensive than was surmised from 
the distant views of the summit, and the ice-filled gorges, especially on 


the east side at the sources of Toirey'a Creek, presented moat mtereetiag 
examples of many of the associat^^d phenomena connected with the gla- 
cier. But compared with their former extent these are bnt the merest 
vestiges of the ice masses which flowed down and polished the canon- 
walls of all the drainage courses which penetrate the range, and in the 
amount of glaciation and the pUed-np debris strewn along the sides of 
the debouching valleys something like an adequate conception of their 
former extent and comparatively recent dissipation may be formed. 

A few miles soath of the caiiou of Green Kiver the older sedimeuta- 
ries have been entirely removed from the mountain border, the Tertiary 
coming in contact with the bared Archtean rocks. Such are the 
geologic featares to the southern border of the district, and probably, 
indeed, throughout the west flank to the extreme southern terminus at 
South Pass. 

The eastern flank of this range was found to possess a much more ex- 
tensive area occupied by the Palieozoic formations, which, for the most 
part, are simply upraised, forming so many more or less well-marked in- 
clined benches. The most recent of these is composed of the Carbon- 
iferous, preceded by the magnesian limestone, Quebec limestone, and 
primordial quartzites, which lithologically, and in the topographic fea- 
tures molded out of them, bear close resemblance to the west flank of 
the T^ton Mountains. At no point were the Trias and later Mesozoic 
formations found rising to any considerable elevation on the mountain 
border ; on the contrary their presence marks the boundary between 
the orographic and basin areas. The latter formations present in a gen- 
eral way typical lithologic features characterizing their occurrence in 
the region to the west, with however many and in some respects some- 
what strongly contrasted local stratigraphic peculiarities. The "red 
beds" of the Trias exhibit enormous local accumulatiouS of massive and 
latiiinated gypsnm, and the Cretaceous here contains seams of coal 
which will become of economic value. 

In the Wind Eiver Basin the unconformable Tertiary occupies the 
interval reaching over to the Owl Creek Mountains to the northeast. 
The border of this basin along the foot of the Wind River Mountains 
presents some extraordinary spring deposits of very modem date in 
places incorporated with the gravel deposits occurring in terraces at 
the foot of the mountains. Many, perhaps the ^lajority, of the spring 
sources have become extinct; but a few remain, evidently but feeble as 
compared with then: former volume, but which have built up quite ex- 
tensive deposits of calcareous tufa. Some of the older deposits present 
much the appearance of porous limestones forming extensive benches in 
the mountain's foot. The presence of these deposits in some of the 
caEons on this side of the mountains is associated with the most pictur- 
esque scenery. All the streams that rise high up in the mountains 
were formerly the beds of extensive glaciers which built up the great 
moi-ainal ridges, like those which border the debouchures of the Little 


Wiud Eiver, Ball Lake, Dinwiddie, and Torrey's Forks, only less ex- 
tensive accumulations of glacial materials than those found along the- 
west border of the range. 

In the water-shed extending northward fix>m the northern end of the 
Wind Eiver Eange extensive ai-enaceoos deposits of modern-looking 
Tertiary age but sbghtly disturbed, are met with, and which evidently 
form uninterrupted connection with the Wind Eiver Tertiaries on the 
one hand and the deposits which occupy so large area east of Jackson's 
Basin on the other. In the latter quarter, in the Mount Leidy high- 
lands, and along the upper courses of the main tributaries of the Gros 
Ventre, in lower strata of the same series, extensive developments of 
lignite were met with, the special investigation of which was undertaken 
by Mr. Perry. In still more ancient horizons other lignitie seams were 
found which, together with those just mentioned, render this one of the 
most important coal-producing areas as yet discovered in this region. 

In the latter region the hgnitic and older mesozoic formations within 
a, narrow belt at the northern foot of the Gros Ventre Mountains have 
beea thrown into a series of sharp parallel folds. To the northeast the 
Tertiaries dip, with gradually slackening inclination, uqtil they pass be- 
neath the volcanic mantle in the vicinity of Togwotee Pass ; on the op- 
posite side the older Mesozoics as uniformly rise up on the flank of the 
Gros Ventre Mountains, whose northern crest reveals the regular 
courses of the Carboniferous limestone which in places preserves a cop- 
ing of the Triassic " red beds." 

During the last two months the expedition encountered much in- 
clement weather, embarrassing the prosecution of the field- work ; and 
on its arrival in the region of Mount Leidy and Buffalo Fork, about the 
middle of October, it was overtaken by the early snows of winter, which 
virtually closed the field-work for the season. 

Paleontology, — So large an amount of paleontological material h&d 
accumulated during the previous years that its critical study became 
necessary for the purpose of aiding in the elucidation of certain problems 
in structural geology which had arisen in the prosecution of the field- 
work. Dr. C. A. White, paleontologist to the survey, therefore devoted 
the whole season of 1878 to this work at the office, instead of takiog the 
field as he did the previous season. The work which thus engaged hia 
attention embraces the preparation of a detailed report of his fieldwork 
for 1877, including the discussion of important questions connected wjth 
it, the preparation of a large number of new fossU invertebrates for 
publication and illustration, and the illustration of all the types of 
species in the collections of the survey which the late Mr. F. B. Meek 
had described, but not illustrated. 

Besides the collections made by the various parties of the survey, 
others have Irom time to time been received from several persons not 
officially connected with it, from different parts of the western portion of 
the national domain. The investigation of these collections brings out 


Bome interestiDg facts coDcerning the geographical distribntioTi of types, 
especially those of marine Cretaceous invertebrates. Among the more 
interesting results of J>r. White's investigations is the recognition of a 
Triassic fanna in the rocks of Sontbeastem Idaho. This is of especial 
interest as being the first discovery of distinctively Triassic invertebrate 
types in the West, east of those now vrell known to exist in the Pacific 
coast region; and also on account of the close relatioDship of these 
types with thoae of the Middle Trias of Europe, while those of the 
Pacific coast represent the Upper Trias. 

Primary triangiUation. — The primary triaDgnlation of 1878 was ex- 
tended northward from that of 1877 vrhich was begun at Eawlins, Wyo., 
where it connected with the system of triangulation of the survey of the 
fortieth parallel. 

The triangulation jKirty, ineh^ge of Mr. A. D. Wilson, left the Union 
Pacific Eailroad at Point of Eocks, Wyo., on July 28. They traveled 
northward to the western base of Wind Eiver Eange, where their work 
began. In this range two stations were made, on Wind Elver and Fre- 
mont's Peaks. 

Traveling westward from the base of this range, they crossed the head 
of Green Eiver Basin, and, threading the c^on of Hoback's Eiver, they 
reached the Snake at the head of its ca£on. 

They followed this stream up to the eastern base of the Grand T^ton, 
where, finding it impracticable to ascend this mountain from the east, 
they crossed to Pierre's Hole by way of the Kton Pass. Prom this, the 
west side, the peak was found to be more accessible, and Mr. Wilson 
succeeded in reaching, with his instruments, a secondary summit 100 to 
200 feet lower than the main crest, and distant from it about 400 feet. 
He reported the true summit to be practically inaccessible. 

From Pierre's Hole the party next went northwest to Sawtelle's Peak, 
near Henry's Lake, in Eastern Idaho. On the night following the as- 
cent of this mountain, all the animals belonging to the party were stolen 
by Bannock Indians, leaving the party afoot, at least 100 miles from 
the nearest settlement. 

After carefiiUy caching their instruments, the party made their way on 
foot across arid plateaus to the Geyser Basins, where they met the par- 
ties of Messrs. Gannett and Jackson. With their aiil, and the kind as- 
sistance of Mr. James Eccles, an English gentleman who, with a party 
of his own, was visiting the country, Mr. Wilson was again fitted out, 
his instruments having in the mean time been recovered, and his work 
went on with but little delay. 

His next station was Mount Sheridan, the highest peak of the Red 
Mountains, in the' southern part of the Yellowstone Kational Park. 
Thence be visited Electric Peak, near the northern boundary of the 
park, and the highest summit within its limits. The well-known Mount 
Washburn was his next station, and from that mountain he went south- 
ward, passing around Yellowstone Lake and up the Upper Yellowstone, 


intendiug to make a station on a high peak of the Yellowstone Kange, 
near the head of the latter stream. The snov, however, which had 
been accumalatlng for a month in that high mountain region, had bo- 
come at that time (about the end of September) so deep that it wad im- 
possible to do any more work. Indeed, it had accmtmlated so in the 
passes abont the heads of the Upper Yellowstone, Snake, and Wind 
Bivers, that the party found difficalty in getting their animals over 
them. Finally, however, the party reached the head of Wind River, 
and thence traveled to Bawlins, Wyo., on the Union Pacihe Bailroad, 
where they were disbanded. 

Topograpliy. — ^To the party in ehai^ of Mr. Henry Guinett wa« in- 
trusted the work of making a detailed survey of the Yellowstone Park, 
with extended study of the phenomena of the hot springs and geysers. 
Mr. W. H. Holmes was detailed as geologist of this division, while to 
Dr. A. C. Peale was intmsied the study of the hot springs and geysers, 
Mr. Gaimett undertaking the secondary tiiangulation and topography 
of the park, and his assistant, Mr. J. E. Mnshbach, the detailed survey 
of the geyser basins and other groups of springs. 

The party left Granger Station, Wyo., on July 28; drove up Green 
Biver to the head of the basin; thence down the nigged defile of Ho- 
back's Kiver to the Snake, and up the Snake to its forks at the south 
boundary of the Yellowstone Park. 

Turning westward at this point, they spent a few days in surveying 
Fall Eiver and its afBuente, then returned to the Shoshone Geyser Ba- 
sin at the west end of Shoshone Lake. Here the party was joined by 
Mr. Holmes, who up to that time had accompanied Dr. Ilayden in the 
Wind Eiver and Teton Mountains. 

Leaving the body of the party in permanent camp at the Shoshone 
Geyser Basin, Messrs. Holmes and Gannett visited the Eed Mountains 
and the country south of Yellowstone Lake. On their return from this 
trip, which occupied a week, the party, re-enforced by that of Mr. Jack- 
son, moved across the divide to the Upper Geyser Basin, near the head 
of the Madison (Fire Hole) River. Here Dr. Peale and Mr. Mushbach 
were left to carry on their work, while the party continued on down the 
Fire Hole River to the Lower Geyser Bitsin. Thence they crossed to the 
Yellowstone River via Howard's road, and continued down tliat river 
to the Mammoth Hot Springs on Gardiner's River, where the supplies 
for the season were stored. 

fiefitted with provisions, the party returned up the Yellowstone as 
far as the mouth of its east fork, which they ascended nearly to its head, 
in the rugged Yellowstone Range; then crossed a high, rolling divide 
to Pelican Greek, a tributary to Yellowstone Lake. Following tliis 
stream down they reached Yellowstone Lake at its northeastern comer, 
skirted its eastern shore to its head, and traveled several miles up the 
Upper Yellowstone Eiver ; thence they returned to the foot of the lake 
and followed the river down to the Mammotli Hot Springs, arriving 
there about October first. 


Starting a second time from the springs, the party traveled south- 
ward to the headwaters of Gardiner'a River and Gibbon's Fork of the 
Fire Hole, following the road recently cut by Colonel Norris, superin- 
tendent of the Yellowstone National Park, from the Mammoth Springs 
to the Geyser Basins. Having completed their work in this direction, 
they spent a few days in studying the south end of the Gallatin Eange, 
which separates the waters of the Yellowstone from those of the Gal- 
latin, and then returned to the Mammoth Sprmgs ; whence, having been 
joined by Messrs. Peale and Mushbach, they went to Bozeman, Mont, 
where the party disbanded. 

The above is a sketch of the route of travel of the party. From it 
the geologist and topographer branched off widely, thus covering the 
country between the routes of travel. 

The area this survey is about 3,600 sqaare miles, of which 
material for a map on a scale of one mile to an inch was secured. Tn 
prosecution of the work of secondary triangulation and topography 47 
stations were made, from which 2,100 horizontal and 500 vertical angles 
were measured. Altogether 370 points were located, an average of 1 in 
9J square miles ; 230 observations for height were made with the mer- 
curial barometer, and 100 with the aneroid. 

Material for maps in detail of all localities of special interest was col- 
lected. Among these may be mentioned the well-known Geysor Basins, 
on the Fire Hole, the Shoshone Geyser Basin, the fine group of springs 
at Heart Lake, and those on Gibbon's Fork discovered by Colonel Nor- 
ris, the Mammoth Springs on Gardiner's River, the Mud Geysers on the 
Yellowstone, and others. The heights of aU important water&lls were 
determined by measurement with the tape-line, and thus the vexed ques- 
tion of the height of the Yellowstone Lower Falls was definitely settled. 

The area occupied by the Yellowstone Park has a great elevation, 
ranging in the flat country from G,BOO feet to 9,000, while its mountain 
peaks reach heights of 11,000 feet. Its mean elevation is about 8,000 
feet. Within this elevated region head three large rivers, the Madison 
and Yellowstone, which flow off northward to join the Missouri, and the 
Snake, or Lewis Fork of the Columbia, which at first has a southerly 
course. The greater part of the Park is a rolling plateau, broken here 
and there by small groups of mountains, as the Bed Mountains and the 
Washburn Group. East of the Yellowstone Kiver, separating its drain- 
age from that of the Big Horn, is a high, rugged, volcanic range, whose 
peaks reach 11,000 to 12,000 feet. This range was, in 1871, named 
"Yellowstone Range" by Dr. Hayden. 

Excepting a narrow belt in the northern part, this park is everywhere 
heavily timbered. Indeed, with the exception of Washington Territory 
and the western portion of Oregon, it is the most densely timbered area 
in the West. There is practically no arable land within its limits owing 
to its great altitude, and, except along its northern border, little open 
country suitable for pasturage. 


The lieavy growth of timber indicates and fosters a comparatively 
moist climate. The park is a region of lakes and swampy tracts, of 
springs, and abnndant perennial streams. The summer season Is shoirt. 
While fix)9te may be expected any night in the year, the winter holds 
until June and commences again in September. Joly and August 
usually afiord fine but cool weather, with cold nights; but September 
brings frost and snow. 

The third division, nnder Mr, P. A. Clark, surveyed the Wind River 
Mountains, a portion of the Wyoming Range, the Gros Ventre Range, 
with a large area in the Snake River Valley. Mr. Clark made 31 gradi- 
enter stations and 15 compass stations. The area lies between latitude 
43° and 44° and longitude 109° 15' and 111°. This includes the upper 
portion of the Wind River Mountains, with portions of the Wyoming 
Range, the Gros Ventre Range, and portions of the Shoshone Mount- 
ains and the Owl Creek Range ; also the sources of Green River, Iloback 
Basin, and upper waters of Wind River. Mr. St. John acted as geolo- 
gist and Mn N. W. Perry as mineralogist to this party. Their reports 
will prove of general interest. Mines of gold, silver, iron, and vast beds 
of gypsnm, as well as many other minerals, were fonnd. 

Photography. — In the prosecution of the field-work of the survey dur- 
ing the past season a photographic division was again put in operation, 
alter an interval of two years, under the leadership of Mr. W. H. Jack- 
son, who has been connected with the survey as its photographer during 
the past nine years. 

Leaving Point of Rocks, on the Union Pacific Railroad, on July 24, 
the first points of interest were reached on the western dank of the 
Wind River Mountains. Two side trips, undertaken in connection with 
Mr. Wilson, in charge of the primary triangulation, were made t<i the 
crest of the range, and some grand views of that remarkable region 
were obtained. From the summit of Fremont's Peak views were made 
of an immense glacier now occupying its eastern slope. Fine views 
were also obtained of the great glaciated plateau lying between the 
plains and the crest of the range. 

Proceeding next to the vicinity of the Grand T^tons, lying to the east 
of the headwaters of the Snake River, several magnificent views of the 
remarkable range in which they occur were made &om the neighborhood 
of Jackson's Lake. 

Reaching Shoshone Lake the 18th of August, the entire month follow- 
ing was devoted exclusively to photographing the remarkable phenomena 
connected with the hot springs and geysers of the various basins within 
the Park, Especial attention was paid to the almost unknown but ex- 
ceedingly interesting features of the new Shoshone and Red Mountain 
Basins. The "Fire Hole" and "Mammoth Hot Spring" Basins were 
again gone over, and the experience derived from the work done here in 
former years shows its benefits in the remarkably effective views obtaineil 
this season. At this latter basiu many detailed as well as general views 


were made vfitk especial reference to the future prodactioii of an exact 
motlel in plaster of tbe whole group. 

On the homeward route, which was hy the way of the Upper Yellow- 
Btoue, across the headwaters of the 8uake to the Wind River and theuce 
via Camp Brown to the raihwad, a number of very effective views were 
made, particularly about the Grand Falls and the canon of the Yellow- 
stone. At the Yellowstone Lake some very fine views were made, but 
that region was not completed, in conseqaence of a prolonged anow-stoi'm. 

At the Togwotee Pass some characteristic views were obtained of the 
remarkable breccia mountains, whose castellated forms adorn that por- 
'tion of the continental divide, and also some of the curious '- bad lands" 
farther down on Wind Biver. The season's work closed at Camp Brown, 
where portraits and groups were made of the Bannock prisoners in con- 
finement at that post. 

A brief summing up of the season's operations of three months, much 
of which time was characterized by extremely inclement weather, sbows 
an increase to the already very extensive collection of the survey, of i5 
negatiyes 11 by 14 inches in size, and 110 of smaller ones, 6 by 8. 

Publications.— During the year 1878 the publications of the United 
States Geological Survey have been numerous and important', yielding 
in no respect to those of any previous year, and fully sustaining the 
reputation this oi^anization has acquired for the prompt and full exhibit 
of its operations. Eleven separate publications have appeared and oth^« 
have been brought to a forward state of preparation. 

Perhaps the most important of these as a contribution to pure science 
is the seventh volume of the quarto reports. This is Prof. Leo Lesque- 
reux's beautiful monograph, " The Tertiary Flora," forming a compan- 
ion volume to tbe same author's " Cn^taceoua Plora," which latter con- 
stitutes the sixth volume of the series. It consists of nearly 400 pages, 
and is illustrated with 65 plates. 

A further contribution to the fossil flora of the West has been made 
in the publication of 26 plates, entitled " Illustrations of the Cretaeeous 
and Tertiary Plants of the Western Territories of the United States " 
This volume consists only of the plates and esplanatoiy text, the AiU 
report upon the subject being deferred. 

The regular annual report of progress for the year 1876, being the 
tenth of this series, appeared during the past year. This makes a vol- 
ume of about 550 pages, illustrated with 79 plates and various wood- 
cute. There has also been issued in i>amphlet form tbe preliminary' re- 
port of operations for 1878, in advance of the regular report for that 

The Miscellaneons Publications' Series has been continued during the 
year by the issue of Nos. 10 and 11. Miscellaneous Publication No. 10 
consists of a Bibliography of North American Invertebiate Paleontology, 
prepared by Dr. C. A. White and Prof. H. Alleyne Nicholson. Miscel- 
■"lueoos Publication No. 11 is entitled " The Birds of the Colorado Val- 


ley," and consists of Part First of an extensive work upon North Ameri- 
can Ornithology, by Dr. Elliott Cones, U. 8. A, Both these treatises 
have become indispensable to the stadents of tbe special branches of 
which they respectively treat. 

The Bnlletins of the survey have appeared diuing the year with the 
usual regularity, the four numbers issued in 1878 forming volume IV. This 
publication is now established as a regular annual serial, and the pres- 
ent volume, like ita predecessors, contains articles on a wide raiige of 
scientific topics embraced within the general scope of the operations of 
the survey. 

The United States Entomological Commission, conducted under the 
auspices of this survey, has during the year issned its first annual re- 
port, as an octavo volume of nearly 800 pages, with plates and wood- 
cuts. It is devoted to the subject of the Rocky Mountain Locust, and 
contains a fiiU exhibit of the results secured by the commission ap- 
pointed to investigate that important problem. 


The work during 1878 was performed by nine main parties and three 
astronomical parties, which operated in the Stales of California, Colo- 
rado, S'evada, Oregon, and Texas, and Arizona, New Mexico, and Wash- 
ington Territories. Forty-six observers took the field, leaving a small 
force at the Washington office engaged in the preparation of maps and 
reports. The astronomical parties, in charge of Professor T. F. SafFord, 
at the Ogden Observatory, Mr. J. H. Clarke in the California sections, 
and Mr. Miles Rock in the Colorado section, made observations at 
Walla- Walla, Washington Territory ; the Dalles, Oregon ; Fresno, Cali- 
fornia ; Fort Bliss, TeXaa ; and Fort Bayard, New Mexico, connecting 
with Ogden as the initial meridian, 

III California, topographical parties occupied points in the Cascade 
Mountains and ranges to the eastward within the Great Interior Basiu 
extending towards the Blue Ridge, reconnoitring a large area. Opera- 
tions were carried southward from Lake Tahoe along the Sierra Nevada, 
one party occupying the White Mountain Riinge and connecting with 
the triangulation which joioa the astronomical station at Austin, Nevada. 
A contour survey of the Washoe mining region was completed, and 
numerous details gathered relating to the operations of the vertical and 
meridional sections of the lodes. 

Work for completing the topography of the section between Sierra 
Neva<la and Cascade Ranges was also carried on. From the soutlierh 
end of the Sierra Nevada a party transferred from the Utah section 
connected with the work of 1875 from Los Angeles east and north, and 
operated along the Coast Range to hititude 30° SC N. 

In Colorado, one party, foUowiug the Rio Grande northward, filled in 


details of new routes of communicfttion and of incomplete meanderB, 
and vas further employed upon detailed work. A detachment mean- 
dered north and weatwajd from the Bio Grande at Los Lanos, opposite 
Fort McBae, through the basin of the Little Colorado to Camp Apache, 
Arizona, and thence eastward again to the Bio Grande, making mean- 
ders of considerable precision aloug three natural routes of communica- 
tion from the drainage basins of the Gila Salt Biver and Colorado Cht- 
guito to the Rio Grande. 

Another party extended the triangnlation southward to connect with 
astronomical station at Port Bliss, Texas; also connecting with the 
astronomical montuneut of the Mexican Boundary Survey at ES Paso, 
Texas, and the monument on that part of the boniidary-line on the west- 
em bank of the Bio Grande. 

The following list shows the number of the principal observations 

Sextant latitude stations — -.- 90 

Basea measured 5 

Triangles about bases measured 64 

Main triangnlatioii stations o<icDpied 62 

Secoudaiy triaugulation stations occupied SL 

Miles measured on meanders 10,298 

Cistern barometer stations occupied 1,141 

Aneroid barometer stations occnpled. ................. 7,057 

Magnetic variations observed , 1C5 

Mining camps visited 12 

Mineral and thermal springs noted 20 

The estimated area occupied by the survey during the season, includ- 
ing main triangulation and preliminary reconnaissance work, was 35,000 
square miles. The area fi-om which detailed topographical data were 
gathered sufficient for a map, on a scale of one inch to four miles, was 
approximately 27,600 mileS. 

Besides the topographical work, one party in the Colorado section was 
devoted entirely to geological examination, under the charge of Pro- 
fessor J. J. Stevenson, assisted by Mr. J. C. Bussell. Its area of opera- 
tions was along the Spanish ranges between the Bio Grande and Cana- 
dian Eivers, in the northern part of New Mexico, where its labors were 
greatly facilitated by the use of the completed topographical maps. The 
section of the lignitic group was worked out, and twenty-six beds of lig- 
nitic coal were recognized as present at most localities within the area 
where the horizon was reached. Much labor was bestowed upon a study 
of the axes, the structure of which was found to be exceedingly compli- 
cated, requiriiig further detailed examination. Quite largo collections 
were made of igneous rocks and fossils, about three hundred specimens 
, of the former being obtained from seventy localities, forming a complete 
series illustrating the lithologj' of the injected dikes, volcanic overflows, 
and extinct craters of the region. 

The fossils, numbering over thirteen hundred specimens, are ftom 

, Google 


locks of the Carbottiferoas age, from Cretaceous strata, Nob. 2, 3, and 
4, and from overlying beds of the Lignitic group. 

From the Carhoniferous formation, about seven hundred specimens 
were obtained ; from the Cretaceo&s, five hundred, illustrating its in- 
Tcrtebrate fauna ; and from the coal-bearing Lignitic group, resting on 
the black shales of Cretaceous stratum No. i, about two hundred speci- 
mchs of fossil leaves. ' 

Zoological collections were mainly made by the party operating from 
iNortbem California northward, and illustrate the zoology of the area 
extending from Camp Bidwell, Califomia, to the Columbia River, Ore- 
gon. To this party Mr. H. W. Henshaw was attached as naturalist. 
The collection made comprises upwards of three hundred specimens of 
birds, specimens of fishes fh>m most of the lakes and streams encoun- 
tered, with Jj^idoptera^ Ortboptera, and numerona reptiles and Batra- 

The field season ended early in December. The work of this survey 
has now covered, since its commencement in 1859, connected areas 
reaching from the Colombia Eiver on the north to the Mexican border, 
and from the 100th meridian, near Fort Dodge, to the Pacific Coast, near 
Los Angeles, an area now exceeding 3SO,000 square miles. 

The pubUcations during the year are as follows: Vol, II, quarto series, 
Astronomy and Barometric Hypsoinetry ; " A Catalogue of 2,018 Stars, 
for Latitude Work West of the Mississippi," and ten of the regular atlas- 
Hheets. Vol. VI, quarto series, wae in stereotype at the close of 1878 ; 
a " List of Distances, Positions, Altitudes," &c., was well advanced in 
printing ; and Vols. I and VII, of the quarto series, awaited the appear- 
ance of Vol. VI. Seventeen atlas-sheets, also from work prior to 1878, 
are in various st^es of progress. 


The labors of this survey have been eontiuued during 1878. From 
the return of the field-parties in the autumn of 1877 till July, 1878, the 
entire corps remained in Washington, preparing the results of the field- 
work for pubUcation. In July, 1878, a division was sent to the field, 
but a force was also retained at Washington to continue the ethno- 
graphic work, and to complete and edit certain unfinished reports. 

The ofBce-work thus acquired an exceptional importance as compared 
with the field-work, which, for the season of 1878, was placed in charge 
of Mr. C. K. Gilbert, bis principal assistants being Messrs. J. H. Ben- 
shaw, O. D. Wheeler, and S. H. Bodfish. 

Tiiking the field at Gunnison, Utah, in the early part of August, the 
work wae carried on by four independent parties till the middle of De- 
cember, when the advance of winter made it necessary to disband them. 

The Kanab base-line, four and one-third miles long, has been care- 


fully remeasared, with a probable error of 1.5 inches, as well as the 
southern portion of the ^ain of triangles connecting it witb the Gon- 
nison hase-Une. The main change of triangulation, consisting of eight 
qaadrilaterals, one triangle, and one pentagon, is now ready for discns- 
sion. At eacli end of the chain a base-lioe has been meastued, and an 
astronomical determination has been made of latltade, longitude, and 
azimnth. The most sontherly points visited were Mount San Francisco 
and Mount FJoyd, volcanic peaks on the (Colorado plateau south of 
Grand Cauou. Southern Utah is not well adapted for triangnlatioii. 
Its principal emineucea are table-lands or plateaus covered with timber, 
there being veiy few sharp peaks readily distinguishable from all direc- 

The work of Mr. Bensbaw's party, with plane-table and orograph, em- 
braces all of the region lying sonth of the Grand Canon in sections 105 
and 106, covering about 7,500 square miles. This field comprised a 
portion of what is known as the Colorado Plateau, a high table-land 
lying immediately sonth of the Colorado Biver, whidi there runs west- 
wardly at the bottom of a deep chasm. On the Bouthem edge of the 
plateau there are innumerahte extinct volcanoes, the gPQund being 
covered by a forest of pine, the most valuable tract of timber in Arizona. 
The northern edge is lower, and is hare of timber. ITear the Colorado 
CaBoQ it is broken by gorges, and is difficult of access, but in other 
directions there is little impediment to traveL Water is scarce, and is 
found only in pockets and small springs, there being none available for 
irrigation. The only wealth of the country lies in timber and grass- 
West of the plateau, Mr. Benshaw's map includes a portion of Hualapai 
Valley and the adjacent mountains. This region is almost an absolute 
desert, water being so scarce that in some places it is sold by the gallon. 
Agriculture la out of the question, and there is no timber. Grazing is 
practicable to a limited extent. The only important industry, present or 
prospective, is mining, and only the richest of the numerous gold and 
silver deposits can now be worked with profit, owing to the remoteness 
of all sources of supphes. 

Mr. Wheeler worked with plane-table and orograph in the western 
half of the region comprised by atlas-sheet No. 106, and estimates his 
total area at 5,000 square miles. Through the centre of his district there 
runs from north to sonth a natural barrier called the £cho Cliif. The 
escaipment faces westward, and the plateau at the west of it is 1,000 
feet lower than that to the eastward. The eastern plateau is a broad 
desert of sand, scantily watered, and useful only for grazing pui-poses. 
The western plateau is equally barren and worthless, but presents more 
variety of surface. A portion consists of naked "had lands," soft strata 
carved by the elements into hills of picturesque beanty, and tinted with 
a variety of brilliant colors which warrant the title of Painted Desert, 
bestowed by Lieutenant Ives. Another portion is extremely rocky, and 
divided by a net- work of impassable caiions. Through this region rung 

,.. I,, Google 


the Little Colorado River, a stream of considerable magnitude, bnt, on 
account of the character of its banks, of no service to agriculture. Echo 
Cliff ia interrupted at one point hy a cross-line of drainage, and there 
are a few springs available for inning. No other spot invites settle- 
ment. Maps, on a scale of four miles to one inch, show the geography 
of the entire region eriibraeed in the sorvey of Major Powell ; a map 
is also under construction intended to represent the distribution of the 
varions tribes of Indians when first discovered by Europeans. 
S. Mis. 69- 

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Table shomng the number of entries in the reeord-book« of the United States 
National Mmeum at the close of the years 1877 and ISIH, respectively. 





15, 877 








fXt^T.^. ...!:„:::;;;::::::;::;::"::::::::;;;:::::: 






9, 973 

Approximate table of the Aistr^mtion of duplicate mecimens to the end of 



Total to the end of 


Distribution during 

Total t 

the end of 







Skeletons and afcnlle. 



4; 361 































4 391 
9; 105 




Nests and eggs of 





Other marine Inver- 

Planta and packages 

Minerals and rocks.. 
Ethnological speci- 


D i atomacoons earths 







, Google 


SEUM IN 1878. 

Akron {Ohio) City Mmeum, Eighteen speciea of fresh-water Xfnios; 
from Ohio. 

Aliro, Samuel {through Ron. Samuel Poicel). Fish (Pseu4opriacanthu9 
altta); from Newport, E. I. 

Aldrieh, Charles. CoUcctdous of living snakes, turtles, and frogs; and 
specimens of Indian relics; from Iowa. 

Alexander, James H. Box of ethnological and mineralogical specimens; 
ftwm New Torb. 

Allen, Charles A. Collection of birds* eggs and nests, and six living 
tcrtles ; from California. 

Allen, Charles S. Collection of birds' skins and eggs; from Long Island, 
N. T. 

Allen, George K. (See Washington, D. C, United S^tes Fish Commis- 

Anderson, Capt. Chris. (See Washington, D. C, United States Fish 

Anderson, E. J. Salmon {Salmo solar); from the Delaware Eiver. 

Anderson, William. Six stone implements; from Illinois. 

Andrews, Frank D. Eight rude arrow-heads; from New Jersey, 

Andreu^s, F. S. (See Washington, D. C, United States Fish Commission.) 

Artes, Charles F. Photographs and drawings of Indian relics, and rel- 
ics from mounds in Illinois. 

Armistead, E. P. Ball of hair taken from stomach of cow. 

Aikins, Charles 0. Three boxes of fishes; from Bucksport and Grand 
Lake Stream, Maine. 

Atkinson, John. (See Washington, D. C, United States Fish Commis- 

Bahcock, A. L. Six birds' skins; from Massachusetts. 

Babson, Fitz J. (See Washington, D. C, United States Fish Commis- 

Bahson, Fitz J., jr. {See Washington, D. C, Unite<l States Fish Com^ 

Babson, William E. (See Washington, D. C, United States Fish Com- 

Baird, Prof. S. F. Five gudgeons {Hybognatkus regius), from Babeock 
Lake; three terrapins, from the Susquehanna Eiver. 

Baker, Captain. (See Washington, D. C, United States Fish Commis- 

Banta, W. V. and J. Garrison. Bones of human skeleton; taken froni 
Indian mound at Salem, Iowa. 

Barber, E, A. Articles of Indian ornament, from Arizona and Utah; 
marine animals and Indian stoue relics, from' New Jersey, Pennsyl: 
vania, and Maryland. 


Barker, Dr. 8. W. Mad-eel {Siren lacertina) ; from Gbarleston, S. C 

Barth, Eenry. Minera] ; &om Maryland. 

BartUtt, A. {See Waahington, D. C., TTDited States Fish Commission.) 

Bassett, X. Stoue axe; from Iowa. 

Bates, James. {See Washington, B.C., United States Fisli Commission.) 

Bausettf William A. (See Washington, D. C, United States Fish Com- 

Bean, JOr. T. H. Collection of stone implements, from Eastern Penn- 
sylvania ; collection of frogs, snakes, lizards, and fishes, from Prince 
George's County, Maryland ; four specimens of fish, from Norfolk, Va. 

Beardsley, Grant Stag-beetle {Gerpkus elephas)) from North Carolina. 

Beamhamp, Rev. W. M. Five stone implements; from New York. 

Beckicith, Harney. (See King's Mountain Mine.) 

Bering, L. Seven hoses of birds' skins and twelve Indian relics ; from 

Bell, William. Specimen of iron pyrites ; from Virginia. 

Bellamy, Frank S. Box of fragmentary erennite stems, from Alabama; 

Indian relics, from Alabama and North Carolina. 
Bcndire, Capt. Charles, U. 8. A. Nest and eggs of Pasaerella townsendii 

var. sehistacea, and Clark's crow, also box of birds' skins ; from Oregon. 
Benner, B. B. Squeezed copy of rock inscription and Indian relics; 

from Virginia. 
Berlin, A. F. Oolleotions of stone implements ; from Beading, Pa. 
Bemays, Lewis A. Photographs of mummies found in forks of trees, 

Queensland, Australia. 
Berry, Henry. Steel dagger nsed by Wisconsin Indians. 
Biddle, Henry J. Box of relics exhnmed from monnd in Florida. 
Bigelow, 0. Stone implement ; from New York. 
Blackburn, Capt. William. (See Waahington, D. C, United States Fish 

Blaeliford, E. O. Many 8i>ecimen8 of fish {salmon, cod, trout, shad, &c.), 

brought to Fulton Market, New York, from various parts of the United 

Blackly, C. P. Mounted specimen of American eared grebe {Fodiceps 

auritus var. caUfomieus) ; from Kansas. 
Blake, Capt. J. 6., U. 8.B.M. Specimen of Bemom; from Rhode Island. 
Bland, Thomas. Specimens of shells (Bulimus, Paffurus, and Lignvs) ; 

from Tobago and Gonaive Islands. 
Blaichford, Capt. B. F. (See Waahington, D. C, United States Fish 

Boardman, George A. Specimens of spotted ury-month {Cryptaeanthodes 

maculatus) and stickleback {Gasterostetts biaeideatus)} from Calais, 

Boehmer, George H. Collection of " fossil-casts," from Maryland; speci- 
men of itacolumite, from North Garoliua. 
Bomar, Thomas H. Snakes (Ophibolvs getulus, Crotalua miliaris) and 

arrow-heads; from South Carolina. 


Boston, Mrs. C. B. Box of shells ; from niinois. 

Brace, Lewis J. K. Box of birds from the Bahiuua Islands. (Received 
in 1877.) 

Brackett, Col A. Q., U. 8. A. Head of eel-pout, from Little Big Horn 
Eriver, Montana; specimen of field-mouse (Arvicola), from Montana. 

Brady, Samvel. Copper spear and barrel of stone mining-hammers; 
from Michigan. 

Bran«r, William. Collection of copper and flint airow-heads; from Wis- 

Brazier, Benjamin S. (See Washington, D. C, United States Fish Com- 

Breed, E. E. Nest of " carpenter-bee." 

Braion, Fred. Specimens of arrowheads, &c. j from West Virginia and 

Breicer, Dr. T. M. Egg of Clarke's crow. 

Brewster, William. Vive skins of Sitta pusiUa. 

Briggs, Captain. (See Washington, D. C, United States Fish Com- 

Brisbane. (See (ftteemland.) 

Briit, Thomas A. Collection of Florida shells. 

Brock, B. A. Cocoons of Ce<rr<^ia silk-work ; from Virginia. 

BroAnax, Benjamin H., M. J). A fine collection of stone axes, spear 
and arrowheads, hematite plummets, &c. ; from Louisiana. 

Brown, Dr. J. J. Specimen of coral (Dipharia cerebrtformis) ; from 
Nassau, N. P. 

Brown, Stephen S. Sample of " Nicaragua " wheat ; from Waco, Texas. 

Broion, William. (See Washington, D. C, United States Fish Com- 

Bryan, Oliver Hf. Box of rude stone implements ; from Maryland. 

Burbank, Martin. (See Washington, D. C, United States Fish Com- 

Burger, Peter. Carolina rail (Porzana carolinensis)^ from Virginia. 
Burke, Henry E. (See Washington, D. C, United States Fish Commis- 
Bumes, B. J, Specimen ofmmarsMtej from Alabama. 
Bums, Thomas. (See Washington, D. C, United States Fish Commia- 

Bullocic, Theron. Copper nodule ; from Wisconsin. 

Butler, Isaae, (See Washington, D. C, United States Fish Commission.) 

Cadle, C. Indian pipe of micaceous sandstone ; from the east shore of 

Mobile Bay, Alabama. 
Calderwood, Capt. M. W. (See Washington, D. C, United States Fish 

Cambridge, Mass., Botanic Garden of Harvard University, C. 8. Sargent, 

Director. Seeds and iilants of aquatic plants {Nymphma tuberosa, 

Eumex hydrolapatum, &c.). 

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Cambridge, Mass., Museum of Comparative Zoology. Box of birds' ekins, 
bos of alcoholic specimens of gener^ natural history, and specimen 
of menhaden [Brevoortia aurea). 

Campbell, J. B, Specimens of reptiles, tartles, and batrachians ; from 

Campbell, Kent. Nest and eggs of wood pewee {Contopus virens) ; from 

Capekart, Dr. W. R. Specimens of shad and herring ; £rom Avoca,'N'. C. 

Capron, John. (See Washington, D. C, United States Fish Commis- 

Capron, General Horace. Two dressed figures representing the noble 
class of Japan. (Purchaseil.) 

Ckappell & Storer (throagk E. Q. £lackfi>rd). Large number of Trachu- 
tops erumemphthalmus. 

Carlsen, Arnold. (See Washington, D, C, United States Fish Com- 

Carritt, William. (See Washington, D. C, United States Fish Com- 

Carroll, Capt. Daniel. (See Washington, D. C, United States Fish 

Case, Thomas 8. Sjiecimen of Lota maculosa f from Missouri. 

Cavener, Nicholas. (See Washington, D. C, United States Fish Com- 

Chester, R. C. Jar of fishes, from the Potomac Eiver; model of cod- 
fish hatching apparatus. 

Chicago Academy of jSdence. Collection of shells ; from Florida. 

Childa, Edward R. (See Washington, D. C, United States Fish Com- 

. mission.) 

Churchill, R. C. Malformed robin {Turdus migratorivs) ; firom New 

Clark, Benjamin. (See Washington, D. C, United States Fish Com- 

Clark, Frank if. Water-snake j &om Spesutia Island, Maryland. 

Clark, Samuel C. "Mule-killer" {Thelypkonus gigantens), from Florida; 
arrow-heads and fragmeiitarj' lottery, from Georgia, 

Clarke, Prof. F. L. Bos of ethnological and natural-history specimens; 
from Hawaii. 

Claries, J. H. Box of fossils (fishes, &c.) ; iiom Gonnecdcat. 

Clarke, Dr. W. M. Mica arrow-head and shell; from mound in Ten- 

Clinton, Capt. George T. (See Washington, D. C, United States Fish 

Coast Wrecking Company, Ketc Tork {through W. R. T. Jones). Speci- 
men of marble bored by sponge {Cliona); taken from the wreck of 
the steamer Grecian off Long Island. 

^d by Google 


CoJby, Charles. (See Wastington, D. C, United States Fish Comniis- 

Cole^ J. R. Iron pyrites ; from Texas. 

CoIUtis, Capt. Joseph W. (See Washington, D. C, United States Fish, 

Collhw, WiUiam. (See Washington, D. C, United States Fish Commis- 

Compton, J. W. hatvai of HelopMla» anax ; &om ITorth Carohna. 

Conley, John. (See Washington, D, C, United States Fish Commis- 

Conrad, L. Specimen of mineral ; from Ohio. 

VooJc, Caleb. Two bottles of £sh-oil. 

Cook, D. 8. Stone sinker and a^e; from PennsylTania. 

Cooper, WiUiam A. Skin of Ftychorhamphus aleutumt ; tmm Santa 
Cruz, Cal. 

Cope, Prof. E. D. Two living lizards ( Crotaphytus oollaris) ; frt)m Texas. 

Coster, John. Small stone axe ; from Wisconsin. 

Crawford, General S. W, Box of geological specimens and birds ; from 

Cressy, Charles C. (See Washington, D. C, United States Fish Com- 

Crittenden, A. E, Three boxes of Indian relics ; from the Kew England 

Crooke, John J., New York, K. T. Twenty-flve pounds of pnre tin. 

Cunningham & Thompson. (See Washington, D. C, United States Fish 

Curie, Dr. T. J. Hair-worm {QorAim) ; fit)m Kentucky, 

Curtit, Captain. (See Washington, D. C, United States Fish Commis- 

Gushing, Frank H. Collections of rude potstone vessels, from Virginia 
and District of Columbia ^ living reptiles, from Virginia. 

Cuvier Club, Cincinnati, Ohio. Collection of bird-skins, fiom Indiana, 
Ohio, and Florida. 

Dall, W, H. Four specimens illustrative of the economic appUcation of 
shells ; two marine shells from Japan ; two land shells from Germany. 

Dalrymple, Dr. Specimens of Indian pottery ; fr«m Maryland. 

Danforth, John. (See Washington, D. C, United States Fish Commis- 

Davis, Mrs. Abby L. (See Washington, D. C, United States Pish Com- 

Davis, Capt. Alfred B., U. 8. B. M. Specimen of coral; from the Drj 
Tortngas, Florida. 

Darts, Henry. Samples of soil and wood; from McGregor, Indiana. 

J)ati», Joshua. Indian chunky-stone ; from District of Oolnmbia. 

Doris, L. Specimen of iron ore ; from Missouri. 

Davis, M. G. Specimen of iron ore ; fr«m Harper's Feny. 

, ,1 zed by Google 


JMvii, Mrs. Mary E. (See Washington, D. C, United States Fish Com- 

Dap, Thomas, Keeper of Seguin Light, Maine. Three fish-hooks. 

De Eart, J. N. Box of Indian bones and relics ; flxim mouud in Illi- 

Dempsey, Capt. William, (See Washington, D. C, United States Fish 

Dennis, George B. Box of sea- weed and 2^-ichiurus lepturus ; &om Mary- 

Denton, SheUey W. Eggs of burrowing owl ; from Fort Collins, Colo- 

Devan, James. (See Washington, D. C, United States Fish Commis- 

Devoe, Capt. Luke. (See Washington, D. C, United States Fish Com- 

Dexter, Newton. Eggs of Photon fiavicauda ; from Bermuda. 

Dixon, Eugene F. (See Washington, D. C, United States Fish Oom- 

Dixm, Capt. Geo. W. (See Washington, D. C, United States Fish Com- 

Doran, Thomas S. Specimens of turtles and fish ; from Montgomery, 

Douglas, W. T. Insect; from Catlett's, Va. 

Douglass, John. (See Washington, D. C, United States Fish Commis- 

.Douglass, Robert, 2d. (See Washington, D. C, United States Fish Com- 

Driggs, John W. Collection of birds' skins; from Florida, 

Driscoll, Daniel. (See Washington, D. C, United States Fish Commis- 

Duffield, U. S. 6. Malformed eggs of common hen. 

Duges, Dr. Don Alfredo. Box of natural history specimens ; from Guana- 
juato, Mexico. 

Dulaney, John. (See Washington, D. C, United States Fish Comnus- 

- sion.) 

Duncan, Capt. J. F. (See Washington, D. C, United States Fish Com- 

Earle, T. L. Small box of minerals ; from North Carolina, 

Edwards, Yijuil If. Eleven boxes of fishes collected in Vineyard Sound, 

Eggert, S. Four Uving turtles; from Missouri, 

Ellis, Albert N. Siiecimens of snakes ; from Florida. 

Ellis, J. B. Collection of North American fungi. 

Espersen, Henry, Surveyor-General (tf Dakota, Two packages of minerals; 

from Dakota. 
Etzel, C. Stone axe; from Wisconsin. 

i by Google 


£vam, Samuel B. Four stone implements, from Iowa j easts of stone 
axe and pipe irom Kansas. 

Unans, W. W. A large collection of pottery, silver and copper idols, 
bronze implement, and e^ of emn; from Pern. Also, 27 sbeets of 
photo^aphs of Peruvian antiquities. 

Ferguson, Mr. [through 0. C. Treadtcay), Specimens of minerals; from 
Big Sioux Kiver, Iowa. 

Finseh, Dr. Otto. Twelve species of Siberian fishes. 

Firth, William A. Three samples of diatomaceous earths; from Ireland. 

Flanojfan, A. H. Collection of stone implements and potterj-, and hiunau 
and animal bones; from a mound in Virginia. 

Flinty Dr. Earl. Two boxes of fossils and alcoholic specimens; two 
boxes ethnological specimens ; from Nicaragua. 

Floyd, Joseph D. (See Washington, D. C, United States Fish Com- 

Fox, F. N. {through Rev. J. J. JUcOoofc). Bough stone axehead, frag- 
ment of celt, and fragment of pottery ; from Niantic, Conn. 

Foster, Mrs. Abner. Box of stone implements; from lUinots. 

JVaTMW, Museum of Natural History. Collection of fishes fifna the Medi- 
terranean Sea and rivers of France. 

Frazer, Charles. Pottery figure; from Botica, Puerto Plata. 

French, 8. Levin. Four boxes of "American sardines." 

Friend, Sidney. {See Washington, D. C, United States Fish Commis- 

Qaffnmj, William M. (See Washington, D. C, United States Fish Com- 

Gaines, A. 8., a/nd K, M. Cunningham. Terra-cotta mask; from vicinity 
. of Mobile, Ala. 

Oalbraith, F. O. Four boxes of stone implemeirts, collection of alcoholic 
fishes, insects, &c., and a small living alligator; from Eastern Penn- 

Garret, W. M. Pottery fragments, spear-head, and quarts crj-stal ; ttom 

Gates, D. C. (through Bev. J. J. McCook). Stone chisel ; from Niantic, 

Gatscliet, A. 8. Samples of the food of the Klamath Indians of Oregon. 

Gere, J, E. Collection of copper knives, spear and arrow beads, taasses 
of native copper and flint arrowheads, stone axes, &c. ; from Wiscon- 

Germany, Berlin Museum, T>r. E. von Martin. Nine species of shells. 

Gerrard, Edward, Jr. Sixteen mounted specimens of English quail, 
woodcock, and snipe. (Purchased.) 

Gessner, William. Collection of Indian arrow-heads, &c. ; from Ala- 

GetcheUy Capt. John Q. (See Washington, D. C, United States Fish 

,:,i.ed by Google 


Gibba, George J. Collection of ethnologica; from Grand Turk, West 

Gibbt, J. D. Three malformed feet of pig. 

Gilbert, Rev. C. A. CoUectLou of shella,'insectB, fossils, &c. ', from Florida. 

Ginnevaji, Thomas, and Philip Merekant. (See Washington, D. 0., United 
States Oommission.) 

Oitkens, W. S. Box of shells and casta of Indian relics ; from Illinois. 

Goddimj, Dr. W. W. Si>ecimen in flesh of bear ( Ursus americanus). 

Ooff, George P. " Sea-dollar" ; irom Galveston, Tex, 

Ooode, F. C. Collection of living snakes; from Florida. 

Goode, G. Brown. Tank ofalcoliolicfislies and three boxes living snakes 
and tortlea, from Florida ; box of fishes, corals, &c., fiom Cliarlestou, 
S. C. ; three cans alcoholic fishes, fiom Bermuda. Also, fresh speci> 
mens of shad, from the St John's Biver, Florida. 

Goodrich, Wilbur F. Specimens of fiingi ; fh)m Massachusetts. 

Goodwin, Thomas. (See Washington, D. C, United States Fish Com- 

Gore, R. Specimen of ore; from Pennsylvania. 

Gorton, Blnde tfc Co. (See Washmgton, D. C, United States Fish Com- 

Goalin, Copt. Joseph, {See Washington, D. C, United States Fish Com- 

©OSS, JJT. 8. Skin of Panis atricapiUvM ; fiwm Wisconsin. 

Gourvilte, Capt. John. {See Washington, D. C, United States Fish 

Green, F. C. Box of stone implements and collection of minerals; frxini 

Green, Dr. Samuel A, Cast of Indian pot found at Canterbury, N. H. . 

Groenleaf, Capt. WilUam H. {See Washington, D. C, United States 
Fish Commission.) 

Griffih, William. Two roe-shad ; from the Ohio River. 

Griiber, Ferdinand. Two living turtles {Clielopva marmoratm); fi«m 

Gunnan, Miss Bessie C. Scale of tarpum {Megalt^ thrissoides) ; from 
near Norfolk, Va. 

ffaihck, Vharhs. Siieeimen of Corefjomis quadrilateralis ; from Michigan. 

HamUn, Capt. Peter. (See Washington, D. C, United States Fish Com- 

Hardenhurgh, A. R., United States Surveyor-General, California. Collec- 
tion of the ores of various mines in California* 

ffarker, 0. H, Collection of minerals; from Colorado. 

Harris, R. 8. Specimen of itacolumite ; from Kortk Carolina. 

Sartsfield, John M. Skink snake, from North Carolina ; and eggs of 
white-eyed flycatcher, from Delaware. 

Harvey, Edicard. (See Washington, D. C, United States Fish Com- 

i by Google 


Sarvey^ Kev. M. Alcoholic specimeus of capelin; from Newfoundland. 

Haskell, Samriel. (See Washington, D. C, United States Fish Commis- 

Eatiin, 8. 2). Flint arrow-head^ from Tennessee. 

Hawkins, Capt. James. (See Washington, D. C, United States Fish 

HaickinSf Capt. Z. (See Washington, D. C, United States Fish Com- 

Earneua, , Stockkolm, Sweden. Series of ma»a&u!tared flre-bricks, 

Hagward, F. W. Box^ of riee plants, tank of alcoholic fishes, reptiles, 
&C., hving sx>ecimeas of mud-puppy [Siren Uwertina), and living snap- 
ping-turties ; fvom South Carolina. 

Haywood, W, P. Two ved ants ; from Kew Jersey. 

Helper, H. B. {through George HilUer). Saw of sawfish {Pristis anti- 

Hemphill, Henry, Collection of land and fresh-water Bhells, £h>m Utah; 
collection of shells and fossils, from California. 

Hempstead, Hlias. Bos of ethnological specimens; from Santa Bosa 
Island, Florida. 

Henderson, Judge J. 6. Bos of ethnological specimens; fix>ni Illinois. 

Henderson, Mr. {through I)r. H. B. Noble). Slate carving; from the 
Northwest coast of America. 

Hmdrieka, Lindsley. Mineral; from Texas. 

Hensharo, H. W. Living tnrtle {Cistudo dausa clausa) and nest and 
eggs of Seiurus auroeapillus and Turdits mustelinus ; from Washington, 
D. 0. 

Hering, Dr. C. J. Collection of alcohoHc mammals, reptiles, Insects, 
&C. ; from Snrinam. 

Herring, Richard. (See Washington, D. C, United States Fish Com- 

Hessel, Rudolph. Two specimens of snake {Tri^idonoius sipedon) ; from 
Baltimore, Md. ; and one of Hyla arborea, from Germany. 

Hewitt, Isaac L. (See Washington, D. C, United States Fish Commis- 

Higbie, A. B., & Co. Specimen of T^rodon liBvigatus; fh>m off Cape 

Higgins & Qiffiird. (See Wafihington, D. C, United States Fish Com- 

Hillier, Fred. (See Washington, D. C, United States Fish Commission.) 

Hirst, F. Specimens of amblystoma and larvie and fishes {Potamocottvs), 
from Utah ; and fishes {Potamoeottus, Gatostomus), from Wyoming. 

Hitchcock, Prof. E. Casts of Indian vessels. 

Hitekcock, George N. Specimens of living turtles ; from California. 

BiU, Dr. D. F. Box of fossil plants; from Illinois. 

Hodgson, Capt. T. F. (See Washington, D. C, United States Fish Gom- 

,.. I,, Google 


Sodgkina, Edward W. (See Washington, D. C, United States Fish 

Holbrook, W. C. Flint arrow-head, stalagmite, fossil shell and bone of 
human foot ; from Illinois. 

HoUenAmk, H. W. Box of minerals ; from Pennsylvania. 

Eomaiie, Capt. Charles A. (See Washington, D. C, United States Fish 

Soran, Scnrjf. Turtle {Clielopm guttatm); from Washington D. C. 

Horod, G. H. Two fossil teeth of horse. 

Hough, Dr. F. S, Cast of tusk of fossil depbant, found near Copen- 
hagen, K. Y. 

Hoy, Oeo. W. (See Washington, D. C, United States Fish GommiGsion.) 

Hog, R. R. Snake ( Coluber) and turtles ( Chrysemya) ; from Michigan. 

Huhregtse, A. Three arrow-heads. 

Hudson, J. M. Pharyngeal teeth of sheeps-head. 

Hughes, W. If. Specimen of fossil coral} from Tennessee. 

Hunt, Henry C Four articles of native dress ; from Pern and Bolivia. 

Sunt, Ca§t. H. W. Samples of cordage and dnck manufactured by the 
Kussian Government.. 

Hurlbert, Capt B. H. (See Washington, D. C, United States Fish 

Hues, Oscar U, Specimens of woods, teas, and ethnologica ; from Urn- 
gnay, Paraguay, Chile, and Argentine Republic. 

Hutchinson, Dr. Edwin. Pour small terra-cotta masks ; from near San 
Juan de Teotihnacan, Mexico. 

Illinois State Laboratory. Living turtle. 

India, Kurrachee Municipal LiWary and Museum, James A. Murray, 
Curator. Collection of skins, heads and skulls of East Indian mam- 

IngersoU, T, Dwight. Specimens of shells; from Lake Erie. 

Irion, Dr. I. L. Spear-head and skull of alligator; from Texas. 

Irwin, Alexander H. Sample of poUshed fossiliferous stone, 

•TooAwon, Dr. E. E. Specimens of turtles, salamanders, and fishes ; from 
South Carolina. 

James, Dr. Frank L. Collection of pottery and stone implements; from 

Jamestm, John 8. (See Washington, D. C, United States Fish Commis- 

Jefferson, Lieut. J. P., XJ. 8. A. Specimen otAulostoma cohrata; fix)m 
the Dry Tortngas, Florida. 

Jellow, JohnH. (See Washington, D, C, United States Fish Commis- 

Jenison, 0. A. Collection of stone axes, knives, fleshers, &c.; from 

Jenks, J. W. P. Lot of stone hammers found in old steatite gnany near 
Providence, B. I. 



Jenner, David. Copper spear-Iiead ; from 'Wiscoasin. 

Jeaett, Thomas. (See Waahiiigton, D. C, United States Fisli Commis- 

Johnson^ Capt. George A. (See Washiugton, D. C, United States Fisli 

JoJimon, Capt. Peter. {See Washington, D. C, United States Fish Com- 

JiiAnson, Mr. {through J. E. Gere). Copper nodnle; from Wisconsin. 

Kaueher, WiUiam. Samples of fire-clay ; from Wisconsin. 

Kearney, William. {See Washington, D. C, United States Fish Com- 

ifeep, Joaiah. Package of diatomaceoas earth, from Massachusetts; 
alcoholic specimens of Certtkidea sacrata^ from Lake Merritt, Cali- 

Keitkl^, Mrs. E. (tkrottgh Sev. F. B. Scheetz). Large stone celt ; from 

KeUer, John. Stone axe ; from Missouri. 

Kervey, H. F. Specimens of skins, nests, and eggs of birds, mammalg, 
minerals, and Indian relics ; from Maryland and Pennsylvania, 

Kilpalrick, Capt. Briggs. {See Washington, D.' C, United States Fish 

- Commission.) 

King, Jamet. Three malformed eggs of domestic hen. 
r, XMrMn. Mineral ; from Texas, 

, W. A. (See Washington, T>. C, United States Fish Commission.) 
^s Mountain Mine, Sorth Carolina, Harney Beckwith, President. Ma- 
linMy used in extracting gold at, and a series of the ores of, the 
King's Mountain Mine. 

Kippen, John. {See Washington, D. C, United States Fish Commis- 

Klotz, H. B, Living iguana; from Kavassa, W. I, 

Knowles, Mr. Dried sound of bake. 

Kocher, J. F. Three fcetal flying squirrels {Pteromys volucella) ; ft«m 

KoUmann, Dr. -Collection of crania of the natives of Hungary, Austria, 
and Bavaria. 

Kvmlien, I/uduiig. Skin, nest, and eggs of Zonotrichia coronata; from 
Shasta, California. Also 24 boxes of general natural history and eth- 
nological eollectione ; from Cumberland Island and Greenland. 

Lake, C. W. Block of black-ash ; from Michigan. 

ZaJceman, J. (See Washington, D. C, United States Fish Commission,) 

Lamstm, J. S., (6 BroUter. Arrowhead and earth ; from ancient gi'ave 
in Chiriqui, Central America. 

Langdon, Frank W. Collection of birds' skins and ethnological speci- 
mens ; from Ohio. 

Larlcin, John. (See Washington, D. C, United States Fish Commis- 
sion.) ^ 


i by Google 


Lauennann, Peter. . Collection of fliQt arrow-heads, copper knife, two 
dBTts, and nodule ; from Wisconsin. 

Lawrence, J. J. Intsect; fiom Beresford, Florida. 

Lawaon, James. Specimen of asbestos; from Alabama, 

VAeee, M. 8. Specimen of caJc-spar; fi>im Texas. 

Ze Blanc, Simon, (See WasLington, D. C, United States Fish Commis- 

Leonard, William. Specimen of ore ; from Pennsylvania. 

Leslie, C. C. Many ttesh specimens of fish from Charleston, S. C, mar- 

Let^rmann, George W. Shell of periwinkle. 

Lewis, James. Two boxes of living snails ( Yivipara eontectoides) ; fcom 
Mohawk, K. T. 

Lewis, W. ff. Cast of canoe-shaped object, ftom Seneca Lake, New 
York ; and box of minerals, from Westchester Gonuty, New Yprk. 

Lieber, H. Quartz pebble with adherent mica. 

LloyA, J. D. (See Washington, D. C, United States Fish Commission.) 

Locke, W. M. Two boxes of stone implements ; from Ohio and Western 
New York. 

Lovett, Dr. A. A. Specimen of petrified coral ; from Indiana. 

Iiow, Maj. J). W., Postmaster, Qloueester, Mass. Collection of fossilifer- 
our rocks ; from George's Banks. 

Lowe, Francis A. Specimens of copper and silver ores and amethyst; 
from the north shore of Lake Superior. 

Lundberg, John A. (See Wajdungtou, D. C, United States Fish Com- 

Lytte,A. E. Thirty-two si)ecimens of Cisco [Argyrosomvs) ; from Geneva 
Lake, Wisconsin. 

McBride, Sara J. Twelve samples of artificial trout-flies, 

McClelland, Br. M. A. Collection of stone implements ; frxim Bliuois. 

McGollum, George. (See Washington, D. C, United States Fish Com- 

McCook, Rev. J. J. Two human crania and box of ludiaji reUcs ; ftom 
Niantic, Conn. 

McCormick, E. Q. Stone image (bead); iVom Missouri. 

McCoKn, General J. P. Box of ethnological and natural history speci- 
mens ; from Arkansas. 

McDoTuild, Duncan. (See Washington, D. C, United States Fish Com- 

McDonald, James and John I). (See Washington, D. C, United States 
Fish Commission.) 

McDonald, Capt. Jerome. (See Washington, D. C, United States Fish 

McDonald, MarsUall. Specimen of Dufrinite; from Virginia. 

McDonald, Capt Mattltevi. (See WasJiiugton, D. C, United States Fi^ 

.y Google 


McDonald, Miles. {See WasMngton, D. C, United States Fish Commis- 

McDonald, Copt. WiUiam. (See Washington, D. 0., United States Fiah 

McEaehem, Daniel. (See Washington, D. C, United States Fish. Com- 

McElderry, Dr. Henry, U. 8. A. Package of marine diatoma ; from Fort 
Monroe, Va. 

MeEntire, Daniel. (See Washington, D. C, United States Fish Com- 

McGinnia, Captain. (See Washington, D. C, United States Fish Com- 

MeOvire, J. C, Lot of fragmentary steatite vessels ; firom Grimes Place, 

McQuirtyJ.D. Three poiished-stonearrov-heads; frtHo Howard Gonnty, 

Melnnig, L. L. Chrysalis (tf moth ; from Texas. 

McKinley, William. Stone tuhe; from Georgia. 

McKinnon, Copt D. (See Washington, D. C, United States Fish Com- 

McKinwm, Capt. John. (See Washington, D. C, United States Fish 

Melfeill, J. A. {tkroitgh J. 8. Lamson & Co.). Nest and eggs of tinamoo ^ 
from Ghiriqui, U. S. of Colombia. 

MePkee, Capt. y. (See Washington, D. C, United States Fish Commia- 

McQuinn, MidMeL (See Washington, D. C, United States Fish Coin- 

McQuinn, Edward. (See Washington, D. C, United States Fiah Com- 

Madden, Henry F. (See Washington, D. 0., United States Fish Com- 

Maggsy P. F. Moth ; from Indiana. 

Manajietd, James, t6 Sons, (See Washington, D. C, United States Fish 

Martin, Capt. George H. (See Washington, D. 0., United States Fish 

Martin, 8. J, (See Washington, D. C, United States Fish Commission.) 

MargJiaU, Henry, Living snake (Heterodan) ; from Maryland. 

Mason, Fro/. 0. T. Nest of meadow-lark {StKmella magna). 

Mamn, Peter. (See Washington, D. 0., United States Fish Commis- 

Mason, Hon. Boswell H., U. 8. Surveyor-General, Montana. A large col- 
lection of minerals fr^>m varions mines in Montana. 
Masterson, Thomas. Glass and shell beads and fragments of Indian pipes ; 
tmm Western Pennsylvania. 

.j.r zed by Google 


MaiJier, Fred. Two crustaceans. 

Matteson, F. 8. Bat ( Veapertilio pruinoaus) ; from Oregon. 

MaltkeiDS, Dr. Edward, U. S. N. Jar of flslies, reptiles, and inverte- 
brates ; from Santo Domingo. 

Mauler, Eugene. Samples of diatomaceous earths ; from Italy, Jutland, 
and Bohemia. 

Maw, Richard (through Anderiton Merchant & Co., yew York). Collec- 
tion of tiles, pottery, and majolica, exhibited at the Permanent Exhibi- 
tion, Philadelphia, ]?a. 

Meek, James. {See Washington, D. C, United States Fish Commis- 

Meigs, GeneralM. C, U. S. A. Indian pipe of catlinite. \\ 

Menezer, Joseph. (See Washington, D. C, United States Fish Commis- 

Mercer, R. W. Collection of stone axes, arrow -htads, &c.; from 

Merchant, George J. (See Washington, D. C, United States Fish Com- 

Merchant, Philip. (See Washington, X>. C, United States Fish Commis- 

Merrill, Dr. J. C, U. 8. A. Box of mammal and bird skins ; from 

JIfmco, SaUonal Museum of, 0. Mendoza, Director. A T.aluable coUectioa 
of ancient Mexican pott«iy and stone relics. 

Middleton, Carman & Co., New Yorl:. Two shad I^Alosa sapidissitna). 

Middleiowa, Conn., Museum of Weslegan College. A collection of fishes 
ih)m Bermuda and one of reptiles from the !New England States. 

Miller, J. D. Eattlesnake (Crotalits) ; from Kew York. 

Miller, Thomas I. Si>eGimen of iron ore ; from West Virginia. 

Milner, J. W. Shells ( Vtripara gcorgiana), from Lake Monroe, Florida ; 
BsAiaon (Salmo salar), ^m Chesapeake Bay, Maryland ; box of living 
salamanders (Plethodon gluUnoms), from Albemarle Sound, North Car- 

MiteJicll, B. Specimens of ethnologica; from Illinois. 

Mitchell, 6. M. Specimen of "Qnillback" {Carpiodes s^.) ; tcoxn. Illi- 

Mitckell, Mr. (through Hon. George Williamson, United States Minister to 
, Central America). Fcetal shovel-nosed shark from Aci^utla, Sal- 
Mobius, Prof. Karl. Collection of moUusca ; from Germany. 
Mohr, C. Box of ethnological specimens ; from Alabama. 
Moody, H. A. Specimen of kaolin ; from Mississippi. 
Moore, Mr. H. C. (See Washington, D. Q , United States Fish Commis- 

Moore. (See Porter, Dr. J. T., U. S. A.) 

Morris, A. P., Jr. Skull of possum {Dideiphys virginimw.) 



Morris, Edward 8., & Co. Package of seeds of Liberian coffee plant. 

Marrisey, Capt. Daniel C. (See Washington, D. C. United States Fisli 

Mortnset/, James D. (See Washington, D. C, United States Fish Com- 

Morrison, Capt, M, Sf, (See Washington, D. C, United States Fish 

Morse, Prof. E. 8. Collection of ethnologica, fishes and two rodents ; 
from Japan. 

Morsfelder, George. Copijer spear-head ; from Wisconsin. 

Mortimer, Capt. J. H. Collection of dried marine animals ; from the 
equatorial Pa«iflc 

MotaUi Iron and Steel Manufactm-ing Company, Sweden, Collection of 
manufactnred steel and iron, being their exhibit at the International 
Exhibition, 1876, at Philadelphia, Pa. 

Jfunroe, Prof. Charles, E., U. 8. N. Box of eocene tertiary fossils ; dova 
Sonth Biver, Md. 

Murphy, J. {See Washington, D. C, United States Fish Commission.) 

Mvrphy, Michael J. (See Washington, D, C, United States Pish Com- 

Murphy, Capt. Mehola9. (See Washington, D. C, United States Pish 

Murray, Batnd. Irving turtle ; from EUaville, Phu 

Mynster, William A. Two salmon; firom Iowa. 

Xelaon, E. W., Signal Service, TJ. 8. A. Nineteen boxes of general nat- 
ural history and ethnological specimens; fivm Saint Michaels, Alaska. 

Neoins, Rev. R. D. Upper jaw of Sypaifario Kennerlyi ; fr^m Oregon. 

yew Jersey, College of Princeton, JT, J. Plaster casts of stone imple- 

A'ew Zealand, Auckland Mmeum, T. F. Cheeseman, Curator. Twenty-one 
crania of the Maori. 

Sewberry, Dr. J, S, Specimens of silicifled wood; from California and 
Antigua, W, I. 

Xewlon, W. 8. Specimens of Prodnetva punctatus ; from Kansas. 

2feu>man, William P. Bone of turtle ; from mound in Alabama. 

Xesbit, John. Specimen of phosphatic rock ; from Georgia. 

yoble. Dr. E. JB. Carved duck-shaped stone ; from Northwest coast. 

Xolan, Joseph. (See Washington, D. C, United States Fish Com- 

NorriSj J. E. Specimen of ore fixjm the Gila mine, Nevada. 

Xorris, P. W., Superintendent of Yellowstone Nationai Park. Collection 

of minerals, pottery, and stone implements. 
Xorton, Dr. {through Rev. F. B. Scheetz). Specimens of aboriginal stone 

implements ; from Missouri. 
Norway, W, E. Specimens of invertebrate fossils ; fr^m Califomia. 
8. Mis. 59 7 

.y Google 


Nott, W. B. {through Rev. F. B. Scheetz). Perforated tablet; from Mis- 

Nye, WiUar^,jr. Specimens of 6asterostemJn(umleatw8 ; from'Sew'Bed- 
ford, Mass. 

Ober, F. A. Seven boxes of general natoml history and ethnological 
specimena ; from various islands of the West Indies. 

Olmsted, E. B. Box of stone implements; from Illinois, 

OUen, Cwptain. (See Washington, D. C, United States Fish Commis- 

Orme, yvilliam & Sons. Large living spider. 

Osborne, L. C. Two oval homstone disks ; from Illinois. 

Osgood, F. Storeif. Two si)ecimen8 of mineral ; from Massachusetts. 

Otis, Dr. George A. Two living iguanas; fi«m Navassa, West Indies. 

Palmer, Joseph, Mounted head of Vfrginia deer and specimen of snake 
{Ophibolus doliatm); from Virginia. 

Palmer, William. Living snake (IVopWoreoiMS svpeSon); from Virginia. 

Parsons, John. (See Washington, D. C, United States Fish Commis- 

Paraom, William, (See Washington, D. C, United States Fish Com- 

Peacoel; J. 8. Jaw of shark {Eulcemia MilberU.) 

Pearee, F. A. (See Washington, D. C, United States Fish Commis- 

Pease, A. P. L. Stone mortar; fit)m Ohio. 

Pease, W. B. Insect; from New Mexico. , 

Peel, J. P. Specimen of mineral ; from Texas. 

Pendleton, A, 0., Deputy Surveyor, Arvsmia. Specimens of gold, silver, 
and copper ores; from Arizona. 

Pensacola Ice Compwny, Florida, Many fl^sh specimens of fish taken in 
the vicinity of Pensacola, Fla. 

Pergande, Theodore. Stone axe; from Missouri. 

Peterson, Martin, and Dennis Tkeleueng. {See Washington, D. C, United 
States Fish Commission.) 

PeteraoTi, M. B. (See Washington, D. C, United States Fish Commis- 

Pettibone, William. Taylor-shad [Dorysoma cepedianum) ; fifom the Poto- 
mac Eiver. 

Petitingill & Cunningham. (See Washington, D. C, United States Fish 

Pfdl, John. Two fossils and two copper spear-heads ; from Wisconsin. 

Philadelphia, Zoological Society of, A. F. BrowTi, Superintendent. Speci- 
men in flesh of Barbary Wild Sheep {Ocia tragelaphvs.) 

Phillips, D, A. Box of remains fiy>m Indian tamnli in Pennsylvania. 

Phillips, J. P. Specimens of smelt; from Hancock County, Maine. 

Pengry, John T, Tarpum {Megalaps thrissoides); from Long Branch, 

^d by Google 


Foey, Prof. Felipe. Collection of turtles and fishes stuffed and dried ; 
from Cuba. 

FoUen, Alfred. (See Washington, D. C, United States Fish Commis- 

Forter, ff. ff. Specimens of artificially raised lake-, brook-, and salmon- 

Porter, Dr. J. Y., XI. 8. A., and Mr. Moore, Keeper of Loggerhead Light, 
Florida. Collection of fishes; from the Dry Toi-tugas, Florida. 

Potter, Thomas. Specimens of clay from 60 fathoms deep in Long Island 

Fowel, Hon. Samuel. Collection of marine fishes; from Newport, E. I. 

Freston, D. A. Box of lead and zinc ores; from Joplin, Mo. 

Princeton, N. J., College of Sew Jersey. Casts of stone implements. 

Pringle, 0. M. Specimens of mineral; from Oregon. 

Purman, D. Oray. Specimens of lead and zinc ores, 

Putnam, Thomas J. Two "fool-fish" {Flmroneel^ glaber); from Salem, 

Queensland Acclimatization Society, Australia, Lewis A. Bemays, Vice- 
President. Sponge gemmules from river in Western Australia. 

Quinlion, J. W. Teeth of fossil elephant, horse, and shark; fixim Bull 
Eiver, South Carolina. 

RadcUffe, William H. (See Washington, D. C, United States Fish Com- 

Randle, Prof. E. R. Box of stone relies and minerals; from Kentucky. 

Eau, Charles. Casl^of ceremonial spear-head, from Saint Clair County, 
Illinois ; and bat { Vespertilio), from Washington, D. 0. 

Bced, M. C. Specimen of shell conglomerate ; from Ohio. 

Beed, Thomas. Living iguana ; from Navassa, West Indies. 

BeidfA.J. Specimens of fish {N^otemigonusekrysolettcus)^ from the Fox 
Eiver, Wisconsin. 

Sejfnolds, A. M. Specimens of minerals. 

Beynolds, Elmer B. Two boxes of fossils, fragmentary pottery, and 
arrow-heads ; from Virginia. 

Beynolds, J. H. Collection of stone relics and pottery ; from West TLr- 

Rhodes, B. Y. Large bug ; tcom Indiana. 

Rich, Capt. A. F., Boston, Maes. (See Washington, D. C, United States 
Fish Commission.) 

Bichmond, A. 6. Cast of ludiau stone ornament. 

Bidgwap, Boltert. Four boxes of general natural-history specimens; 
principally fh>m Illinois. 

Biley, William. (See Washington, D. C, United States Fish Com- 

Boach,David. (See Washington, D.C., United States Fish Commission.) 

Bobbins, Eliaha. String of cells of periwinkle. 



Eoberts, N. K Four lining turUeB [Ciatudo); fi^am Fairfax County, 

Boessler, A. E. Specimens of jasper; from Korth CaroliDa. 

Sogers, . Samples of various kinds of fish-glue. 

Eomig, Bet. B. Two boxes of shells, fossils^ and woods ; ^m Antigna, 
West ludiea. 

Bonex, W. J. Tail of milk-snake {Coluber eximius). 

Btx^, C Five small arrow-heads; from Oregon. 

Boi», A. G. Three hozes of Indian stone relics; from Ohio. 

Rosser, B. B. {through Rev. F. B. Scheetz). Part of flint ceremonial im- 
plement ; from Missouri. 

Roipe, Qem-ge T. (See Washington, D. C, United States Fish Oom- 

Rowe, Capt. John. (See Washington, D. C, United States Fish Com- 

Bowe, Timothy S. (See Washington, D. C, United States Fish Com- 

Bust, Miss Carrie A. (See Washington, D. C, United States Fish Com- 

Bust, H. N. Cast of Frankhn on King cent of the United States, 1787. 

Rust, John B. Double-headed lamh. 

Rusma. Herbarium of Botanic Gardens, St. Petersburg, C. J. MoMmowicz, 
Director. Over two hnndred species of Japanese plants. 

Ruth, Dr. M, L., U. 8. 2f. Collection of alcoholic reptOes and fishes; 
from the Madeira Blver, BraziL 

Sale, C. J. Beetle ; from Virginia, 

Sammia, Col, J. 8. Specimen of living snake {Abastor erythrogrammm); 
from Florida. 

Sandvik Iron and Steel WorJcs, Sweden. Collection of manufactured iron 
and steel, being their exhibit at the International Exhibition, 1S76, at 

Sanford, R. 6. Fossiliferoua boulder; fi^m George's Banks. 

Sargent, Senator A. A. Box of fossils ; from Calitbrnia. 

Saunders, Soward. Five skins of gulls and terns; from Europe. 

Savage, Joseph. Box of invertebrate fossils ; from Kansas. 

Sayler, Marcus. Collection of Indian stone Implements; from Ohio and 

Sayward, K P., jr. (See Washington, D. C, United States Fish Com- 

Schanno, Joseph. Sample of fir-sngar ; from Washington Territory. 

Schneck, Dr. J. A large collection of Uving turtles and terrapins, and 
a box of water-plants ; from Illinois. 

Scott, George W. (See Washington, D. C, United States Pish Com- 

Scupham, J. B. Small reptile ; flrom Kern County, CaUfOTuia. 

Sells, P. R. Box of stone Implements and pottery; from Georgia. 


Seniiett, George B. A collection of bird-akios ; from Fort Brown, Texas. 

Serviss, E. F. Box of ethnological specimens ; from Kansas. 

Shelby, D. Parasphenoid bone of alligator-gar. 

Sliemeliu, Joseph P. (See Washington, D. C, United States Fish Com- 

SA^neUn, James C. (See Washington, D. C, United States Fish Com- 

Shindler, A. Z., and George H. Boehmer. Large stone axe; from Vir- 

8ib}^, H. F. Specimens of st^ne implements ; from Illinois. 

Silva-Terra, Anton. (See Washington, D. C, United States Fish Com- 

Simong, Copt. A. {See Washington, D. C, United States Fish Commis- 

Sijigleton, John, Copper chisel ; from Ulinoia. 

Small, George. Specimens of alewivea; from Bucksport, Me. 

Small, U, F. Specimen of " spinous shark " {EcMnorhinua spinosus) ; 
flx)m Provincetown, Mass. 

Smifli & Oalces. (See Washington, D. C, United States Fish Commis- 

Smith, Douglas B. Specimens of shells and beads; from Evanston, HI. 

Smith, Jacob. Skin of Wilson's phalarope {Plialaropus tcilsonU) ; from 

Smith, James A, Series of manufactured clay tobaeco-pipes. 

Smith, Prof. H. L. Four alewives (Pomohbus v&malis) ; fh>m Geneva, 
X. T. 

Smith, John L. (See Washington, D. C, United States Fish Commis- 

SmitJi and OaJces. Specimen of yellow cod (Oadua morrhua)', from 
Gloucester, Mass. 

Snyder, T. W. Five invertebrate fbssils ; from Illinois. 

Soren^en, John P. Specimen of ore ; from Utah. 

Southiciclc, J. M. K. Two samples of codfish-hooks, 

Sautter, August. Case of mounted birds and photographs, 

Spalding, B. M, (through Bev. F. B. Scheetz). Two stone axes; from 

Sperry, Mrs. James L. Eight skius of California birds. 

Spurr, Captain. (See Washington, D. C, United States Fish Commis- 

Stabler, J. P. Specimens of living snakes ; from Maryland. 

StansJce, Charles. Copper nodule and stone axe ; from Wisconsin. 

Staples, Fdwin B. Two boxes Indian relies, one box turtles {Pseudemgs 
miAilieTisis), and shell raouth-peg; from Florida. 

Stearns, Silas. Ten boxes of specimens of fish and shell, including type 
of new fish, CaulolaUlus microps Goode & Beau; from Florida, 



Steele, TT.JT. Living snake {Ophibolua doliatus doliatm); from Maiy- 

iStevens, Jame8 A. Collection of shells; from Suniiuit County, Ohio. 
Steioart, W. E. Five shad {Alosa sapidi^ima); specimen of Elops eau- 

rut; from the Potomac Biver. 
Stone, Livingston. liarge collection of alcoholic fishes, from the McClood 

River, California ; also, one box fossils, from California. 
Story, L. D. (See Washington, D. C, United States Fish Commission.) 
S/ottt, W. 0. Branchial apparatus of Lepidosteus. 
Studley, Edicin. Gtrooved atone axe ; from Wisconsin. 
Sumner, M, T.,jr. Sections of oak showing old surveyor's marks. 
Sutherland, John. Specimen of land-locked salmon (^Salmo solar, var. 

seboffo) ; from the Merrimac River. 
Swan, James 6. Collection of fishes, in alcohol; and specimens of bone 

implements used by the Haidah Indians ; from Washington Territoi^. 
Sweden, Academy of Sciences, Stockholm. Ten species of shells ; from 

Nova Zembla. 
Sweeney, EranJc. (See Washington, D. C, United States Fish Commis- 


Sweet, Capt. William E. (See Washington, D. 0., United States Fish 

Symmes, Bee. Frawns M. Box of ethnological specimens ; fcom Orange 
Coanty, Indiana. 

Tarr, Capt, James. (See Washington, D. C, United States Fish Com- 
■ Tarr, James G. (See Washington, D. C, United States Fish Commis- 

Taikam tfe Co., Ne>B York. Bag of " dust " shot. 

Taylor, Eee. Horace J. Collection of shells, beetles, and ethnological 
specimens ; from the Gilbert and Marshall Islands. 

Tltompaon, Capt. WiUiam. (See Washington, D. C, United States Fish 

Thompson, W. H. Mass of quartz crystals ; from Tye River, Virginia. 

Thomson, J. R. Crab taken from hold of the bark Osprey, New Bed- 
ford, Mass. 

Tliorpe, Rev. Thomas M, Wing and bill of woodpecker and four hickory- 
nuts; from Arkansas. 

Tobey, Gerard C. Squilla; from Buzzard's Bay, Rhode Island. 

Toellner, A. Fragments of human skull and pottery ; £ix>m mound in 

Towers, David, living slug; from Washington, D. C. 

Towner, Wayne. Gypsum ; from Pennsylvania. 

Tresilian, Thomas. (See Washington, D, C, Uiuted States Fish Com- 

Triece, W. G. Specimens of snake and turtle ; from Fenn^'Ivania. 

.,,1 zed by Google 


Turner, G. W. 8. Four arrow-heads ; from Virginia. 

Turner, L. M. Turtle {Maiacoclemmya peudo-geographicus) ; from Soutii' 

em Illinois. 
Turner, Mrs. M. M. Tliree boxes of living turtles ; from Southern Illi- 
Turkey. Robert College, Constantinople. Collection of bird-skins. 
Tan Byclc, W. T, Three boxes of general natural -history collections ; 

fxora. Syria. 
Van Hook, J. C. Snake [Coluber obsoletus obsoletus); from Virginia. 
Vance, James A, Mineral; from Arban sag. 
Velie, Br. J. W. Collection birds' eggs and shells, fit)m Florida; cast 

of stone axe, two living turtlea and living snake, fi«m Illinois. 
Voss, A. (See Washington, D. C, United States Fish Commission.) 
Wade,Joseph M. Pectoral of flying-flsh, taken in the South Pacific Ocean. 
Walker, Ih; B. L. Four living hell-benders (Menopoma aMegkaniensts) j 

from Western Pennsylvania, 
Wallace, James S, Insect ; from Texas. 
Wallace, John. Two Australian parrakeets. 
Wallis, Dr. 6. B. Specimens of fossils and copper ore. 
Walton, W. B. Oyster with double shell. 
Washington, D. G. : 
Department of State, U, S. A. {See under name of Son. G. A. Will- 
iamson, United States minister to Guatemala.) 
Treasury Department, U. S. A. : 

United States Bevenue-Marine. (See under name of Gapt Alfred B. 

United States Coast Survey. (See under name of W. H. Ball.) 
War Department, U. S. A. : 

United States Army. (See under names of Omeral M. C. Meigs, Col. 
A. G. Brackett, Lieut. George M. Whaler, and Jdeut. J. P. Jef- 
Surgeon-GmeraVs Office, United States Army Medical Museum (Dr. 
G. A. Otis, in charge.) A collection of bird and mammal skins, 
fossUs, ethnologica, &c., collected in Texas by Dr. B. H, IFAite, 
U. S. A. (See also under the names of Drs. J. Y. Porter, W. 
Whitney, T. E. Wilcox, and H. C, Yarrow, medical officers United 
States Army.) 
Surveys west of the one hundredth meridian, Lieut G. M. Whaler in 
cliarge. Collection of mortars and pestles, pottery, arrows, quiv- 
ers, &C., also a large collection of plants; from Arizona and 
Bureau of Ordnance, General 8. V. Bendt. Specimens of copper-ore 

fr\>m Bock Island, 111. 
Signal Service, United States Army. (See under name Private ^. TT. 

.y Google 


Washington, J). G. — Continncil. 
Navy Department, U. 8. A. : 
Bureau of Navigatioti, Commodore "Whiting in charge; 63 bottler 

of soundiags made by the United States steamer Tuscarora. 
Surgeon-OeneraFs Office. (See under names of Drg. M. L. Buth and 
Robert Whiting, medical officers United States Navy.) 
Agricultural T>epartment, U. 8. A., Son. W. 6. Le Due, Gommisaioner : 
Two pairs of antlers of Virginia deer; sucker-fish {Catostomus) from 
Interior Department, U. S. A. .- 

General Land Office. (See under the names of SurvegorsOeneral 
Boswell, S. Mason and John Wasson ; also under name of P. W. 
Norris, superintendent Tellotcstone National Park.) 
United States Gommission of Fish and Fisheries. {Prof. Spencer F. 
Baird, Commissioner.) About 100 boxes zoological collections 
from Gloucester, Mass., and vicinity, made by Prof A, F, Verrill, 
G. Broton Qoode, and Tarleton H. Bean. (See also under names 
of Charles 6. Atlcins, Tarleton D. Bean, n. C. Chester, F. N. Clark, 
Vinal N. Fdwarde, G. Brown Qoode, James W. Milner, and Living- 
ston Stone.) Specimens have also been obtained by the commis- 
sion from the following parties : 

Andencm, Capt. Charles, and crew of scAooner AljfS G. Womnm. A collection 

of fishes, corals, abella, sponges, &c. ; from George's Bank. 
Jtkinio*, John, Skull of codfish (Gadua morrlma); malfonned claw of lob- 
ster (Honarvg amerieaniu). 
Allen, George K., achooner Marion. Specimen of gold-lianded msli-coral 

(Eeraioima orttata). 
Allen, George K,, schooner M. S. Perkins. Collection of corals, 8pongeB,sea- 

featbera, and fisliea ; 40 miles soiithweat of Sable Island. 
Andereon, Capt Chris, schooner SolotMtt Poole. A large aod inteKstiiig col- 
lection of living hydroids, biyozoaus, sponges, &c. ; from. 15 miles off 
Pollock Rip Light-Ship. 
AndTevi», F. S. Specimen of spider-crab bionght in by schooner Clara B. 

Sweet from Middle Bank. 
Sabaon, MtsJ. Specimen of "old wife" {Hartlda glaeiaUs) shot ia Sqnani 

Biver, and axis of coral. 
Bdbson, Fits: J,, jr. Lobster {Ilomartts omericonMS), with deformed claw. 
Babson, William H., schooner Marion. Axis of coral {Primnoa reseda), {roia 

I Baker, Captain, schooner Peter D. Smith. Specimen of yonng dog-fish 

' (Squalus americanua'), Inmp-fish {Cyctoptems lumptis), &c. 

Banseti, WiltiaM A., Sew Bedford, Mass. Pilot-fish (Naucratea ducior.) 
Bartlelt, A., A'ew Bedford, Mass. Eabbit^fiah {Tetrodon Imigatiia); &om 

Bnzzotd's Bay. 
Bates, Janes. Rough swell-fish (ChiUchtkys targidus). 
Blaekbum, Capt. William, schooner Charles Carroll. Part of skull of whale 

covered with bryozoans and sponges; from western part of Cieorge's 

Blatchford, Capt. B. F. Specimen of bnsh-coral (Primnoa reseda); from 

.y Google 


WasMngton, D. C. — Continued. 

U. 8. Commission of Mah and Fisheries — Gontitined. 

■ Broiier, Benjatnin S. String of eggs of Si/catgphut eanalieulatas, from Mon- 

omy Beach ; and pebblea from StiEelwagen's Bank, covered with bxyoiwa. 
Briggi, Capiain, schooner Ciij of Gleueeeter. Samples of fish-oil niado on tho 

Grand Bank, 
Bromi, William, gi^iooner Marion. Three specimens of blaek dog-fish netr to 

the coast. 
Burbank, Martin. Yonng lobster {Homarag americontu) ; from Monhegan 

Burke, Henrg E., miKooner Haitie 8. Clark, firyozoams and sea-com; from 
• the Grand Bank. 

Bunu, Thomiu. Specimona of gull (Com* delauarai«ts) and star-fish (_Bip- 

jnuteriQ), from off Gloucester; specimens of chimnia and lancet^mouth 

(AlepidosaunufeTOic); A»m George's Bank. 
Batter, Isaac, nchootter Esther Ward. Specimens of star-fish, f^nges, &c. ; 

&Dm Brown's Bank. 
Calderviood, Capt. M. W., gckooner JenviB M. Calierviooi. Perforated rocks 

with sponges and shells attached; from Western Bank, 66 fathoms. 
CoproB, JoliM, iBkooner Solomon PooU. A large and beautiful collection of 

branching brjozoan corals; from the Grand Banks. 
Carleen, Antold, sclH>on«r Alioe G. Wonaon. Specimen of mah-coial ^Acan- 

eUa); from between Brown's and George's Bank. 
Carriif, William, schomier Mary E. Shell new to America; fiom Flemish 

Carroll, Capl. Daniel. Skua gnll {Slercorariv* sktui) ; f^m George's Bank. 
Cavater, Sicholas, aohooner Marathon, Ckalina sponge sjid dog-fish skins; 

fimn Geotgefa Bonk. 
ChUdt, EdwarA B., schooner Mary F, Chiiholn. Young green turtle {Cftelonia 

nyiiat); ftom 8£. he Have. 
Clark, Benjamin, schooner Water Sprite. Vaec-Bhap«d sponge (Phakellia); 

from Itrown's Bank. 
Clinton, Capt, George T., ackootter Senrg Wilwn. Barnacles, brjozoans, sea- 
com, &c. ; from Grand Bank. 
Colbg, Capt Charles. Pipe-fish (Sgngtiathti* ep.) and-star-fish (Sipj>iuf«ri(i 

phri/gina) ; taken eight miles off Gloucester. 
Coffins, Capt. Joseph W., sckootier Marian. A large and very valuable col- 
lection of fishes, sponges, shells, and othra' marine ftnimals, many of 

which are new both to the American fauna and to science. 
CoUint, WUliam. Jaws of shark caught oS Monhegan Island. 
Conleg, John. Specimens of finger-sponge (^Chalina) and mackerol-shark 

{Lamna conivMoa); ft«m off Glonoester. 
Cretsj), Ckarla C. Specimens of oceanic dolphin {CoryphiBna punctalala); 
' from the Qrand Bank. 

Cunningham if Thompson. Very large sponge ; from Le Have Bank. 
Cartit, Capl. Andrew, ship Ida Lily Cff Si^mojtd. Fens of squid (iSepia), from 

Cadiz Ba;; larval lobster (t); foeeiliferons rook; from George's Bank. 
Banforth, John. A lai^e sea-worm. 

Dame, Mr», Atiy L. FoBsiliferaua rook; from George's Bank. 
Davie, Mrs. Mary E. Fossiliferona bowlder; from Banquerean. 
Demeey, Capt. WilHam, schooner Everett Steele. Paraeites of codfiiih [^ga 

vaora); frvnn George's Bank. 
Devan, James, schooner Flyiiig Scud. Base of coral ; from Eaet«m George's. 
Devoe, Capt. Luke, tehooner Epee Tarr. Branching biyozoana and at 

from Grand Bank. 



Washington, D. C, — Continned. 
17. 8. CommUaion of Fish and Fitheriea — Contmued. 

Dixatt, Eageae F., ackooiter William T. iSmitk. Hydioids and Lryozoa; iioni 

15 milea off Virgin ^ock. 
Dixon, Copt. George W., tekooner William T.Smilh. BryozoaiiBSiidsea-coni; 

from George's Bank. 
DoHglam, CapL George, achaoner ComtUuUoK. Specimeufi of lamp-fisb, dollor- 

flsb, rook-eel, mooQ-fiBli, &c., and a craatacean {Idotea TtAmata) ; from Casco 

Jyoaglau, John, specimen of riblvon-snake (Eulamia eaurita). 
DaaglaM, Sobert,3d. Specimen of phantom-eel (X«pfo(iepA<iIiw) ; from off 

Oloncestec. • 

Dritcoll, Daniel, ichooner Solar Watre. Bosh coral ; from Banquetean. 
Dulaneg, John. Bare holothniian ; from off Gloacester. 
Dimean, Capl. J. F., »Aoo*er Mary Low. A very large aponge; from Sable 

Island Bank. 
Floyd, Joseph D. FosHiliferons bonlder and lock perforated by Saxicara 

arctica; from George's Bank. 
Friend, Sidney. Same as above. 
Gaffney, William if. Bock covered witb barnacles andbiyozoansand fossil- 

iferons boulder; from George's Bank. 
Gelchell, Capl. Jolin <!■, echooner Otie P. Lord. Specimens of fish, sponges, 

corals, &'c., two liviDghagdons, shells; fr«m George's and Btowu's Banks, 

and Cape Cod. 
Giniievait,Thi>mae,aKAFMlipMerckmit TiT0veiyIaigeapider-crabs(Zii(Jkode8 

Goodinn, Capt. Thovw, aiJiooncr Elitha Crowell, Coral ^Acanthagorgia), 

from Western Bank ; eyes of fishes, coral, and sponge, from Sable Island 

Bank; lancet-month (^Alepidoeanmeferox), from Le Have Bank. 
Goodwin, Thomat, tdiooner Bellerophon. Limeetone rock containing fossil 

shells {Cjtprina) ; from Grand Bank. 
Gorton, Slade, ^ Co. Specimens of "red" salted swoidfisb and codfish. 
Goilin, Capt. JiwepA, achoimer ShooHng Star. Chalina sponge ; 25 miles sontb- 

eaat of Sankaty Head. 
Gourmlle, CapL John, scioonerE^ieccaBarllett. Specimens of fiah (^narrAieA<]« 

lapus, Trigtopt, Seba»lei), sheila, star-fish {Cro*»atter pappomis), sponges 

(^Chatina, laodietya), crabs, bryozoa, &o., &c. ; from George's Bank. 
Greenlea/, Capl. WUliam B., schooner Chetter if. Laicrence, Specimens of fish 

(Baloporphyrua viola, Synaphobranchva pinnalua, FeirontyiOB, &c.), great 

northern sea-feather (Pennatalaborealit), corals {FlaMlum, Aoantkoniaiiiu, 

Acanlhagorgia) ; from George's Bank. 
Bamlen, Capt. Feler, scAooiier Andrea Lagklott, Wolf-fish {AlepidoaoAirug 

ferox) and pug-nosed eel ; from George's Banks. 
Sarteg, Edward, schooner Reheoca BarlUlt. Small cnistacean(J<dotearo&ti«fa); 

from George's Bank, 
Eatkell, Samnel. ITossilifeTtme bonlder brought by schooner Condnctor, 

Captain Curtis; also, bryozoana and fossiliferons boulder from Grand 

Bank, brought in by schooner Etta E. Tnmer, Captain Olsen. 
Baakina, Capt James, ichooner Guieudolen. Basket star-fish, black mdder- 

fish (_Falinurichth!/»), slinie-eul (_Myxi«e), crabs, sheUe, &c. ; from Saint 

Peter's and Le Have Banks. 
Bawldna, Capt, Z., adutoner Gwendolen. Fishes {Zoai'cea, Petromyzon, Syva- 

jjAoftrancAuR, &c.), embryo sharks, atar-fiahea, crabs ; from George's Bank. 
Berring, Uichard, schooner William H. Baymond. Xdirge gray gannet (t) and 
fossiliferons rocks; Iroin NE. George's Boitk, 



WasMngton^ J). 0. — Continued. 
U. S. Commission of F-Uh and Fisheries — Continued. 

Htixiiti, leaaa S., Khooner J. J. Clark. Large buuch of bomaclea (.BaUaiM 

porcatua) ; from Middle Bank. 
Higgina ^ Giffor4. Model of a Glouceater fish-wliarf and booBes. 
lifter, I)'ed. , tcbooner Alice M. Williamg. Two rare speciea of eel-like fishes 

and bnah-coral (Acaaella vormam) with basket-fisli attached, 
Hadgdan, Capt. T. JT., tchooner Berne W. Somei. Collecliou of corals iAcanella 

normani), sponges, eea-featheia (Fennatula horealU, P. aouleata, BallUAna, 

Fatmarckidia), shells, &c. ; from Sable Island Bank. 
Soigkint, Edward W. Crabs (_Leithodea maia and Canoer irrorattu); from 

Eomant, Capt. Ckarlee A. SliecimenB of Sipo ■wood nsed by the Carib In- 
dians, of South America, for intoxicating and catching fish. Specimens 

of codfish from the West Indian market. 
Soy, George W., lekooner Mary F. GhUholm. File-fish {BalUtti oapriacus) and 

axis of sea-pen ; from Le Have Bank. 
Hvrlh^t, Capi. if. M. Eggs of periwinkle, from Cape Henlopen ; Gnntber's 

midge (Bypaiptera argeaiea), from off Cape May; shells of scallop andlier- 

ring-spawn from George's Bank. 
Jameeoa, John S., schotmt/f Henry Wileon. Bryozoaus, scallops, andsea-com; 

from Grand Bank. 
Jellovj, John, tchooner Laura NeUon. Fragments of gold-banded nisb-coral 

(SeraUneU ornata) ; from I^e Have Bank. 
Jellonf, Joha H., aohooner George P. Whitman. 'Specimens of cond (^oanelfa 

noTvumi, Primnoa reseda), snails (Lunalui), and scallops {Pecten); from lie 

Have and Cieoige's Banks. 
JeweK, Capt. Thotnat, acAooner Ciij of GJmiceater. Specimens of sponge, fan- 
shaped and gold-banded corals, sea-pens {Pennatula), &c. ; from Le Have 

Johnao*, Capt. George A., echooner Avgueta Johtiaon, A large and interesting 

lot of rare fishes, including the grenadier {Macrarita Fabricii), chinuera 

(Chimtera plumbea), black dog-fish {CealroscijUiiini and Cenlro$iajTHitui), 

wolf-fish (Anarrhichag lupus), (SgnapluibTaiichva), sheila, sponges &c. ; from 

Sable Island and George's Banks. 
Johtuon, Capt. Peter. Collection of shells, stai-fishes, sea-cncombers, &e. ; 

from George's Bank. 
Xeamey, William, schooner Marathon. Chalina sponge; from Oeoi^e's Bank. 
£{tpa(rtc^ Capt. Briggs, schooner City of Gloucester. A rare sacker-fish 

(Bemoropeit lirackgptera) taken from the gills of a swordfish. 
.EiN^, W. A., mhtiotier Oti$ D. Dana. Bush-coral {Primnoa reseda)', from 

George's Bank. 
Kippin, John, tchooner Solomon Poole. Chalina sponge, and stones bored by 

Saxieava arcUea ; from Grand Bank. 
XoJtfnuin, J. Spider-crab (tdthodes ntaia). 

Larlcin, John, schooner George W. Stetson. Yonng hagdon, liring. 
Le Blane, Simon, schooner Bebeeea Bartlett. Star-fish (CroMoaler piippMiis); 

from George's Bank. 
LU>yd, J. D. Stones bored by Sasdoava aretioa, fossils, &c. ; frtim George's 

Lundberg, JiAn A. Sponge (Chalina acnleata); from George's Bank. 
JlfcCaU«Di, George, echooner Fitz J. Babson. Specimen of the King-of-the- 

hvuiitgiChlmasra plumbea); from I* Have Bank, 
McDonald, Duncan, schooner Polar Wave. Specimens of coral and "tnrbot" 

(Platyfomalkkthge kippoglostoides); from Eastern Banqneroan. 



Washington, D. G. — Contiiiaed. 
U. 8. Commission of Fish and FUheries — Continoed. 

McDotuiM, Jame» and John D., achootter JMisoa Center, Old-faahioned iron 

kettle ) haaled np on trtfwl near Halifax, N. S. 
McDonald, CapL Jerome, mhooner G, i*. Whitman, Bare banukclea and King- 

of-the-herring (_Chimara plumhea); from Le Have Bank; two Bpeoimenn' 

of lanoet-monlh (Akpidoeaum* ferox) ; &om George's Bank. 
McDonald, Capt, Matlhev, tehooner Lizzie E. Clarlc Bpecuaena of rare fSsh 

{Chinuera plumlbea, SynaphohraFichMg piniiatiu), cotals {EeratoUis, Acanthn- 

gorgia, Acaatlla), sbeUa, Bpongee, Bea-festhora, &c.; flrom Western and 

Bable Island Banks. 
McDonald, Milet. Sea-moose {^Aplirodile acuUata); from Middle Bank. 
McDonald, Capt. William, idiomier N. H. Pkillipt. Five apeclraons of coral 

{Aaanell^I nortnaid) ; from S£. Le Have Bank, and one {ParagoTgia) from 

Seal Island Bank. 
MeEachem, Daniel, tchooner Guy CuaninghaiK. Bases of f^-sbaped coral 

taken on Grand Bank ; and specimens of eels (JIf^a« and Petromyzon); 

sponges and sea-anemones ; from George's Bank. 
McEntire, Daniel. Gypsum; fi«m moutli of Saint Lawrence Biver. 
MeGinnii, Captain, gdiooner M, H, Perkim. Black dog-fish (Ceniroic^ranus 

otelol^^'i ; frx>m Sable Island Bank. 
McKlnntm, Capt. Daniel., »aAo<Hi«r Mary F. Chiaholm. Specimens of fish 

(df]iziit«, SebiMto Fetnymsion), orabs, corals, &c.; from Sable Island and 

Le Have Banks. 
MeEinnon, Ct^t. John, «oftooner fi. B. Hayea. Spider-crab {Lat\ode» mala) ; 

from 25 miles off Gloucester, SE. 
McPhee, Capt. N., and erexB, of eelwaner Carl SiAun. Specimens of corals 

(Alcsoniam, Flahellvm, Aeanella), sea-feathers, star-fisb, parasites of liah- 

but (_^ga piora), &e. ; from near Sable Island Bank. 
MeQainn, Eda. Specimensof J^emorcjKiaAroi^jtptera; brought in by schooner 

W. H. Perkins frvm Grand Bank. 
MeQmmt, Michael, eehooner N. H. PhiUips. Bare shells {Aporrhais), and eggs 

of shark; from George's Bank. 
Ma4din, Ilmry F. Axis of tree-coral (J>»n«oa reseda) ; from off Sable Isl- 

Man^ield, Jamca, ^ Som. Possiliierons honlder; from George's Bank. 

Marile, Frank. Large finger-sponge (_Chalina), King-fisfa (_Meniicirrue nebu- 
lomu), and fish-e^wn ; from Norman's Woe. 

Martin, Capt. Gtorge H., schooner Northern Eagle. Specimens of fish, Crus- 
tacea, barnacles, hydroids, &.c,, trora between Boone Island and Matin- 
icns Rock, swordfish {Xiphiaa gladita); token oli' Portland, Me. (pui- 
ohased) ; 5 swords of swardfishfrom South Channel; pipe-fish (iSyn^mofAus 
/iMOMs) ; from Provincetowu, Mass. 

Martin, Capt. S. J. Living specimen of bagdon (i'l^nut angloruia) ; from 
George's Bank. 

Mason, Peter. SbeUs and hydroids taken by crew of schooner Hattie S. 
Clsrk on Grand Bank. 

MeeTc, James, schooner Alice G. WonMon. Specimen of treenjoral {Paragorgia 
arhnsoala) ; from between Brown's and George's Banks. 

Menezer, Joseph. Hening-gull; from Gloucester, Mass, 

Merchant, George, jr., schooner Hattie B. West. A small goose-fish (Lopkius 
piicatoHus) taken off Cape Elizabeth. 

Merchant, Philip, sehaontr Marion. Specimens of coral (Mopiia, Keratoisis, and 
Aoanella) ; from 30 miles off Sable Island. 



Washington, D. G. — Continued. 
U. 8. Commiasion of I%sb and Fisheries — Continued. 

Moore, H. C, ndiooRer Ckater R, Lavirence. Tusk of walrus; found on the east 

coast of Newfoimclland. 
itforriwej, Copt. Daniel C, gcbooner Alioe M. WiUiamt. Two specimena of 

buah-coral {Atandla normani) ; from the WeBtecn Bank. 
Morri»»eg, Capt. Janua D-, tckooner Alice M. Williamt. Specimens of fish 

{ChimirTa plitn\hea, Cftroaeymmu occlolepia, Petromyzon) and coral; &om 

Qeorge's Bank, 
Morrimn, Capt. R. N., achooner Laura XeUon. LampfiT-eel (Fttromynon) avA 

fragmentB of tree-coral {Paragorgia arborea) ; from Le Have Bank. 
JUarphy, J,, eckooner Gertie Foater. A beautiful sponge; from George's Bank. 
Mttrphg, Mii^tael J., tt^woner Magie. Specimen of tree-coral {Paragorgia ar- 

hored); ftom Grand Bank, and bash-coral {Acanella normani); from Baur 

Mvrphy, Capt, 2ficholas, schooner Franklin 8. Schenck. Pebbles covered with 

brjOEoans ; from Whaleman's ghoal off Nantncket. 
Nolan, Joeeph, ediooner Beenle W. Sirme». Specimen of bush-coral (PHmnoa 

re»eda) ; from Banqnerean. 
Oleen, Capt. Ckria., and erew, schooner TFtUfam Thompson. Specimens of sea- 
mouse {JpliTodiiv) star-fish, hjdroids, bryozoans, &c.; from Grand and Le 

Have Banks. 
Fareons, John. Yonng pipe-fish (Syngnaihus fuicus). 
Parsons, William. Specimen of snipe-eel {Kemichlkys scolopaoeas); taken by 

schooner Howard Steele, on George's Bonk in 1875. 
Fearet, F. A. Specimens of fish, stai-flsli, shells, &c. ; from WoBtem Bank. 
Peterson, Martin, and Dennis Theleneng, schooner William Thompson. Speci- 
mens of rare flsh {Alcpidoeaums ftrox, Macruraa Fabricil, Centroacffianvt 

cailol^ne) and coral; 39 miles off Sable Island. 
Peterson, M. S., schwner Gvy Cvtiningham. Specimen of gold-bandcd rush- 
coral (KeraUnsis omata) ivith barnacles attached, &c. 
Fettivgell ^ Cnaningham. ToBsilifeiotts boulders bored b; Saxicava; from 

George'e Bank. 
FoUen, Alfred, schooner Mary E. Hat-sponge trma Flemish Cap. 
Radcliffe, William H.,yadit Uncle Sam. Sea-lemon (B<rf(eiiia); fromoffGlou- 

cester. Mass. 
£ieh, Capt. A. F., BosUin, Mats. Specimen of 8ncker-fiBh(£emoro^i«(racftjii>- 

tera) ; from South Channel. 
Bflfjf, William, schooner Grace C. Hadley. Living fnlmor-peti^l; firom 

George's Bank. 
Soaeh, David, schooner tAntie K. Clark. Tohacco-pipe made from axis of trce- 

Scfewmer .4MoB O. Wonarm. Lancet-month {AlepidomKTUS fcrox), cotn\s {Pa- 
ragorgia ariorea, Flabellam articam, Primnoa reseda), star-fishes, shells, &c. ; 
frvm between George's and Le Have Banks. 

S^iooner Carl Schurx. King-of-tho-hemng (Chimcsra phtmbea) and hnsb- 
coral {Accnella normani) ; taken 30 miles south of Sable Island ; abo 
' sword of swordGsh. 

Schooner Charger. Specimen of spider-crab {Leithodet maia) ; from Motble- 
head Bank. 

AAwHier &. P. Whitman. Bock covered with bryozoans; from Banque- 

SAooner Grace C. Sadley. Stone covered with bomaclea and bryoeoa; 

&om George's Bonk. 
Seheoner Sovard Bolbroolc, Bcallop-sheUs ; from Grand Bank. 



Washington, J). C. — Continued. 
[T. 8. Commission of Fish and Fisheries — Oontinned. 

Schooner JoiU M. CaJiencood. Perforated rocks with sponges and shells ad- 
hering ; &OIU George's Bank. 

SdMoner Lisas S. Clark. SbeUa of iluccinvm cj/iUMtini ; from 30 miles south 
of 8ab]e Island. 

Sciomter Nortlieni Star. Three living hagdons (Fnffinug atiglorum); from 
Grand Bank. 

Schooner Oiia P. Lord. Collection of stor-fishea (Croiaasier papposaa), boTnO' 

Sdtooaer Pluemx. Skin of ^lear-fieh [Tetrapturus amdas); takea in the 

8ontti Ch^mel. 
Sduxmer Bebecca BartUtt Toil of swordfiah {Xiphiag ghidiag.) 
SchooMO' Wachtuelt. Collection of scdUopa, hjdroids and bBmacles; from 

Grand Bank. 
Bovie, George T. Specimen of Zoaroe*; from off Gloncester. 
Howe, Capt. John. Speoijnen of bosh-corol (Frnnnoa raieda) ; from Banque- 

Bow, JHmolhj S. Specimen of "gulf-weed;" from the Qnlf Stream. 

MaH, Miae Carrie A. Barnacles (Lepaa /ae<iBtiIarie) ; from Harpswell, Me. 

Sagward, E. P., jr. FosaUiferous rocks ; from George's Bank. 

Scott, George W., eckooner Lizzie. Collection of rare &ahe»{Ceatroscyllam Fah- 
ridi, CentrotcgVinTts aelolepie, Chimera plumbca), ehells, sponges, corals, 
&c. ; &oca Banqueieau. 

Scoit, George W., ttAooner Edtcin C. DolUver. Specimens of fish [Halopor- 
phyrua, Aaarrldchat, Fiycia, Synaphobranchtia, Chimcera), devil Gnh (Octopus 
Bairdii), corale (Aloyotiinm, Eera(oieu), sea-feathers (Fematula, Baltkina), 
sheila, &c. ; ftom lat. 43° 23', long. 60° 16'. 

Scott, George W., adiooner Citif of Gloiteester. Sample of black-dog-fish oil. 

Shenelia, Joseph F., schooner William H. Eaymond. A large collection of liv- 
ing watar-hirds, five apeciea ; &om NE, George's Bank. 

SKemelia, James C, mhooner William 3. liasmtnid. Chalina sponge, barnacles, 
hfdroids, and bryozoans; from Geo^e'a Bank. 

Silva-Terra, Anton, achwrner B^teoea Bartlett. Specimens of dog-fish skin. 

Siraona, Capt. A., sohooner Defianae. Living specimen of sen-robin (Frioiio- 
tut) ; from the Browsters, 

Smith, John L. Specimens of sea-corn taken by schooner Condnctor on 
Grand Bank ; alao tree-coral from George's Bank. 

Smith 4' Oakes. Fosailifeiona boulder bored by Samcava; from George's 

EpuTT, Captain, aehooner John F. Woneon. Muscles, hydToida,bi70zoauB,&c.; 
&om George's Bank. 

Story, L. D., Magnolia. Small fish (Argyreioavi vomer); &om Magnolia. 

Stccmcy, Frank. Farasitea fhnn gilla of codfish taken off Gloucester. 

Saieet, Capt. William E., adkooner Oraoe C. Badlcg. Beo'CUComber {Thyojii- 
ditan Dubmii), atar-fiah, and parasites of cod i^ga p$ora) ; from George's 

Tarr, Capt. James. French hooks tidcen from the stomach of codfish on 
shoal ground off Salvages in 1956 and Jeffries Ledge, 1876. 

Tarr, James G. Samples of fish-oil. 

Thompson, Capt. William, schooner Magic. Collection of corals, sponges, sea- 
feathers, shells, &c, ; from Sable laland Bank and Banqnerean. 

Tretilian, Thotaat. Tree-coral { Frimnoa reseda) ; ftom George's Bank. 

Voaa, A. "Bevil's daw," or box-book nsed in boxing halibut. 



WashinfftoUf B. C. — Continued. 
U. 8. Commission of Fish and Fisheries — Continued. 

TFebb, Capt. Henry, Eockport. Specimens of pollock, ^liiting, and Gieonlaud 

Bcnlpiu ; tram Milk Island, Bockport. Also, lobster-pot bait-hook. 
Wells, Capt. (Fiiitont 5"., schooner E. B. Phillips. Shells from Grand Bank. 
Welsh, Capt. James, adioaner Martha and Siuaii. Specimen of chalina sponge ; 

from Geoi^e's Bank. 
TTelKh, Morris. Specimen of chalina sponge ; from George's Bank. 
Whiting, Hmrg, st^uxnier Webiter Sanborn. A large collection of shells (Pee- 

fen ialandioa, BliyndMneUa, sp.) ; from Grand Bank. 
Whittaan, George P., Eoctpori. Mounted specimens of EichardBOB's jicger- 

gull (Slenxtrariue para^tictii). 
Williami, Capt. B. A., schooner Cenlennial. Scallop shell and pehhles with 

barnacles, bryozoans, aud sea-com adhering. 
Wilson, John I., scAootier Otis D. Dana. Speeimens of pomarine jieger (Ster- 

oorarin* ponuitorhinus) ; from George's Bank. 
Wonmm, Everett P. AooUectionof shells, barnacles, corals, &c.; from New- 
foundland and George's Bank. 
Wasson, John, United States Surveyor-General, Arizona. Collection of 

ores and minerals from various mines in Arizona. 
V^atkins, Joseph C. Small collection of fragmentary bonea, pottery, 

arrow heads, and fine stone pipe; from mound in Missouri. 
TFe&6, Capt. ffetiry. (See Washington, D. C, United States Fish Com- 

WellB, Capt. WiUiam N. (See Washiogtou, D. C, United States Fish 

Welsh, Capt. James. (See Washington, D. C, United States Fish Com- 

Welsh, Morris. (See Washington, D. C, United States Fish Commis- 

Weisher, S. W. Four specimens of wMtefish (Coregonus alhus); from 
Madison Lake, Wisconsin. 

Werner, Johawa, children of. Arrow-head and copper nodule; from Wis- 

Wheeler, C. Le B, Specimens of stone implements; from New York. 

Wheeler,lAmt. GeorgeM., U. 8.A. (See Washington, B.C., War Depart- 

Wkitatly Tatum & Co., Philadelphia. Samples of glass jars. 

White, Artemas. Copper celt, slate arrow-heads, and minerals; from 
New York. 

WhitiTig, Henry. (See Washington, D. C, United States Fish Comraia- 

Whiting, Dr. Robert, U. 8. N. Copper idol; from the valley of tbe 
Bima«, Peru. 

Whitman, George F. (See Washington, D. C, United States Fish Com- 

Wkitmore, Son. A. S. Young sturgeon; from Verona, Me. 

Whitmore, Joshua. Lamprey; from Buclisport, Me. 

Whitmey, L. Fhnt knives, arrow-heads, and stone ax; from IHinoiB. 



Whitnei/, Dr. W., U. 8. A. Stone axe; from New Mexico. 

Wkittaker, E. E. Three samples ot ore; from Oregon. 

Wiggma, Fred. B. Living snake {Reterodon) ; from Virginia. 

Wigginx, John B. Tliree boxes of aboriginal soapstone vessels; from 

Wilcox, Dr. T. E., V. S. A, Bottle of alcoholic reptiles; from Indian 

Wilder, General J. F. Stone fignre-head, pipes, and other valuable 

Willard, C. C. Fresli 8i>ecimen of Eocty Mountain sheep; from ■Wyo- 

Witletts, Joseph C. Two specimens of lake-trout; fromSkaneateles Lake, 
New York. 

Williams, Benjamin. Box of stone implements; from Michigan. 

WiUiami, Copt. B. A. (See Washington, D. C, United States Fish 

Williainson, Don. G. A., United States Minister, Guatemala. Box of eth- 
nological and geological specimens ; from Guatemala. 

WiUon, John I. (See Washington, D. C, United States Fish Com- 

Wilson,W.M. Collectionof livingreptiles; from Prince George's County, 

Wiltheis, C. T. Box of stone relics; from Ohio. 

Wittman, E. Box of Cincinnati Group fossils. 

Wonson, Everett P. (See Washington, D. C, United States Fish Com- 

Wood, A, 8. Civet cat {Bassaris aetiita); from Oregon. 

Wood, Dr. Freston. Specimens of stone implements; from Illinois. 

Wood, Dr. William. Specimen of £ota ma^itiosa; from Connecticut. 

Woodward, A. J, Shell of turtle; from Otter Creek, Florida. 

Woolley, C. W. Specimens of the t^bacxjo-worm moth ; from Illinois. 

Wooster, A. F. Specimens of arrow-headsandeggs of robin and cliicken- 

WooHter, L. C. Package of Upper Cretaceous fossUs ; from the Ca^hi 
la Poudre River, Colorado. 

Yarrow, Dr. H. C. Mummy of Arapahoe child and surroundings; fron: 
Sidney, Nebr. 

Zeledon, Jos4 C Six boxes of general natural history and ethnological 
collections; from Costa Bica. 

UnlcnowH. Corals ; scales of tarpum, Indian stone tube, amethystine 
crystal; specimens of mule-kUIer {Thelypltonm), specimen of coal: 
snake; stone relics from West Virginia ; insect; box of fossils from 
Lawrence, Kans. ; fossil plant ; living blaek-snakes {Bwcanium con 
atrict&r); living helgramite ; from Virginia. 

.y Google 




Certifioate of Anard 

To the Smitlisoiiiau Inetitntton, for Hon. Thomas DoiialdeoD, Collector. 

Collection of Ores. 

No. 1. — Oroup 1, 


(In accordance with the Act of Copgress) 

Philadelphia, September 27, 1876. 

A. T. Goshom, 

-Dirtctor General. 

John L. Campbell, Jos. E. Hawley, 

Secretary. lYesident. 
























S. Mis. 59 8 

• Omittnl from the Report for 1S7^ pi 

„ Google 










KoiE.— No. of boifa, MB; hulk, in ci , ..„— , 

tbausond eii bnndTed ajid foTty-eigtit misceUaueoas pnduges, ot 
uiaI hiat^ry. 

Unlvenl^ of CiUfinolA 
AcrtonlMTal and EbrticDlturDlSociety 

for aieDeaf 

. Geolofdcst Surrey of CtJlforui&...». 

Bute Anicnltimi] Society - 

Sou FisnalscD'. 

CalUbrnla Academy of Sdeucca 

Culifoniia HistorlCAl SocioCy 

Uajor of the eUtv of tlan FibhoIboo . . 

Colorado Springe ; 
El Paso County Ubraiy 


Americtm Philelogtool Association . . 
CcmnecUcnt ISoidety of Natntal His- 

Conaeotlcnt Slate Agrionltonl So- 

Betreat for the iDsane 

Bo<rtotv of ITaf"' R^i"-™- - - 

State Hoard of . 
F^tate Libimy . 

ToaaE Men's Initltute 

'WatkinBon Libraiy of Beferenco . . 

American jouriial of Science and 

DiuiniCT or Coluhbu— Con 

AKTioaltate. Department of .. 

Ill Scieutlfla School . . 

Georcetonrn CoUese . ■ 

Pioneer Soluxd 

Cnlamlila^atitntltnifarUie Deaisud 


Columbian UoiyerBity 

CorcorsE (jallery of Art 

Geological Survey of the Ti 
HydrogrspMo Office . . 

Interior Depar^eot -' 

Land OfBce 

Confcreis .. 

CMlceof the. 

National Academy of Soleuccs... 

Navy Deportment 

Ordnance Oflioe 

Patent Office 

PoTmaster.Genoral, U. 6. A . . 

Preeldcnt of the Uutted States 

Bipial Office 


SnrEeDn.Geiieral'B OIHoe 

Svediah and Norwegian Legation . . 

Horticultural Society 

Hlatoricel Society ot Georgib . . 

Soatliera Illinois Normal University. 

Chicago AcadiuDV of Selenee 

Chicago Board of Trade 

Chicago Uistoricul Society 

Chicago PahlicLlbisry 

DeaiboiD Observatoiy 


Packages reeeiced bi/ the Smilhaoniau IittHtKHon, ^. — Continned. 

iLLiBoia— Con tinned. 
Mavar of Che city o( Chicago . . 
Xetional Live Stock Juum^. . 

Pnhlio School Library 

UnivBraits of Chfoftgo 

Xonbern Hospital for tbe Inw 

KorthweBtem Unlieiaity 

UHlcBlinr); : 
Lombaixl Cnl' 


ipital for 

L Pomolosicil SoclBty 

atnral Eislor; SocieCj- and 

Academy of Ne 
Banluul Li [era: 


Bloomln^ton : 
IndlBDft CaiTersit}- 

(rteencaatle : 
Indiana Ab bury Univsnity 

G«oloBlcal Burvey o( Indiana 

HisfoBcal Society 

iDdUua Hcrtlciiltnrtil Society 

Jiutltution tor the Education of the 


Public Library 

Iowa UlBluiical and Genealogical 


_3wa Uir''^-^ — ' 

Davenport Acsdemy of Scioncea. . . 

NoTiregiBn Lutheran College 

l>oa Moines ; 
Drpartment of Public Inatmctlon ■ 

Ditector Iowa Weather Service . . 

Inira State UniTcraity . 

LabDiBlory nf Fhyaicsl Science . . 

Aaylomfor tlielnBBJie._..J...... 

Baldwin City: 
Baker Dnlversity 

Osaawatomie : 
KanUB Insane ABylam 

KansBfl Natural Hlat^ry Society . > 

State Library 

XTestum Lnnalio Asyli 

Eafllera Lanstic Aiyluir 
EeDtacky ITniversiiy... 

Uayor of the oity of Looisrllle . 
Pobllo Llbi 


in ii^male College 

LouiBUIJl— Contlnocd. 
tiiina Insane Asylum w..,,. 

Athen«e Louiaianala 

* ■ city of New CMwns . 

s Academy of Natural 

Commigsioner of Fiaheiiee of the 

(e 'Ikiard of Agrlcuicure . . 

Calais High School and Academy 

Androscoggin Natural Bistoty So- 

Hlgb School and Academy 


Maiae AgricnQmal Society 

Portland Society of Natural Hiatoiy. 

St, John's Colleee 

United States Naval Acsdcduy 


Baltimore City Collejce 

Johns Hopkina University 

Maryland Academy of Science.... 
Maryland Aeylum fdr the Insane . 

Maryland Historical Society 

Maryland Institate 

Mayor of the city of Si 

eabody Inatitota 

-,. PauI's Lyceum and Library A 

veraity of Maryland . . 

L Academy of Arts a 

Boston Hospital 

BoetuQ Uedleal and Sarglcal Jonmal 

Bostvn HicrtMconiea] SiK^etv 

Boston Society of Natunl Hlatory, 
Bowditoh Llbi 

.brary...- _._.. 

r of Public Inatmetlon... 

Institute ot Technology 

Massachusetts Asylum for the Blind. 

Historical Society.... 

Msyorof the dty of Boston 

Medical and Burgical Jouraal 

New England Historic Genealogloal 

Faokagei received ftj (fte Smithsonian Jn««(u(ion, fc. — CoDtinaed. 







MsyoT of the city nt Saint Lonia 














Fe»body Muaeam of Amerlun Arck- 



imw JBBSBI. 

Slovene Institute of Technology 

New Joraey Historical Society 

NewBVnuiiwick: ' 
Geological Snrroy of New Jetsey . . . . 

Aniieraon SctuMl of Kataisl Hialor;. 








ObBervalorj of College of New Jtnej 


Albany : 
Adirondftok Snrvoy Offloe — ^ 

" w"™Zr 

AmeriOBuAutiqi«rian Society 





New York Medical sJSet^ 

Hew York SUte Museum of Natnral 


Kew York City Lniutio Asylum 


Haj^r of the city of Biookljii 

Michip." State Agtioultural Society . 






Saint TBter: 



Minucsuts Historical Society 


OrtbM, """»'"■ 












Glasgow. ^ 

American Maaeam of Natnml History 
1<WK^S«*^ - 


Geological Sncrey of MiMonri 



Padkaget reeeieed bg the Smitheonian IngfituHon, ^e. — Contiiiaed. 

Nbw ToiiK— ConUnitod. 

AmeHoHn FabUo Health ABwwlation, 
Anicriciin Society of Ciidl EUEmeeli- 
Antbropoloelcal Institute of Kow 

QliximiiiEdale Asytum 1<a the 1 
Uonrd oTEealth uf tlie clt; of 

Coluoibia Colleev . 
Cammluionera of C 
riDK Aud Mini 

JO iteparttoenL 

MnnufBcturer and SnildoE 

yin\nv of tbe city of New Totk . . 

Medical Jonmal 

Medical Recorder 

MorcBntile LlbrityAemciaWon — 
UetTapalltan BoBid of Health .... 

Metropolilaii Mngeain of Art 

Nov York Acadom; of Medicine . 
Hew York Acbdem; of gcicncoa.. 

New Tork Hiatortcil Society 

Kew York MeteorotoglcalO^ervatorj 

ObfteTTBtory -..---. --,.,... 


School of Mlnea 

gcientlflo Ameiicra 

ScoltUh American Jrmrual 

^Tedenborg Society ..... - .- 

Kivediab-llorwoglon Consnlate 

^-"^ States Sanitary Gomoii»iDn . 


Itocheaier : 
TIieolo^cAl Semfuary... 

State Lonatlo Asylnm 


United Stales Military Academy . . 


Antbropologtcal Society 

State ArehiBokigical StKiety 


Cincinnati : 
American Medical College 

Historical mid FhUooopblcal Society. 
Lonjvieff Asylatn K>r tho tnsaao — 
Mayor of the city of Cincinnati . 

MercanUle Lfbiary 

Natural History Society .' 

PablioUbrary -. 

rnlveraity of Cincinnati. . . 


I Bi'DoB-Letttes Society. 

, DickinsonCoiloffe.-... 
I Chester; 

j CroKer Xheokigical 

1 Institute of Mining Sn- 

, 6emiaatown; 

I Germanloivn Library Association... 

■ •■ 1 Sooie^'of the State of Penn. 

■ Medical Society 

I Board of HcbMi 

I lioanlorPabUoEdncaUon... 

Central High Scbvol . 

ilsidonarsof Fairmount Park... 

Franklin Inslitute . 

College. -- --- 

HiSuOrical SmJoty of PcnnaylTanta 
I InetitDtlon tm tbo Deaf oud Dnml 

Jefforson Medical College 

Library Company 

Mayor of the city of Philadelphia. 

Medical Times 

Uosioan Commission 

I Obsecratory of Girord College 

"■IcB of Gray's Athia 

nnsylrania " — ' ' "' 

Penusyivonla Bospltnl tor tbe Tdsiho 

Philadelphia Society '~ •■— " 


Iphia Society for tlie Promo. 

Scclal Science Assoolatlrm 

' Stocey Stone Dressing Machine Com' 

' TTnlversItT of Pennayl*anto .. 

. WoiniorFTeelnstitoteofScienoe... 
; Zoological Society 

: Nation^ Iron and Steel Pnbliahing 
! Company 

South Bethlehem: 
, Lehit;h University 


Le idbtary 

lo Stale B 

OhH> Stats Library . 

ii'orth Bend: 
Oblo Hortlcnitural S< 

Rhode Island Society for 

jiLLbrary Society.., 
in Medico] Journal i 

CbarlestJiD Unseum of Nntocal £ 



Packages received bg the Smithionian Iiutitati«v, ^. — Continned. 

South Caoolika— Contiuoed. 

SuDlh Can>1)ua Hint 


Mudiual Aisocialii 

ily of South Cacolliuk 

'mlrmrf of the TLvai 

Fhilomalhrim Society 

CumbeThinil trnlTOTfiltf 

State LlbrsTT 


Chapel Hill; 
Booh) Unlveralty ■ ■ . 

TermoDt lllHtorical ami Antiqiiarlaa 

^^Ulehnniagli ; 
YeTTDont Asylum for Iiubdo ,.__ 

TTiilTcrsity of Vermont 

Cuivenitf of TIrKliil* 

Hampden Sldnej : 
Eamnden Sldooy CoUeeei, 

Asrlcultuml Society 

niMoricDl Society of Tirplnia-. 
Uedicat Society of Virginia -... . 
State Libnu; 


State Historical Society of ' 


Supcrinli^doot of Public InMmction . 

rniverstty of Wfetonsin 

"Wjiahburn Ohservotury 

Wiscousln Academy of Arts and Set- 

WiBconsin Slate AgriculUin^ Society' 

UUwaukce Duivenity 

Wmcoxsm— Continned. 
Xatuial Eislary Socie^. 

Metuming . . 

Frederictou, Now Brunswick : 
UniTCtoityof New Brunswiok 

Eulifoi. Nova Scotia: 
fiova Scetiau InitituM of Natoial 
Sciences ■■ 

Einjrstfln. Ontario; 
Botanical Society of Canada — 


Queen 'e College 

Milltown, St. Stephen's, I 
PuhUo Library 

UoDtraal, Qoebec : 

Entomoloskal Society 

Geolaglcal Sturey uf Cauadft — 
Uavar of theotty of Uoutreal . . 


Meciianica' Institute 

Uonfreol OliserTiitory 

Natural ElBlflty Society 

Soci£t« d'Agricultuie du Ba»€BDada. 

Ottawa, Ontoiio: - 

Libraiy of Parliament 

Literary and Scientldc Society 

Qnebec, Qnel>eo: 

Geoaniphical Society 


Le NataiuUstA Canadlen . - ..... 
Literary and Sistorical Society . ■ . 


Superintendent de l^lnslmctlon 1 

81- John, New Brunswick : 
Katnral Eistfliy Society 

Board of A^Gultnre 

Canadian InatltuCs 

Literniy and Htstoriool Society ... 

Meteoi^o^cal Offloo - 

Museum M Bdncal ' 


School of Practical _ 

culture and Arte . . 

UniTCT^ty of Tonml 

ctical Science, of Apl. 

Abbe, Prof, C... 
Adams, Pi«fH 
AeossLi, Prof. A 


1 A... 

Allen,H - 

Alvord, Genirol 

Amee, Mrs. U. f 

Andemon, R. B ,,,,._.. 

Andi^.wB, W. V 

AnptU, J. B 

Antliony, J-Q 

Applelon. N 

Awh-Col. M 

A9h>\ CDuiioandcrE... 

Il AtwDod li, ColTer, llesan .. 


Packages reoeivad ft^ Ihe Smithgonia» ImtUutkm, ^.— Continned. 





Ihditiduals— Continned. 








iNDITiDUiia— Continusi 




cSfflSisif. „:::::::::■.:;;;::::;;:;; 










DaHon, Dr. J. C 





DsTiii; H. E 




■ \ 














Kmlilch. Dr. F. if 




Fankey. Colonol ^ 

Fay, S 





Chiwe, Prof. p. B 





Paelcaget Ttodvid ty lAe Smitiaonian Jtutilufjon, ^ — Contiaued. 














UroiYiDUAia— ConttDoed. 












Igj^^iD::::::::: ;;;■.::::::::: 

















LeClaii, tl 8 




Lesley, Prot. J. P 




















Fachagti rtaaved bt/ tlieStnithiomaa Int^tutioit, ^ — Continued. 













ISDivmuAU— Contlniied. 



QqiDby, Dr. W. F 







orton,Ur, H. H 


M)^, Brig. Gen. A.J 






OIdB,l.P + 




Ottwen, Ee«. J. A 








Potlenwn, Dr. F. V... 

Bl»ter, jr., H. N 













Pmnpelly. Plot B 


Paekagea receie«d hy the Smifluomaa InttitulUm, 4v, — Contl&ned. 





ISDmnuiLg— Contdnaed. 













Whoatley, Prof. CM 





Wl luey, Prof. W. D 


Thomn»on, Dr. j. H 




Wic^am, W. H 




Wmey, 0. 8 





Wordiow, Eer. PmfaMor 







Wateon, Prof. J. C 





3.888 4,0» 
1, 0»4 1 1, 233 

Total number of parcels tolodividiials „ 


, Google 



Anwnline EopnWic 

Australia. (SouNewSontli 
Wnlrs, New Zealand. 
QueenaJand, South Aus- 
tralia, Tosmonui, Vic- 

Aastro-Hungary ,_.... 

Cap« Calimies 

CentiDl AmericL (S«e 

CoBtaKica, Guatemala.) 


Calombia. Uiiited States iX. 




rSiand.'.'.'.'..''"" !"!!!!! 


Great Britain 

GiUauo, DnMli 


HolIajiiL (SeeNotharlondB) 

It Off South Walfi.. 

Distributing ogeDtB. 
a CommlBBioaFrnD^iiwdcsEchiuigee 

Nmtli German Lloyd, Now Turk and 

Dr. PtliK Fla~el, Leipzig. 

Canunlsslon Beige d'Eehaugea In- 

trnlvoraity, Chnnuisoca. 
Institute Historko, Ceograflco y 
Bthnograflco, Rio Jaueiro. 

Geological Survey of Canada, MoD- 

WiUlsm Wesley, London. 

H. B. Grace & Co., Kow York 

BaUimoro and Ohio Railroad foreign 

FaciQe Uail Steamship Company 

Kew York. 
Potiflo Mail Steamship Company ... 
nnvana nnd Indian Espresi 

(Carrinstoa i Co.}, New Yorit. 
Hamburg -Ajntrii'.-m St^am Paeke 

Company {Kunhaidt & Co.), Hon 

A-IloreB, Kew York 

^ompacuie Gen^ralo Tmnsatlantlque 
.1 Jl Tif.i,;.., ■«■ — i^irk. Boyd 

L. Merchant i Co., Now York 

~ burg, Wosa and I'inland 
Sav&atlon Company, ~ "' 

agiiic GSifiralo Tr -- 

do Bfibinn), Now _ 
i Hincken, New York. 
Booh German Lloyd (Oelrichs & Co., 
New York: aehmnHChec &Co., Bal- 
Cnnard Line (C. G. Fmneklyn), New 
York. Baltimore and Obiu Railroad 
feroign freight department- 
Consul 1). W. Eotussi. New York 

PaciHo Mall Steamship Company, 

Thomas F. Biiby & Co., Boston 

Atlas Steamship Company (Pirn, Fot- 
wood & 1,0.1, New fori. 

Paciflc Mail Steamship Company, Now 
York. Jonaneae conuuto In Now 
York and Son Fnuicisca. 

,TaanN Navarro, ooninl. New York.. 
Notheriond- American Steamship 

Kaviaatioa Company (H. Casansj, 

New York. 
R. W. Csjuoron & Co„ New York..,. 

K. W. Cameron ikCo., New York 

Sociodad do Natun^iatas, Bogota. 

UniTeraity. San Jos6. 
Prof. F. Poey, Havana. 

Koneeliao Danaki; TidenskabemeB 
Setekab. Ccipenbagen. 

Observatorio del Colegio NscianDl, 

Tnstitnt Egyptian, Alexandria. 

Dr. Felix Fliigel, Loipsig. 
William Wesley, London. 

Sociedad Economica de Amigoa del 

iurinaamachV kofouulle Biblio- 

theek, Paramaribo. 
S<^orbtnire de I'RLat des Relations 

ireau ScientiQciuu (Pi 
Baumhauer), Harlem. 

R^ai Society of Now South Wales, 
partiameutary Library, Welling. 



DUtiibuting iLgeTXt«. 

Pbilippfne Islands . . 

Siuidwicb Island! . . 
Sontb Aostralia . ■ - 


Hamburg -Annrlfcn Steam Packet 
Comiumy (Eunhaidt tc Co.), New 

Joseph 8. Splnnei, New Tork 

Spantsh consnl, San i''nuiciaco (of- 

Biblioteca Nacionnl. Lima. 
Boyal Economical Society. ^ 

Eoola Polytecfanica. LI>.1>on. 

RW. Camon 
Hamburg - 1 

&Co., New York. - 

li Co., New York.. 

ly (Kunhardt &. Co.). Ne 

Nortb Getman Llojd (Schnmocher 
Co.), Ballimoro, Cooaul von Ho 

J, ChCTBOTeloiii * Co., Liverpool , . 
Crown agents for the colonics, Lo 

R. W. Cameron 4 Co.. New York . . 

Wilaon &Asmus[f)iTTuTks Islaods) . 
Thomas Bland, New York, 
See alio Cuba, Jamaica, Hayti. 

iVatklns'&Co,. SLPe 

toyal Hawaii 
clety, Hnno] 

nomlcal Obserratory, Ade- 

Tteal Ai»demla de Clencias, Ma- 

EonRUps Svens^ VeCeoBkapB Ak. 
ademlen, Stockholm. 

Bondta Causlel, Bern. 

Royal Society of 

Association, Port of Ciencias Fislcag 

rslos, Carai:aa. 
PahUo Library, Melbour 

.y Google 




Forty-fifth ConQress, Session II. 

Public Rksoldtion— No. 6. 

JOINT RESOLUTION filling an existing vac&ncf In the Board of Regents of the 
Smithtioni&n Institntion. 

Resolved by the Senate awd House of BepresentaUves of the United States 
of America in Congress assembled, That the existing vacajicy in the Board 
of Regents of the Smithsonian Institution, of the class other than mem- 
bers of Congress, sh^ be filled by the appointment of Noah Portee, 
of Connecticut, in place of James D. Dana, resigned. 

Approved, January 26, 1878. 

Public Resolution— No. 15. 

Eesolved by the Senate and Hovae of Representatives of the United States 
of America m Congress assembled, That the existing vacancy in theBoard 
of Regents of the Smithsonian Institution, of the class other than mem- 
bers of Congress, shall be filled by the appointment of William T. 
Sherman, of the city of Washington, in place of George Bancroft, 
of said city, resigned. 
Approved, March 25, 1878. 

FoBTY-riFTH Congress, Session IIL 

Chaptbb 21. 

AN ACT antboming the Cbctncellor of the SmithBonlan Inatitution to appoint an Actr 

ing Secretary in certain casea.' . 

Be it enacted by the Senate and Souse of E^presentatives of tlw United 
States of America in Congress assembled, That in the case of the death, 
resignation, sickness, or absence of the Secretary of the Smithsonian 
Institution, the Chancellor thereof shall be, and he is hereby, author- 
ized to appoint some person as Acting Secretary, who for the time being 
shall be clothed with all the powers and duties which by law are de- 
volved upon the Secretary, and he shall hold,said position until an elec- 
tion of Secretary shall be duly made, or until Gie Secretary shall be 
restored to his health, or, if absent, shaU return and enter upon the 
duties of his ofBce. 

Approved, January 24, 1879. C^fiftolc 

YEAR 1878. 

The Executive Committee of the Board of Eegenta of the Smithson- 
ian Institution respectfully submit the following report in relation to the 
fhnds of the Institution, the appropriations by Congress for the support 
of the ^National Museum, the receipts and expenditures for both the 
Institution and the Mnseom for the year 1878, and the estimates for the 

Statement of the condition of the fundis at the beginning of the year 1879. 

The amount originally recelred as the bequest of James 
Smithson, of Englandj deposited in the Treasury of the 
United States, in accordance with the act of Congress of 
August 10, 1846 ■. $515,169 00 

Residuary legacy of Smithson, received in 1865, deposited 
in the Treasury of the United States, in accordance with 
the act of Congress of February 8, 1867 26, 210 63 

Total bequest of Smithson $541,379 63 

Amount deposited in the Treasury of the United States as 
authorized by act of Congress, February 8, 1867, derived 
from savings of income and increase in value of invest- 
ments 108,620 37 

Amount of the bequest of James Hamilton, of Carlisle, Pa., 
February 24,1874 1,000 00 

Total permanent Smithson firnd in the United States 
Treasurj', beaiing interest at 6 per cent., payable 

semi-annually in gold $651,000 00 

In addition to the above, there remains of the extra fhnd, 
from savings, &c., in Virginia bonds and certificates, viz : 

Consolidated bonds $58,700 00 

Deferred certificates 29,375 07 

Fractional certificate 50 13 

Total 88, 125 20 

Valued January, 1879, at r 34,00000 

Also, the cash balance in the United States Treasury 
at the beginning of the year 1879 19, 632 57 

Total Smithson fhnds, Janomry 8, 1879 $701,632 07 

.,j,i zed by Google 



Interest on $650,000, for the year 1878, at 6 per cent., gold . $39, 000 00 

Premium on gokl iutereat, July 1, 1878, at ^ per cent 07 50 

Interest on Virginia bonds: 

Sale of coupons by Eigga & Co., for January 1 and July 

1, 1878, for $3,522 (December 9, 1878) at 78-79 2, 776 34 

Interest on Hamilton fund of $1,000 for the year ' 

1878 $00 00 

Premium on gold, July 1, 1878, at ^ per cent. . 15 

60 15 

Repayment by Library of Congress : 

Foradvanceamadeforintemationalexchangesml877. 1,781 00 

Balance on hand at tbe beginning of 1878 25,083 90 

Total receipts for the year 1878 $68, 798 89 


Building, furniture, and fixtures $4,712 72 

General expenses 18, 136 42 

Publications, researches, and explorations 15, 732 92 

International literary and scientific exchanges. 10, 250 41 

GaJleryof art 333 85 

$49, 166 32 

Cash balance, January 7, 1879 $19,032 57 


Eeceived from James Hamilton, February 24, 1874, and de- 
posited with the Smithson fund in the Treasury of the 
United States $ 1 , 000 00 

Interest received irom February 24, 1874, to December 31, 

1878 306 33 

Appropriated in 1870 for exploration of cave near Carlisle, 
Pa $150 00 

Appropriated in 1878 for exploration of steatite 
quarry in Virginia 150 32 

Statement of expenditures in 1878, in detail. 


Repairs and improvements $4, 340 43 

Fnniiture and fixtures 366 29 

- $.4, 712 72 



Meetings of tbe Board $399 25 

Lighting the building , 260 80 

Heating the building ' 593 37 

Postage and telegraphing 395 64 

Stationery 797 96 

Inddentala (ice, banling, insarance, &c) 642 03 

Salaries (including allowance to &nuly of Profes- 
sor Henry, 82,812.50) 14,371 96 

Extra clerk hire and labor 200 00 

Books and periodifcals 475 51 

$18,136 42 


Smithsonian Contribations to Knowledge $5, 523 14 

Miscellaneons Collections 7, 432 48 

Annual Report .- 942 20 

Researches 1,032 13 

Apparatus 121 56 

tabonitory 86 21 

Explorations 695 20 

15, 732 92 

Literary and seientifle exchanges 10, 250 41 

G^ery of art 333 85 

$40, 166 32 

A larger exjienditure for repairs of the building ttian was anticipated 
was made necessary by a violent and destructive storm which visited 
Washington last summer by which the flnials or caps on some of tbe tow- 
era, and several hundred slates from the roo^ were blown off, the light- 
ning-rods detached, and much other damage done to the exterior of the 
building. Some alterations in the interior of the east wing have been 
made also. 

The expenses attending "international exchanges" have steadily in- 
creased, until they now absorb about one-fourth of the entire income of 
the Institution. It has, therefore, in accordance with authority given 
by the Board of Regents, been decided to make a charge of five cents 
a pound on all packages received or sent by the government depart- 
ments, a measure rendered necessary on account of the great increase 
in bulk of the public docaments sent by them. 


The Institution has made temporary advances during the year for 
fireight, &&, the repayment of which, with the amoont received ftom 


sales of the publications of the Institutioii, have been deducted from 
the expenditures for the year. These credits have been ae follows : 

Pnblications, sales $261 83 

Exchauge^, repayments for freight 263 28 

Books, repayment ... .- 30 00 

Gallery of art, repayment 14 65 

Postage, repayment ' 3. 00 

Incidentals, repayment 2 00 

Totalinl878 J674 76 


The following are the estimates of receipts by the Institation for the 
year 1879, and the appropriations required for carrying on its opera- 
tions during the same period : 

Interest on the permanent fiind, lecelvable Jaly 1, 1879, 

and Jannary 1, 1880 J30,000 00 

Interest on the Hamilton fond for 1879 60 00 

Sale of Virginia coupons due January 1, 1879, and July 1, 

1879 2,500 00 

41, 560 00 
Estimated appropriations. 

For bnilding $2, 000 00 

For general expenses : 14, 000 00 

For publications and researches 14, 000 00 

For exchanges , 10,000 00 

For books and apparatus 1, 000 00 

Fot contingencies 560 00 

41,560 00 

The death of Professor Henry, the SecretEay of the Institution, on 
the 13th of May, 1878, rendered necessary a special examinatiou of the 
accounts up to tiiat data by the Executive Committee, who found that, 
of the amount on hand at the beg innin g of the year 1878 ($25,083.90), 
there had been expended under hia supervision and direction the sum 
of $16,560.92, every cent of which was accounted for by vouchers and 
entries in the usual books of account, with his characteristic precision 
and care. The balance ($8,522.98) was transferred, on the 28th of May, 
1878, by the Treasurer of the United States, to the (a-edit of the new 
Secretary of the Institntion, Prof. Spencer F. Baird, in whose nmne the 
accoont of the Institutaoa is now kept. 

S. Mis. 59 9 „ , 

Digit zed by Google 



The following appropriations were made by Congress in 1878 for the 

" National Museom." • 

"For preservation and care of tiie collections of the Na- 
tional Museum, including those irom the International 
Exhibition of 1876," for the fiscal year ending June 30, 
1879 $18, 000 00 

"For expenses of making np into sets, for distribution to 
institutions of learning and mnseums, the duplicate 
ores, minerals, and objects of natural history belonging 
to the United States," for the fiscal year ending June 
30, 1879 5, 000 00 

23,000 00 

Armory Building. — "For expense of watching and storage 
of articles belonging to the United States, including 
those transferred from the International Exhibition of 
1876," for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1879 2, 600 00 

25,500 00 
The following statement gives the receipts and expenditures of the 
IT^ational Museum during the year 1878 : . 

Balance of appropriation for "preservation 

of collections,'.' January 1, 1878 $11, 323 21 

Balance of appropriation fOT "Armory," Jan- 
nary 1, 1878 .......... 1,488 25 

Balance of appropriation "National Mnsemn" 
deficiency bill, Jannaiyl, 1878 ., 2,040 90 

One half of the appropriation for "preserva- 
tion of collections " and " distribution of du- 
plicates," for year ending June 30, 1879 ... 11, 500 00 

One half of the appropriation for " Armory 
building," for year ending June 30, 1879 ... 1, 250 00 

Total receipts $27,602 36 

1?;™+ „ „,-*™„f iflTfl t™„ (Preservation.. $6,338 55 

^* ^T^Z.^ ' \ Armory ' 897 24 

nary-March ^Deficiency-- 1,91* 18 

n^^T.^ „„„w-™ ^f 1070 (Preservation.. 4,984 66 

Second quarter of 1878, \^ 'gg^ ^j 

Apnl-J»™ ^Deficiency-— 126 72 

■ Statutes of the United' States, 1877-'78, page 233. 


Third quarter of 1878, July- ( Preservatioii.. $5,423 61 

September ( Armory 643 78 

Fourth qaart«rof 1878, Oeto- ( Preservation. . 6, 187 09 

ber-December ( Armory 684 98 

Total expenditoies $27,781 i 

The balance on hand for the purposes of the Museum for the remain- 
ing six months of the fiscal year endiug 30th June, 1879," is $12,560.54; 
of which $11,389.30 belong to the "preservation" account, and $1,171.24 
to the "Armory." 

On the 27th of September, 1877, a eommiseion was appointed by the 
President to examine the public buildings and report what additioual 
means should be provided, to secure them from destruction or injury by 
fire. This commission consisted of Col. Thomas L. Casey, United States 
Engineers, Commissioner of Public Buildings; Mr. Clark, Architect of 
the Capitol, and Mr. Hill, Architect of the Treasury. This Commission 
visited and inspected the Smithsonian Institution, and made tbe follow- 
ing report in regard to it, which was submitted to Congress on the 10th 
of December, 1877:* 

" Smithsonian Institution. — All the comboatihlo materials used in the constrac- 
tion of the museam portion of tbo building should be removed a.ud the parts renewed 
offiie-proof coustrnctlon, and the openiuge connected Tvith othet parts uf tlie building 
should be supplied with flie-proof doora." 

An estimate has been submitted to Congress by the Hon. Secretary of 
the Interior for an appropriation of $3,000 to provide additional security 
against fire in the Smithsonian building for the government collections, 
in accordance with the foregoing report. 

All payments on account of the " National Museum" are made by the 
disbarsing-ofaeer of the Department of the Interior on the presentation 
of the usual vouchers, approved by the Secretary of the Smithsonian 


The Executive Committee have examined 755 vouchers for payments 
made from the Smithson income during the year 1878, and 578 vouchers 
for payments made from appropriations by Congress for the National 
Museum, making a total of 1,333 vouchers. All these vouchers bear the 
approval of the Secretary of the Institution, and a certihcate that the 
materials and services charged were applied to the purposes of the 

The committee have also examined the account books of tlie National 
Museum, and find the balance as before stated, viz, $12,560.54, to cor- 
respond with the certificates of the disbursing-oflacer of the Department 
of the Interior. 

'£i. Doo. No. 10, Fortf-lUth Cougi«B)J, Second seasion, House of BepreeoatativM. 


The qaarterly accounts-current, bank-book, check-book, and journal 
of the Institutiou have been examined and found to be correct, and show 
a balance to the credit of the Institntion on the 8th of January, 1879, in 
the hands of the Treasurer of the United States, of ¥19,632.67, available 
for the current operations of the Institution. 
Bespectfull; submitted. 

Exeeutive Committee, Smithsonian Inatitiition. 
WASHTNaiON, January 13, 1879. 



Washinotok, D. C, May 13, 1878. 
A meeting of tlie Board of Segents of tbe SmithsooiaD luetitutioti vas 
held this day at tbe luBtitatioii, at 8 o'clock p, m., onder tbe following 


May 13, 187a 
The Kegents of the Smithsonian Institution are requested to meet at 
the Smithsonian building at 8 o'clock this Monday evening, to makeBuit- 
able arrangements for the obsequies of Prof, Joseph Henry, whose 
decease occurred at 12.10 o'clock this afternoon. 
By order of — 

M. E. WAITE, Chancellor. 

Present, the Chancellor — Chief Justice Waite, Hon, H. Hamlin, Hon. 
A. A. Sargent, Hon. R. B. Withers, Hon. H. Clymer, Hon. J.^ A. Gar- 
field, Hon. Peter Parker, Oeneifd W, T. Sherman. 

The Chancellor made the following remarks : 

Kt Bbethbbn of thb Boabd op Begents: I have asked yoa 
to come together this evening not to take action upon tbe great loss our 
lostitatioD has snstained, hot to consult as to wbat may best be done to 
pay honor to all that is mortal of the great and good man who, conceiv- 
ing what Soiithson willed, has devoted his life to making the bequest of 
our benefactor what he wished it to be, an instrument " for the increase 
and difiiuion of knowledge among men." 

The Chancellor stated that he nnderstoofl> that the fiuuily of Professor 
Henry had expressed the wish that the Board of Kegents should make 
all the arrangements for the faner^. 

Several of the Eegents expressed their opinion that this was not the 
appropriate time to eulogize the deceased, as another and full meeting 
of the Board should be called for that purpose. 

The following resolutions were adopted: 

JBetolved, That tiie Chancellor be directed to notify the President of 
tbe United States and his Cabinet, the Supreme Court of the United 
States, the Sapreme Court of the District of Columbia, the two houses of 
Congress, the General of the Army, the Admiral of the Navy, the Diplo- 
matic Corps, the Light-House Board, theNational Academy ofSoiences, 
the Washington Plulosophioal Society, and other organizations with 



which he was connected, of the death of Prof. Joseph Henry, and to in- 
vite them to attend his fuaeral. 

Eesolred, That the funeral take place on Thareday, 16th May, at the 
Kew York Avenue Presbyterian Church, at 4.30 o'clock p. m, 

Resolved, That the Kegents meet at the Institation'on Thursday next 
at 4 o'clock p. m. to attend the funeral in a body. 

Resolved, That a committee, consisting of General Sherman, Hon, 
Peter Parker, and Pro£ S. F. Balrd, Assistant Secretary of the Institn- 
tion, be apitointed to make arrangements for the funeral ceremonies. 

Resolved, That a meeting of the Board of Eegents be held on Friday 
next, 17th May, at 10 o'clock, a. m. for the purpose of transacting snch 
business as may come before it. 

The Board then adjourned. 

Washington, D. C, May 17, 1878. 

A meeting of the Board of Regents of the Smithsonian Institution 
was held this day at 10 o'clock a. m. 

Present, the Chancellor — Chief Justice Waite, Hon. H. Hamlin, Hon. 
A. A. Sargent, Hon. E. E. Withers, Hon. H. Clymer, Hon. J. A, Gar- 
field, Rev. Dr. John Ma«lean, Hon. Peter Parker, Dr. Asa Gray, Gen- 
eral W. T. Sherman, President Noah Port«r. 

General Garfield was requested to act as secretary. 

At the request of the Chancellor, Rev. Dr. Maclean led in prayer 
for Divine guidance of the Regents in their present deliberations. 

The following resolutions were then adopted: 

1. Resolved, That the Eegents of the Smithsonian Institution hereby 
express their profound sorrow at the death of Prof. Joseph Henry, 
late Secretary of this Institution, and tender to the family of the de- 
ceased their sympathy for their great and irreparable loss. 

2. Resolved, That in consideration of the long-continued, faithful, and 
unselfish services of Joseph Henry, our late Secretary, there be paid to 
his widow the same sum to which he would have been entitled, as sal- 
ary, for the remainder of this year, and that the Secretary be directed 
to make payment to her for the amount thereof monthly. 

3. Resolved, That Mrs. Henry be informed of this action of the Board, 
and the desire of the Regents that she will continue the occupancy of 
the apartments now in her use for such period, during the remainder of 
this year, as may suit her convenience, 

i. Resolved, That a committee be appointed who shall prepare and 
submit to this Board at its next annual meeting a sketch of the life, 
character, and public services of the late . lamented Secretary, which 
shall be entered ni>on the records. 

5, Resolved, That the Executive Committoe of the Board be requested 
to make arrangements for a public commemoration in honor of the late 
Secretary of the Institution, of such a character and at snch a time as 
they may determine. 



The Chancellor appointed as the special committee under the iburth 
resolution, President Porter, Dr. Gray, and Dr. Maclean. 

On motioi), it was resolved to consider the subject of election to fill 
the vacancy in the office of Secretary of the Institution. 

Dr. Parker urged the propriety of deferring the election of Secretary 
to a later meeting, as it might appear precipitate to elect now. 

Senator Hamlin thought the Board ought to proceed at once to elect 
a Secretary. To delay would be to invite great contention for the 

Senator Withers thought the discussion should be confined to the 
question of postponement. 

Dr. PM-ker then moved that the appointment of a penuaaent Secre- 
tary be postponed until the next aimual meeting in January, and sug- ■ 
gested that the Assistant Secretary might be invested with power to 
perform all the fauctions of Secretary during the interim. 

Dr. Maclean said that when President Iturr, of Princeton, died, his 
BUcceBSor, President Edwards, was elected the fourth day after. He 
thought prompt action the wisest, and advocated the election of Pro- 
fessor Baird. 

Mr. Clymer read the statute, and insisted tliat the Board was legally 
bound to elect a Secretary. No funds could be drawn nor payments 
made by any other officer, and an ad inteiim appointment was not pro- 
vided for by the law of organisation. 

General Garfield suggested to Dr. Parker that he withdraw his mo- 
tion, and that the Board proceed to elect, so that action might be taken 
of an affirmative rather than of a negative character. 

President Porter expressed the opinion that the Board could elect a 
Secretary j>ro tempore. 

Dr. Parker then withdrew his motion ; and the constrnctiou of the 
statute by Mr. Clymer was agreed to by the majority of the Board. 

Mr. Clymer moved to proceed to the election of a Secretary; which' 
was agreed to. 

The Chancellor appointed Mr. Sargent and Mr. Clymer as tellers. 

The vote was then taken by ballot, and the tellers reported that eleven 
ballots were cast, all of which were for Spencer Fnll^^n Baitd. 

Messrs. Sargent and Clymer were appointed a committee to wait upon 
Professor Baird and Inform him of his election, and invite him to attend 
the meeting of the Board. 

The committee discharged this duty ; and at half past eleven o'clock 
a. m. introduced the Secretairy -elect to the Begents. 

The Chancellor then formally announced to Professor Baird his unani- 
moos election as Secretary. 

Professor Baird made a brief acknowledgment of the honor con- 
ferred upon him, and stated that he would endeavor to discharge his 
duties foitbfhUy and in accordance with the views of bis lamented pre- 

.y Google 


On motitui, it waa 

Resolved^ Tbait the Chancellor prepare a aaitable notdee of t^e death 
of Professor Heary, to be sent to foreign eatablishmeota ia correspoud- 
ence with the Institntion, aud also Qotifying them of the election of Pro- 
fessor Baird as Secretary. 

The Chancellor stated that the resignation of Mr. Bancroft had 
occasioned a vacancy in tiie Executive Committee, uid, on motaon, it 

Eeaolved, That the vacancy in the Executive Committee be filled by 
the election of General Sherman. 

The Board then adjourned sine die. 

Agreeably to the resolution of the Board, the Chancellor of the Insti- 
tution, on behalf of the Regents, prepared the following circulars, which 
were promptly distributed to the correspondents of the Institution in all 
parts of the world : 

" Smithsosian Institution, 
" WaahinfftoHy D. C, May 14, 1878. 

" On behalf of the Eegents of the Smithsonian Institution, it becomes 
my mournful doty to announce the death of the Secretary and Director 
of the Institution, Joseph Henry, LL. D., which occurred in this city on 
Monday, May 13, at 12.10 o'clock p. m. 

"Professor Henry was bom in Albany, in the State of Ifew York, De- 
cember 17, 1799. He became professor of mathematics in the Albany 
Academy in 1826 ; professor of natural philosophy in the College of 
Sew Jersey, at Princeton, in 1832, and was elected the first Secretary 
aod Director of the Smithsonian Institution in 1846. 

" He received the honorary degree of Doctor of Laws ftx»m TTnion Col- 
lege in 1829, and from Harvard tluiversity in 1851. 

" He was president of the American Association for the Advaocement 
of Science in 1849; was chosen president of the United States Katiooal 
Academy of Sciences in 1868; president of the Philosophical Society 
of Washington in 1871, and Chairman of the Light-House Board of the 
United States in the same year; the last three positions he continned 
to fill until his death. 

" Professor Henry made contributions to science in decWcity, electro- 
magnetism, meteorology, capillarity, acoustics, and in other branches of 
physics ; he published valuable memoirs in the transactions of varions 
learned societies of which he was a member, and devoted thirty-two 
years of his life to making the Smithsonian Institution what its founder 
intended it to be, an efficient instrument for the " increase and diffusion 
of knowledge among men." 

''Chancellor of the Smithgonian Institution. 

,.. I,, Google 

joubnal op peoceedinqs. 187 

" Smithsonian Institution, 
" Washington, D. C, May 17, 1878. 
"At a special meeting of the Board of Ilegents of the. Smithaonian 
Institatioii, held this day, Prof. Spencer Fullerton Baird, for many 
years the assistant secretary of the Institution, was duly ^ected a.s the 
Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, to succeed the late Prof. Joseph 

"M. E. WAITE, 
" Chancellor of the Smithaonian Institutton," 

Washingtok, D. C, January 15, 1879. 

A meeting of the Board of Begents of the Smithsonian Institution 
was held this day in the Begents' room, at 10 o'clock a. m. 

Present, the Chancellor — Chief Justice Waite ; Hon. W. A. Wheeler, 
Vice-President of the United States, Hon. A. A. Sargent, Hon. R. E. 
Withers, Hon. J. A. Garfield, Hon. H. Clymer, Dr. J. Maclean, Dr. A. 
Gray, Dr. H. Copp^e, Hon. Peter Parker, President Porter, General Sher- 
man, and the Secretary, Professor Baird. 

An excuse was received from Hon. H. Hamlin for non-attendance, his 
absence b^ng occasioned by his appointment by the Senate on a special 
committee to accompany the remains to Texas of Hon. G. Schleicher, a 
deceased member of (Jongress. 

The minates of the last meeting were read and approved. 

The following communication from Mrs. Henry was laid before the 
Board by the Chancellor : 

Hon. M. B. Waite, 

Chi^ Justice of the United States, 

Chancellor of the Smithsonian Institution : 

My Deae Sie: In my great affliction it is consoling to receive from 
Mends tributes oJT sympathy and testimonials of respect for my late 
husband. I feel very deeply the kind consideration of the Board of 
Hegents in their official capacity. Permit me, through you, to express 
to them the heartfelt thanks of my children and myself for the liberality 
extended to us and the flill appreciation of Mr. Henry's character and 
labors while connected with the Institution, and for the public testi- 
monials of respect and honor to his memory. 

With my best wishes for the continued prosperity of the Institution, 
believe me yours, respectfully, 


Washington, January 15, 1879. 

On motion of General Garfield, it was — 

Resolved, That the letter of Mrs. Henry be placed in the files of the 
Institution, and entered in the journal of the Board. 

The Secretary, Professor Baird, pi'esented a statement of the financial 
condition of the Institution for the year 1878, which for convenience of 
reference he had printed. 



Dr. Parker, in belialf of the Exeeirtive Committee, presented the an- 
nnal report of receipts, expenditures, estimates^ &c., wliich at his reqaest 
was read by General Sherman, 

On motion of Mr. Withers, the report waa adopted. 

Dr. Parker, in behalf of the Executive Committee, presented a report 
in relation to the duty imposed on them by tbe fifth resolntion of the 
Board of Begents, adopted at the meeting of Hay 17, 1878, " to make 
arrangements for a pnblic comraemoration in honor of the late Secre- 
tary of the Institution," The committee had held numerous meetings, 
the minutes of which were read, and the arrangements had finally been 
made as follows : 

The exercises will be held in the HaU of the House of Representatives 
on Thursday evening, 16th of January, 1879. 

The Vice-President of the United States, supported by the Si)eaker 
of the House, will preside on this occasion, and the Senate and House 
will take part iu the exercises. 

1. Opening prayer by Eev. Dr. McOosh, President of Princeton Col- 

2. Address by Hon. H. Hamlin, of the United States Senate. 

3. Address by Hon. E. E. Withers, of the United States Senate, 
i. Address by Prof. Asa Gray, of Harvard University. 

5. Address by Prof. W, B. Rogers, of Boston. 
€. Address by Hon. Jas. A. Garfield, of the House of Representa- 

7. Address by Hon. 8. S. Cox, of the House of Representatives. 

8. Ad<lress by General W. T. Sherman. 

9. Concluding prayer by Eev. Dr. Sunderland, Chaplain of the Senate. 

By authority of the Speaker of the House, reserved seats will be pro- 
vided on the floor of the House for the following bodies with which Pro- 
fessor Henry was associated : 

1. The Eegents of the Smithsonian Institution and the orators of the 
evening, who will meet in the room of the Speaker of the House. 

2. The National Academy of Sciences. 

3. The Washington Phdosophical Society. 

4. The Light-House Board, who will meet in the room of the Commit- 
tee of Ways and Means. 

5. The Alumni Association of Princeton College. 

6. The Trustees of the Corcoran Gallery of Art. 

7. The Washington Monument Association, who will meet in the room 
of the Committee on Appropriations. 

On motion of Mr. Sargent, the action of the committee was approved. 

Ou motion of General Gar&eld, it was — 

Besolved, That the Board of Eegents assemble on Thursday evening 
next at half past seven o'clock, in the SiKiaker's room at the Capitol, to 
proceed iu a body to attend the exercises in the Hall of the House of 
Representatives in honor of the memory of Professor Hairy. 



On motion of General Garfield, it was — 

Resolved, That the Chancellor be empowered to act for the Board of 
iBegents in making the final arrangements for the memorial exercises. 

President Porter, from the special committee appointed at the last 
meeting, under the fourth resolntion adopted by the Board, "to prepare 
a sketch of the life, character, and public services of Professor Henrj'," 
made a report that Dr. Gray had been selected by the committee to pre- 
pare the eulogy on behalf of the Board of Regents, and that it would 
form part of the exercises at the public commemoration at the Capitol. 

Dr. Gray remarked that he had only recently heen iaformed of his 
appointment to perform the service required, but that he had prepared 
a paper, which he would now present to the Board." He had been limited 
by the committee t» thirty minutes, but had arranged with Professor 
Bogers so that both should only occupy an hour. He would, however, 
insert details and documents' in notes which could be printed with the 

On motion of General Garfield, Dr. Gray was requested, as the repre- 
sentative of the Board of Begents, to make his address as full and com- 
plete as possible. 

General Garfield called attention to the fact that the increased busi- 
ness of the Institution had made it necessary to take the rooms in the 
east wing, formerly occupied by Professor Henry as a residence, for 
offices, and that it was therefore proper that a suitable allowance be 
made to Professor Baird for house-rent. After some conversation on 
the subject, it was — 

Resolved, That the Executive Committee consider the propriety of 
making an allowance to the Secretary for house-rent and report on the 
subject at the next meeting of the Board. 

On motion of Dr. Gray, it was — 

Resolved, That the Board a4iourn to meet on Friday morning, 17th 
January, at half-past 9 o'clock, to hear the annual report of the Secre- 
tary and to transact any other business which may be necessary. 

The Board then adjourned. 

Washington, D. C, January X6, 1879. 

A meeting of the Board of Eegents was held this day at 7.30 o'clock, 
p. m., in the room of the Speaker of the House of Representatives, and 
at 8 o'clock the Regents proceeded in a body to the HaU of the House of 
Representatives, to attend the public exercises in honor of Prof. Joseph 
Henry, late Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution. 

Washington, D. C.', January 17, 1879. 
A meeting of the Board of Eegents was held this day in the Regent's 
room at 9.30 o'clock a. m. 

Present, the Chancellor— Chief-Justice Waite, Hon. A. A. Sargent, 

Hon. R. E. Withers, Hon. James A. Garfield, Hon. Hiester Clyraer, 

* See Appendix to Jonmol of tlte Board. 


Hon. Peter Parker, Eev. Dr. John Maclean, Prof. Asa Gray, Pro£ Henry 
Copp^e, President Hoah Porter, General Sherman, and the Secretary, 
Frofeasor Baird. 

The minutes of the meeting of Jaouary 15 were read and approved. 

The Chancellor laid before the Board several htmdred letters received 
in reply to the cirenlars issued by tlie lastitution, announeiog the death, 
of Professor Henry, and the election of his successor. 

The subjeot of the publication of the eulogies on Professor Henry, 
together with an account of his scientific writings, &o., was discussed, 
and on motion of Dr. Maclean, it was — 

Resolved, That a special conunittee of three be appointed, of which 
the Secretary of the lustitution shall be one, to prepare a memorial of 
Professor Henry, to include in a separate volume of the Smithsonian 
series such biographies and notices of the late Secretary of the Institu- 
tion as may be considered by them worthy of preservation and publi- 

. The Chancellor appointed Messrs. Gray, Parker, and Balrd, as the 

The Chancellor then stated that any remarks the Begents desired to 
make in relation to Professor Henry were in order. 

Dr. Parker addressed the Board as follows: 

Me. Chancellor and fellow Eegbnts: We are making history, 
and I wish to say a few words that shall remain upon its page, in mem- 
ory of Joseph Henry, our beloved and lamented Mend and Secretarj', 
when we, like him, shall have passed from earth. 

Many have already pronounced his eulogy and set forth his rare tal- 
ents and influence upon the world, and I need not, and could not, were 
I to attempt it, add to your appreciation of Professor Henry, his life 
and character, as a friend, scientist, and Christian, the highest type of 

For twenty years I have been intimately acquainted with Professor 
Henry, and happily associated with him in many ways ; for ten years as 
a Begent of the Smithsonian Institution, and as a member of the Exec- 
utive Committee all that period our intercourse has been Arequent and 
Intimate. I have never known a more ei^eeUent man. 

His memory has been much on my mind since be left ns, aod I often 
find myself inquiring how he and others like him are occupied now. 
His connection with time is severed, but his existence continues. When 
I recall the names of Professors Franklin Bache, Charles G. Page, Louis 
Agassiz, Joseph Henry, and others of similar intellect and virtue, I 
find myself asking the question, Are to them all consciousness and 
thought suspended by separation fh>m the body J I am reluctant to 
come to such conclusion. But this I know, the Infinite Father's wayaare 

It seems most providential that Professor Henry had the opportunity 


and the strength to give in person his last words, a priceless legacy, to 
tiie National Academy at its annual meeting in Washington, in April, 
and through that association to the civilized alid scientific woridj I 
refer to his sentiment " that moral excellence is the highest dignity of man." 

The loftiest talents and highest attainments trithont this are deficient 
iD that, which, in the judgment of. wise men and of Infinite Wisdom, is 
of greatest worth. Was there ever a man frcan whom tite sentiment 
could come with better gra«et 

The opinion has been expressed, and I do not regard it extravagant, 
that the letter addressed by Professor Henry to his fiiend Joseph Pat- 
terson, emanating from such a mind, sueh a man, at the close of a pro- 
tracted life of singular distinction, was worth a lifetime to produce. It 
has probably been read by miUions, in various langiuCges, and will be by 
future generations. 

Professor Henry was not only a man of science, a discoverer of nature^s 
laws and forces, but a sincere believer in God their Author and in his 
atoalng Son. To quote his language; "We are conscious of having evil 
thoughts and tendencies that we cannot associate ourselves with a Di- 
vme Being, who is the Director and Governor of all, or even call upon 
him for mercy, without the intercession of one who may affiliate himself 
with us." 

Let me quote from the prayer offered at his obsequies and to which 
we repeat our sincere Amen; the lii>s that uttered it, in less than one 
short month were silent in death, and the two remarkable men, Pro- 
fessors Joseph Henry and Charles Hodge, closely united in life were not 
long di\ided by death : 

"We thank Thee, O God, that Joseph Henry was bom; that Thou 
didst endow him with such rare gifts, intellectual, moral, ahd spiritual; 
that Thou didst spare him to a good old age, and enable him to accom- 
plish 80 much for the increase of human knowledge and for the good of 
his feUow-men; and above all that Thou didst hold him up before this 
whole nation as such a conspicuous illustration of the truth that moral 
escelleuce is the highest dignity of man." 

On motion of Dr. Maclean, it was — 

Resolved, That the thanks of "the Board of Regents be presented to 
the gentlemen who took part in the memorial services held in the Uni- 
ted States Capitol on the 16th of January in honor of the late Professor 
Henry, and that they be requested to furnish copies of their remarks on 
that occasion. 

Dr. Maclean stated that he intended iu the above resolution to include 
Genera! Sherman, who was prevented by the lateness of the hour from 
delivering the whole address he had prepared. Rev. Dra. McOosh and 
Sunderland, who offered prayers, and Mr. Olymer, who made a few 
introductory remarks of an exceedingly interesting character in pre- 
senting telegrams which had been sent to the meeting from London. 



Gteneral Sherman, ttom the Execative Committee, preseoted a report 
on the subject of an allowance for house-rent to the Seeretaiy, -with the 
followmg preamble and resolution : 

Whereas the east wmg of the Smithsonian building, heretofore used 
as a residence by Professor Henry, is required for the purposes of the 
Institution ; aud whereas the present Secretary owus and occupies a 
separate residence in the city of Washington, for which it is but just 
and proper fbat he should be allowed compensation : Therefore, 

BeaoUedf That tiie Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, Prof. S. 
F, Baird, be allowed the sum of one hundred dollars per month for rent, 
fuel, gae, &c., from the date of his election as Secretary, May 17, 1878, 
to the 3l8t of December, 1879. 

The Secretary presented his annnal report, which was read, and it was 

Resolved, That the annual report of the Secretary be approved and 
transmitted to Congress. 

Dr. Parker suggested that there was a matter of some importance 
which ought to receive attention at this meeting. The Senate had 
passed on the 9th of January the following bill 

For the erection of a fire-proof building for the National Hnseum. 

" Be it enacted by tlie 8enate and Home of Bepresentaiives of the United 
States of America in Congress assembled, That for a fireproof building 
for the use of a National Museum, three hundred feet square, to be 
erected under the direction and supervision of the Eegents of the Smith- 
sonian Institution, in accordance with the plans now on file with the 
Joint Committee of Public Buildings and Grounds, on the southeast 
comer of the grounds of the Smithsonian Institution, the sum of two 
hundred an^ fifty thousand dollars is hereby appropriated out of any 
money in tlie Treasury not otherwise appropriated; said building to be 
placed east of the Smithsonian Institution, leaving a roadway between 
it and the latter of not less than fifty feet, with its north front on a line 
with the south face of the buildings of the Agricnltural Department 
aud of the Smithsonian Institution ; and all expenditures for the pur- 
poses herein mentioned, not including anything for architectural plans, 
shall be audited by the proper officers of the Treasurj' Department." 

If this should pass the House and become a law it would be necessary 
for the Board of Begents to take action in regard to the new building. 

On motion of Mr. Clymer, it was 

Bemlved:, That the Executive Committee of this Board, and the Sec- 
retary, or a majority thereof, be, and they are hereby, authorized and 
empowered to act for and in the name of the Board of Begents in car- 
rying into effect the previsions of any act of Congress which may be 
passed providing for the erection of a building fin* the Kational Museum. 

The Board then adjonmed »ine die. 

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The EegeDts of the Smithsonian Institution, on the day following the 
obsequies of their late Secretary, resolved to place upon record, by the 
hands of their committee, a memorial of their lamented associate. The 
time has arrived when this should be done, now that the Institution 
enters ujwn another ofBcial year, and its bereavement is brought freshly 
to mind. 

Although time may have assuaged our sorrow, as time will do, and 
although the recollection that a well-spent life was well appreciated and 
uot prematurely closed should temper regret, yet they have not dulled 
our sense of loss, nor lessened our estimate of the signal services to 
science, to this Institution, and to the general good which remarkable 
gifts and a devoted spirit enabled this man to render. 

If we would fit this memorial to the subject of it, we must teep in 
mind Professor Heney'b complete and transparent, but dignified sim- 
plicity and modesty of character, in which a delicate sense of justice 
went along with extreme dislike of exaggeration, and aversion to all that 
savored of laudation. 

Yet it is not Ibr ourselves, his associates — some of few, some of many 
years — that this record is made ; nor need we speak for that larger circle 
of his associates, the men of science in our land, who wiU, in their sev- 
eral organizations, recount the scientific achievements of their late leader 
and Nestor. And uothing that we can say will enhance the sentiments 
of respect, veneration, and trust with which he was regarded here, in 
Washington, by all who knew him, whether of high or humble station. 
Even those, here or elsewhere, who came only into occasional intercourse 
with him, will remember that thoughtful and benignant face ; — certainly 
it will be remembered by those who, in that recourse to him which it 
was always easy to gain, have seen the mild seriousness of a somewhat 
abstracted and grave mieu change into a winning smile, sure precursor 



of pleasant words, cheerfiil attention, aad, if need ■were, wise counsel 
and cordial help. But we are all passing, as lie has passed, and the 
tribute to liis memory which it is our privilege to pay, is a duty to those 
who axe to come after us. 

Joseph Hbnby was of Scotch descent. His grandparents, paternal 
and maternal, landed at New York from the same vessel on the day 
before the battle of Bunker Hill. The Henrys settled in Delaware 
County, the Alexanders in Saratoga Coon Jy, H'ew York. Cf his father, 
WlUiam Henry, little is known. He died when his oldest son, Joseph, 
was eight or nine years old. ' His mother lived to a good age.* He was 
bom at Albany very near the close of the last century, t His boyhood 
was mostly passed with his maternal grandmother in the country at 
Galway. His early education was such as a country common school 
would furnish to a lad of inquisitive mind but no aptness for study. 
The fondness for reading came early, but in a surreptitious way. 

One day, in the pursuit of a pet rabbit, he jienetrated through an 
opening in the foundation-wall of the village meeting-house. A glim- 
mer of light enticed him through the broken floor into a room above, iu 
which an open bookcase contained the village Ubrary. He took down 
a book — Brooks's Fool of Quality — was soon absorbed in the perusal, 
returned again and again to this, which he said was the first book he 
ever opened voluntarily, and to all the works of fiction which the library 
contained. Access in the regular way was soon granted to him. 

The lad at this time was a clerk, or office-boy, in the store of a Mr. 
Broderick. He returned to Albany at the age of fourteen or fifteen. 
We may count it as a part of bis education that he there served a brief 
apprenticeship to a sUversmith, in which he acquired the manual dex- 
terity afterward so useful to him. Opiwrtunely perhaps, the silversmith 
soon failed in business, and young Henby was thrown out of employ- 
ment. His powers were now developing, but not in the line they were 
soon to take. To romance reading was now joined a fondness for the 
theater. ]9ot content with seeing all the plays he could, he found his 
way behind the scenes, and learned the methods of producing stage 

* She is Teuiembeied as a lady of winning reflnement of miea and obaraoter, of bhuII 
size, with delicate Grecian feaimee, fair complezion, and when Toaug slie is aaid to 
have been very beantifal. 

I The date, December 17, 1797, glveii in tbe American Cyclopedias, appears to be 
wrong; was perhaps misprinted. Iliere is little doabt t})at he was born on the 17tb 
of Deoember, 1799. 

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effects. He joined a juvenile forensic and theatrical eociety, called thu 
Bostram, and soon distinguished himself in it by his ingenuity in stage 
arrangements. He was made president, and having nothing else to do 
at the time, he gave his whole attention to the Rostrnm. He drama- 
tized a tale, wrote a comedy, and took a part in its representation. Un- 
usually comely in form and features, and of prepossessing adtlress, our 
future philosopher was in a fair way to become an actor, perhaps a dis- 
tinguished one. 

But now a slight illness confined him for a few days to his mother's 
house. To while away the hours he took' up a small book which a 
Scotchman, who then occupied a room in the house, had left upon his 
mother's table. It was " Lectures on Experimental Philosophy, Astron- 
omy, and Chemistry, intended chiefly for the use of young persons, by 
G. Gregory," an English clergjman. It is an unpretending volume, but 
a sensible one. It begins by asking three or four questions, such as 

" You throw a stone, or shoot an arrow into the air ; why does it not 
go forward in the line or direction that you give iti Why does it stop 
at a certain distance, and then return to you! • • • On the con- 
trary, why does dame or smoke always mount upward, though no force 
is used to send them in that direction ? And why should not the flame 
of a candle drop toward the floor when you reverse it, or hold it down- 
ward, instead of turning up and ascending into the air? • • • 
Again, you look into a clear well of wat^r and see your own face and 
figure, as if painted there. Why is this? Ton are told that it is done 
by reflection of light. But what is reflection of light!" 

Young Henry's mind was aroused by these apt questions, and allured 
by the explanations; he now took in a sense of what knowledge was. 
The door to knowledge opened to him, that door which it thence became 
the passion of his life to open wider. Thenceforth truth charmed him 
more than fiction. At the next meeting of his dramatic association he 
resigned the office of president and took his leave in a valedictory ad- 
dress, in which he assured his comrades that he should now prepare to 
play his part on another stage, with nobler and more impressive scenes. 
The volume itself is preserved in Professor Henry's library. On a fly- 
leaf is the following entry: 

'• This book, although by no means a profound work, has, under Prov- 
idence, exerted a remarkable influence upon my life. It accidentally 
fell Into my hands when I was about sixteen years old, and was the first 
work I ever read with attention. It opened to me a new world of 
thought and enjoyment; invested things before almost unnoticed with 
8. Mis. 69 10. 


the highest interest; fixed my mind on the study of nature, and caused 
me to resolve at the time of reading it that I would immediately com- 
mence to devote my life to the acquisition of knowledge." 

The pursuit of elementary knowledge under difficulties and priva- 
tions now commenced. At first he attended a night-school, where he 
soon learned all the master could teach. At length he entered Albany 
Academy, earning the means at one time by teaching a country district 
school, later by serving as tutor to the sons of Gen. Stephen Van Eens- 
selaer the patroon. Then he took the direction of a road-survey across 
the southern portion of the State, from West Point to Lake Erie, earn- 
ing a little money and mach credit. He returned to Albany Academy 
aa an assistant teacher, but was very soon, in 1828, appointed professor 
of mathematics. He had already chosen his field, and began to make 
physical investigations. 

It is worth noticing that just when Henry's youthful resolution to 
devote his life to the aequisition of knowledge was ready to bear fruit, 
another resolve was made, in England, by another scientific investiga- 
tor, James Smithsou, in his will, executed in October, 1828, wherein he 
devoted his patrimony "to potiht) at WASHiNai'ON an establishjient 

Who could have thought that the poor lad, who resolved to seek for 
knowledge as for hid treasure, and the rich man of noble lineage, who 
resolved that his treasure should increase and diffuse knowledge, would 
ever stand in this interesting relation; that the one would direct and 
shape the establishment which the other willed to be founded I 

The young professor's position was an honorable but most laborious 
one. Although Albany Academy was said by the distinguished presi- 
dent of Union College in those days to be "a college in disguise," it 
began its work low down. Its new professor of mathematics had to 
teach seven hours of every day, and for half of this time to drudge with 
a large class of boys in the elements of arithmetic. But he somehow 
found time to carry on systematically the electro-magnetic researches 
which he had already begun. In the very year of his appointment, 
1828, he described in the Transactions of the Albany Institute a new 
application of the galvanic multiplier, and throughout that year and the 
next he carried on those investigations which, when published at the 
beginning of the ensuing year, January, 1831, in that notable first 
paper in the American Journal of Science and the Arts, at once brought 
HEmtY's name to the front line among the discoverers in electro-mag- 

, 1,1 zed by Google 


Stni^eon may be said to liave first made an electro-magnet; IIenkt 
nndoubtedly made the electro-magnet what it is. Just after Bailow ia 
England had declared that there could be no electric telegraph to a long 
distance, Hbxey discovered that there could be, how and why it could 
be ; he declared publicly its practicability, and iUnstrated it experi- 
mentally by setting up a telegraph with such length of wire as he conltf 
conveniently command, delivering signals at a distance by the sounding 
of a bell. 

Previously to his investigations the means of developing magnet- 
ism in soft iron were imperfectly understood {even though the law from 
which they are now seen to flow had been mathematically worked oat 
by Ohm), and the electro-magnet which tlien existed was inapplicable 
to the transmission of power to a distance. Henrt first rendered it ap- 
X>licable to the transmission of mechanical power to a distance; was the 
first actaally to magnetize a piece of iron at a distance, and by it to 
deliver telegraphic signals. He showed what kind of battery must be 
employed to project the current through a great length of wire, and 
what kind of coil should surround the magnet used to receive this car- 
rent and to do the work.* 

For the telegraph, and for electromagnetic machines, what was now 
wanted was not discovery, but invention, not the ascertainment of 
principles, but the devising of methods. These, the proper subjects of 
patent, have been supplied in various ways and, as to the telegraph, 
with wonderful efficiency ; — in Europe, by the transmission of signs 
through the motion of a magnetic needle ; in America, by the production 
of sounds or records by the electro-magnet. Morse was among the first 
to undertake the enterprise, and — when directed to the right way 
tlirongh Professor Gale's acquaintance with Henry's published re- 
searches — he carried the latter mode into practical and most successful 
execution. If Heney had patented his discovery, which he was urged, 
bat declined to do, Morse could have patented only his alphat)etical mode 
of signaling, and perhaps the use of relay-batteries, the latter indis- 
pensable for long lines upon that system. 

The scientific as well as popular efl'ect of Professor Henry's first 
pi^er in Silliman's Journal was immediato and great. With the same 
battery that Sturgeon used he developed at least a hundred times more 
magnetism. The instantaneous production of magnets lifting four hun- 

•See Sapplementory Note I, LeadinB Pointa in tlie HiBtoiy of the Telegraph. 



di-ed and twenty times their own weight, of those which with less than 
a pint of dilute acid acting on two hands' breadth of zinc would lift 
Beven hundred and fifty pounds, and this afterward carried up to & 
magnet lifting thirty-three hundred pounds, was ^mply astonishing. 
Yet it was not these extraordinary results, nor their mechanical appli- 
cations, which engaged Professor Henbt's attention so much as the 
prospect they opened of a way by which to ascend to higher discovery 
of the laws of nature, in other bands, his discoveries furuisbed the 
means by which diamagnetism, magnetic effects on polarized light, and 
magneto- electricity — now playing so conspicuous a part — soon came to 
be known. In his own hands, the immediate discovery of the induction 
of a current in a long wire on itself* led the way to his next fertile field 
of inquiry, the following up of which caused unwise tardiness in the 
announcement of what he had alrcjidy done. For it is within our 
knowledge that the publication of the paper which initiated his fame 
bad been urged for months by scientific friends, and at length was has- 
tened by the annoaucement of some partly similar results reached in a 
different way by Moll, of Utrecht. In a letter not long afterward writ- 
ten to one of us, Professor Heket had occasion to declare : " My whole 
ambition is to establish for myself and to deserve the reputation of a man 
of science." Yet throughout his life ardor for discovery and pure love 
of knowledge were unattended by corresponding eagerness for publica- 
tion. At the close of that very year, 1832, however, he did anuoance 
the drawing of a spark from a magnet, that first feet in magneto-elec- 
tricity, and, as he supposed, a new one. But be had been anticipated. 
In May, 1830, Professor Hbnet married his cousin, Harriet L. Alex- 
ander, of Schenectady, who, with three daughters, survives. Two 
earlier children died in infancy, and a son in early manhood. 

Pleasant in moat respects as his situation at Albany was, it was not 
an unwelcome invitation which, in the summer of 1832, it became the 
duty and the privilege of the most venerable of our number, then vice- 
president of the College of New Jersey, to give to Professor Henet, 
offering him the chair of Natural Philosophy at Princeton. By this early 
call that college secured him for her own during the years most prolific 
for science. It was on a later occasion that Sir David Brewster wrote : 
"The mantle of Franklin has fallen upon the shoulders of Hbret." 
But the aureole was already visible to his fellow- workers in science; 
■ AnnoimGed in American Jonmol of Science and tlie Arts iu 1832. 

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and SiUintaD, Benwick, and Torrey urged his acceptance of the new 
poBition, and congratulated Princeton upon the acquisition. 

The prof^sorship came to him unsought. In his last address to one 
of the learned societies over which he presided, Professor Henry men- 
tions that the various offices of honor and responsibility which he then 
held, nine in number, had all been pressed upon him ; that he never 
occupied a position for which he had of his own will and action been 
made a candidate. It did not occur to him at that moment to make one 
exception. When a pupil in Albany Academy he once offered himself 
as a teacher of a, country district school. The school trustees thought 
him too young, but took him ou trial at eight dollars a montii. At the 
beginning of the second month they raised his pay to fifteen. 

At Princeton Professor Hbmry found congenial companions and 
duties well suited to his powers. Here he taught and investigated for 
fourteen fruitfol and happy years ; here h© professed the faith that was 
in him, entering into the communion of the Presbyterian Church, in 
which he and his ancestors were nurtured ; and here he developed what 
might not have been expected — a genius for education. One could 
count on his being a clear expositor, and his gifts for experimental illus- 
tration and for devising apparatus had been already shown. But now, 
as a college professor, the question how to educate came before him in 
ill a broader way. He appreciated, and he made hia associates and 
pupils appreciate, the excellence of natural philosophy for mental disci- 
pline, for training at once both theobservingandthereasoningfaculties. 
A science which rises Irom the observation of the most familiar &cts, 
and the questioning of these by experiment, to the consideration of 
causes, the ascertaining of laws, and to the most recondite conceptions 
respecting the constitution of matter and the interplay of forces, offers 
discipline to all the intellectual powers, and tasks the highest of them. 
Professor Hekrt taught not only the elementary facta and general 
principles from a fresh survey of both, but also the methods of philo- 
sophical investigation, and the steps by which the widest generaliza- 
tions and the seemingly intangible conceptions of the higher physics 
have been securely reached. He exercised his pupils in deducing par- 
ticular results from admitted laws, and in then ascertaining whether 
what was thus deduced actnally occurred in nature ; and if not, why 
not. Though very few of a college class might ever afterward under- 
take a physical or chemical investigation, all would or should he con- 
cerned in the acquisition of truth and its relations; and by knowing 


how truth was won and knowledge advanced in one field of inquiry, 
they would gain the aptitude which any real investigation may give, and 
the confidence that springs from a clear view and a sure graap of any 
one subject. 

He understood, as few do, the importance of analogy and hypothesis 
in science. Premising that hypothesis should always he founded on 
real analogies and used interrogatively, he commended it as the pre- 
requisite to experiment, and the instrument by which, in the hands of 
sound philosophers, most discoveries have been made. This free use of 
hypothesis as the servant and avant-courier of research — as means rather 
than end — is a characteristic of Henry. His ideas on the subject are 
somewhat fiUly and characteristically expounded by himself in his last 
presidential address to the Philosophical Society of Washington — one 
which he evidently felt would be the last. 

How Henbt was valued, honored, revered at Princeton, the memo- 
rial published by his former associates there feelingly declares. What 
he did there for science in those fourteen years would be long to tell 
and difficult to make clear without entering into details, here out of 
place. Happily the work has been done to our hand by the Professor 
himself, several years ago, in a communication which is printed iu the 
index volume of the Princeton E«view, and reprinted in the Princeton 
Memorial. This careful and conscientious, though cursory, analysis of 
the principal researches of that period we propose to append to this 
record,* There is also in preparation, by a competent scientific hand, a 
detailed list of all Professor Heney's contributions to science, which we 
desire likewise to append.! 

One of these, of the Princeton period, ought to be mentioned. It is 
upon the origin of mechanical power and its relations to vital force. It 
is a characteristic example of Professor Henet's happy mode of treat- 
ing a scientific topic in an untechnical way. It also illustrates his habit 
of simply announcing original ideas without putting them prominently 
forward in publication, as any one who was thinking of himself and of 
his own fame would be sure to do. The doctrine he announced was com- 
municated to the American Philosophical Society in 1844 in brief out- 
lines. He developed it further in an article published in the Patent 
Office Report for 1856, twelve years later ; a medium of publication which 
was naturally overlooked. Only at a friend's desire was the paper re- 

* See Supplementary Note II. A Letter from Profeasor Henry, 

t See Supplomentary Note III, A List of Professor Henry's Scientific Papera. 


produced, in 1S60, in the American Journal of Science, where it would 
be noticed. The attention of Professor Henry was turned to the topic 
(as we happen to know) by an abstract which was given to him of 
Dumas' celebrated lecture, in 1841, on the Chemical Statics of Organizetl 
Beings. If he had published in 1814, with some fullness, as he then 
wrought them out, his conception and his attractive illustrations of the 
sources, transformation, and equivalence of mechanical power, and given 
tUem fitting publicity, Henry's name would have been prominent among 
the pioneers and founders of the modem doctrine of the conservation of 

In the year 1837 Professor Hbney first visited Europe, and came into 
personal communication with the principal men of science of England, 
Scotland, and France. One of us had the pleasure, a few years after- 
ward, of hearing Faraday speak of Hbnrt in terms of hearty regard 
and admiration. The two men were in some respects alike, wholly alike 
iu genuine simplicity of character and in disinterested devotion to sci- 
entific discovery. They were then rival investigators in the same line ; 
and the race for a time was not unequal, considering hiftv Henry was 
weighted with onerous professional work. For Faraday, while that most 
acute mind retained its powers, there was the congenial life of pure re- 
search, undistracted by cares of administration or of instruction, beyond 
a few popular lectures; supplied with every means of investigation; 
stimnlated by the presence or i)roximity of many fellow-workers ; re- 
warded by discovery after discovery, and not unconscious of the world's 
applause — such was the enviable life of the natural philosopher favor- 
ably placed. But in this country, where fit laborers are few, duty ratlier 
than inclination must determine their work. Midway in his coarse Pro- 
fessor Henry was called to exchange a position which allowed the giv- 
ing of considerable time to original researches, for one of greater prom- 
iuence, in which these had practically to be abandoned. Not, indeed, 
that this was assuredly expected, but it was contemplated as probable. 
And the event justified the apprehension, while it opened other fields 
of not inferior usefulness. 

In August, 1846, the act of Congress establisliing the Smithsonian 
Institution was passed and approved. On the 7th of September ensu- 
iog the Regents held their first meeting. On the 3d of December fol- 
lowing they resolved: 

" That it is essential for the advancement of the proper interests of 
the trust that the Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution be a man 



jwssesslng weight of character and a high grade of talent; and that it 
is further desirable that he possess eminent scientiHc and general acqaire- 
mcDts ; that he be a man capable of advancing science and promoting 
letters by original research iiud effort, well qualified to act as a respected 
channel of conmmnication between the Institution and scientific and 
literary individuals and societies in this and foreign countries; and, in 
a word, a man worthy to represent before the world of science and let- 
ters the Institation over which this Board presides." 

Immediately following the adoption of this resolution, Professor Jo- 
seph Henkt, of Princeton, was elected Secretary. On the 14th of De- 
cember a letter was read from hipi accepting the appointment At the 
meeting a week later, he appeared and entered upon the duties of his 
office. From this time the biography of Professor Henet is the history 
of the Institation. That history is set forth in the Secretary's annual 
reports, presented by the Board of Regents to Congress, and it need not 
be recapitulated, A few words may give some idea of the deep impres- 
sion he made upon the InstitntioD while it was yet plastic 

Some time before his appointment he had been requested by members 
of the Board o^Begents to examine the will of Smithson, and to suggest 
a plan of organization by which the object of the bequest might, in his 
opinion, best be realized. He did so, and the plan he drew was in their 
hands when he was chosen Secretary. As he himself summed it np, 
the plan was based on the conviction '* that the intention of the donor 
was to advance science by original research and publication ; that the 
establishment was for the benefit of mankind generally, and that nil 
unnecessary expenditures on local objects would be viplations of the 
trust." The plan proposed was, in the leading feature, " to assist men 
of science in making original researches, to publish them in a series of 
volumes, and to give a copy of these to every flrst-class library on the 
face of the earth." 

His " Flan of Organization," filled out in its details.and adjusted to 
the conditions prescribed by the law and by the action of the Regents, 
was submitted to the Eoa^ in the following year, was adopt«d as its 
" governing policy," and it has been reprinted, in fUU or in part, in 
almost every annual report. All wonid understand, therefore, that Pro- 
fessor Henry's views were approved, and that they would be carried 
into effect m far and as fast as they commended themselves to the judg- 
ment of the Regents, and as opportunity made them practicable. 

If the Institution is now known and praised throughout the world of 
Bcienco and letters, if it is fulfilling the will of its founder and the reason- 


able expectations of tbe nation which accepted and established the 
trust, the credit is mainly due to the practical wiedom, tbe cathoUo 
spirit, and the indomitable perseverance of its first Secretary, to whom 
the estahlisliing act gave much power of shaping ends which, as rougb- 
hewD by Congress, were snsceptible of various diversion. For Con- 
gress, in launching, did not shape the course of tbe Institution, except 
in a genera! way. And in intrusting its guidance to the Regents, the 
law created only one salaried and permanent oflBcer, the Secretary, on 
■whom, by its terms and by the conditions of the case, it devolved great 
responsibility and commensurate influence. Some of us are old enough 
to remember the extreme diversity of opinion in Congress over the use 
to be made of Smitbson's legacy. Oue party, headed by an eminent 
statesman and Ex-President, endeavored tofound with it an astronomical 
observatory, for which surely the country need not be indebted to a 
foreigner. A larger party strove to secure it for a Ubrary ; not, prob- 
ably because they deemed that use most relevant to the founder's in- 
tention, but because rival schemes might fritter away the noble bequest 
in popular lecturing, itinerant or stationary', of which the supply and 
the quality are in this country equal to the demand; or in the ilissemi- 
nation of elementary knowledge by the printing-press, as if that were 
beyond the reach of private enterprise; or in setting up one more col- 
lege, university, or other educational establishment on half an endow- 
ment; or in duplicating inaseums and cabinets, which, when supported 
by a fixed capital, necessarily soon reach the statical conditlou in which 
all the income is absorbed in simply taking care of what has been ae- 

Congress rejected, one after the other, the schemes for making of tbe 
Institution an observatory, a library, a normal school, and a lecturing 
establishment, with professors at Washington. It created a Board of 
Regents, charged it with the care of the collections and museums be- 
longing to tbe United States; authorized tbe expenditure, if the liegents 
saw fit, of a sum not exceeding twenty-five thousand dollars annually 
for the formation of a Ubrary; and in all else it directed them to make 
Bucb disposal of the income " as they shall deem best suited for the pro- 
motion of the purpose of the testator." 

Under this charter, and with tbe course of the Institution still to be 
marked out, it is not surprising that the officii adviser and executive 
of the Board should look to the will of Smithson for the controlling in- 
terpretation of the law. He Imew, moreover, that in an earlier vill 

.,j,r zed by Google 


Smitbson had bequeathed his fortune to the Boyal Society of London, 
an institution expressly for the furtherance of scientiHc research ; and 
that he changed, as we may say, the tmsteeship for a purely personal 
reason. Hbnrt took his stand on the broad and simple terms of the 
bequest, " for the increase and ditTusion of knowledge among men." 
And he never — 

Narrowed his mind, 
And to tocalitg gave what waa meant for manliind. 

He proposed only one restriction, of otvious wisdom and necessity, 
that, in view of the limited means of the Institution, it ought not to un- 
dertake anything which could be done, and well done, by other exist- 
ing instrumentaUties. So, as occasion arose, he Iight«ned its load and 
saved its energies by giving over to other agencies some of its cherished 
■work — ^meteorology, for instance, in which a most popular bureau now 
nsefnlly expends many times more than the whole Smithsonian income. 

He has in these last years si^iSed bis desire t^i go still further in 
this direction, and to have the Institution relieved from the charge 
of the Kational Museum, now of imj>erial dimensions and importance. 
His reasons were summed np in few words in his last report, along with 
his synopsis of the appropriate functions of the Institution, which he 
prays may not be merged in or overshadowed by any establishment of 
the Government, but may stand " free to the unobstructed observation 
of the whole world, keeping in perpetaal remembrance the will of its 
founder." Its true functions he declares are: 

"First. To enlarge the bounds of human thought by assisting men of 
science to make original investigations in all branches of knowledge ; to 
publish these, and to present copies to all tJie principal libraries of the 
world. Second. To institute investigations in various branches of 
science, aud explorations for the collection of specimens in natural his- 
tory and ethnology, to be distributed to museums and other establish- 
ments. Third. To diffuse knowledge by carrying on an extended inter- 
national series of exchanges by which the accounts of all the original 
researches in science, the edncational progress, and the general advance 
of civilization in the N^ew World are exchanged for similar works of the 
Old World." 

The plan which our late Secretary originated lias commended itself to 
the judgment of successive Boards of Regents, and, we may be permit- 
ted to add, is now approved wherever it is known and understood. 

Professor Hehet took his ftiU share of the various honorable duties 
to which such men are called. He was in his turn President of the 
American Association for the Advancement of Science, in the year 1819 ; 


of the Society for the Advancement of Education, in 1855; a Trustee of 
Piincetoa College, and of Columbian University, also of the Corcoran 
Gallery of Art, in which the Smithsonian Institution deposits its art 
collections; Visitor of the Government Hospital for the Insane; Presi- 
dent of the Philosophical Society of Washington; President of the 
Kational Academy of Sciences atWaahington, For many years a mem- 
ber of the Light- House Board, to which he gave gratuitous and invalu- 
able services as Chairman of its committee on experiments, he added for 
the last seven years the chairmanship of the board itself, in his adminis- 
tration no sinecure. Advice and investigation were sought from hia), 
from time to time, by every department of Government. All were sure 
that his atlvicewas never biased by personal interest; and his sound 
judgment, supported by spotless character, was greatly deferred to. 

We have said that in coming to Washington a career of investlgatioa 
was exchanged for a life of administration. It should rather be said that 
his investigations thereafter took a directly practical turn, as his mind 
was brought to bear upon difBcult questions of immediate importance 
which were referred to him by Government or came in the course of 
official duty. In the light-house service alone his timely experiments 
upon lardoil hghting, and the firmness with which he pressed his con- 
clusions into practice when sperm-oil became dear, has already saved 
more than a million of dollars; the adaptation of mineral oil to the lesser 
lights made anotlier great saviug; and the results reached by his recent 
investigations of the conditions which influence the transmission of 
sound and their application to acoustical signaling are not to be valued 
by the saving of money only. 

It was in the prosecution of these last investigations, over a year ago, 
and probably in consequence of exposure in them, at the tight-house 
station on Staten Island, that an intimation of the approaching end of 
these labors was received. Yet a few months more of useful life were 
vouchsafed to him, not free from suffering, but blessed with an unclouded 
mind and borne with a serene spirit; and then, at midday on the 13th 
of May last, the scene was closed. 

At the sepulture of his remains (on the 10th) and afterward, it was 
generally remarked at Washington that never before had the funCTal of 
a private citizen called forth such sense of loss, such profound demon- 
strations of respect and affection. 

It is not for us to assign Professor Hsnbt's place among the men of 
science of our time. Those who do this will probably note that his 


Amencan predecessors were FraakliaaadBamford; that all three vere 
what we call self-made men; that all three, after ha%'iu{f proved their 
taleiits for original investigatioa in physics, were called iu their matnre 
years to duties of admlDistratioii and the conduct of affairs. There are 
interesting parallels to be drawn &om their scieutiflc wotk, if one bad 
time to trace th^u. 

Not often is a great man of science a good man of business. Henet's 
friends at Princeton, who besought him not to abandon the peaceful 
academic life which he was enjoying and the qoiet pursuits whicli had 
given him fame, were surprised when in another sphere he develoj^ed 
equfil talents for organization and administration. We have se^i how 
he always developed the talent to do wisely and well whatever he un- 
dertook. His well-poised spirit, at once patient and masterful, assert^^ 
itself in the trials he encountered in the early years of the lo^tltutiou, 
and gave assurance that he could deal with men as well as with the 
forces of natore. 

Again, not often is a man of science fbee from the overmastering in- 
fluence of bis special pursuit. More or less his " nature is subdued to 
what it works in, like the dyer's hand." Kow, Hbnby'3 mind was un- 
colored by the studies of his predilection. His catholic spirit comes out 
in his definition of science: "Science is the knowledge of the laws of 
phenomena, whether they relate to mind or matter.'* It appears in his 
choice of the investigations to be farthered and memoirs to be published 
by the Institution. These nowhere show the bias of a specialist. 

Then, he was a careful, painstaking man, very solicitous — perhaps 
unduly anxious — about the particulars of everything for which he felt 
responsible. Therefore be was sometimes slow in making up his mind 
on a practical question. May we here condescend to a trivial anecdote 
of his early boyhood, which he amosingly related to one of us many 
years ago and pleasantly recalled at one of our latest interviews. It 
goes back to the time when he was first allowed to have a pair of boots, 
and to choose for himself the style of them. He was living with his 
grandmother' in the country, and the village Crispin could offer no 
great choice of patterns; indeed, it was narrowed down to the alterna- 
tive of round toes or square. Daily the boy visited the shop and pon- 
dered the alternatives, even while the manufacture was going on, until 
at length the shoemaker, who could brook no more delay, took the 
dilemma by both horns and produced the most remarkable pair of 
boots tlie wearer ever had ; one boot round-toed, the other sqnare-toed. 


Deliberate aa Hbnet was in after years, taught by this early lesson, 
he probably never a^^ain postponed decision till it-wsa too late to choose. 
One result of due deliberation was that he rarely had to change his 
mind. When he had taken his course, he held to it. His patience and 
kindness under demands upon his time were something wonderfiiL 
iSome men are thus patient trom easy good-nature; Henbt was so&om 
principle. A noticeable part of the Secretary's correspondence was with 
a class of men — more namerous than would be supposed — who thought 
they had discovered new laws of nature or now apphcations of them, 
and who appealed to him to make their discoveries known. The Secret 
tary never returned a curt answer to such apx>eals or inquiries, whether 
made personally or by letter. Many are the hours which he would con- 
Bcientioasly devote to such paradoxical scliemea — sometimes of wonderful 
ingenuity — and to the dictation of elaborate replies to them. Detecting 
far down in the man's mind the germs of the fallacy which had misled 
him, he would spare no pains to present it and its consequences so 
plainly to his bewildered correspondent that he conld find his own way 
out of it; while at the same time he awarded credit and encouragement 
for whatever was true, probable, ot ingenious. 

Although of sensitive spirit and with a just sense of what was due to 
himself, Professor Hbnet kept free from controversy. Once he took up 
the pen, not because his discoveries were set at naught, but because his 
veracity was impliedly assailed. His dignified recital of undeniable 
facts (in his Annual Bepoct for 185?) was all that was necessaiy, and 
not even a word of indignant comment was added. 

He left his scientific work to fonu its part of the history of science 
and to be judged by scientific men. The empiric he once sentendiousiy 
defined to be " one who appeals his cause to an incompetent tribunal." 
He never courted publicity ; not from fastidious dislike, still less from 
disdain of well-earned popular applause, but simply because he never 
thought of it. 

His disinterested devotion to this Institution was shown in many 
ways ; among others in successive refusals to accept increase of salary 
lest it should be thought that the office he held was lucrative. Twice 
or thrice, moreover, while cumbered with anxieties, he promptly dechned 
calls to positions of greater emolument, less care, and abundant leiaare 
for the pursuits he loved. 

We cannot here continue these delineations, and it may be that the 
character of the man has portrayed itself in general outlines as th« 



narrative proceeded. But ooe trait may not be wholly omitted from the 
biography of one who has well been called " the model of a Christian 
gentleman," and who is also our best example of a physical philosopher. 
His life was the practical harmony of the two characters. His entire 
freedom from the doubts wlucli disturb some minds is shown in that 
last letter which he dictated, in which he tenches the grounds of 
faith both in natural and revealed reUgion ; also in his sententious 
declaration upon some earlier occasion, that the person who thought 
there could be any real conflict between science and religion must be 
either vexy young in science or ignorant of religion. 

The man for whom this memorial is placed was aveteraji in both; was 
one of that noble line of natural philosophers for whom we may in all 
sincerity render to Almighty God hearty thanks, not only for the good 
example and fruit cf tiieir lives, but also that, baling finished their 
course in faith, they do now rest from their labors. 

K^TE I. 

The following appear to be the main points in the order of discovery 
which led to the electro-magnetic telegraph. They are here condensed 
from Professor Henry's "Statement", in the "Proceedings of the Re- 
gents", published in the Smithsonian Ileport Ibr the year 1857, and from 
a note appended by Mr. William B. Taylor to his "Memoir of Joseph 
Henry and his Scientilic Work," read betbre the Philosophical Society of 

1810-1820. Oersted showed that a magnetic needle is deflected by the 
action of a current of galvanic electricity passing near it. It 
appears that this discovery had already been made as early as 
the yeiir 1802, by Bomagnesi, and published in 1805, 
1820. Arago discovered that while a galvanic current is passing through 
a copper wire it is capable of developing magnetism in soft 
1820. Ampfere discovered that two wires through which currents are 
passing in the same direction attract, and iu opposite directions 
repel, each other; and thence he inferred that magnetism con- 
sists in the attraction of electrical currents revolving at right 
angles to the line joining the two poles of the magnet, and 
is produced in a bar of steel or iron by induction &om a series 
of electrical currents revolving ui the same direction at right 
angles to the axis of the bar. 
1820. Schweigger in the same year produced the galvanometer. 
182S. Sturgeon made the electro-magnet by bending the bar, or rather' 
a piece of iron wire, into the form of a horse-shoe, covering it 


with varnish to insulate it, and aurronnding it with a helix of 
wire the turns of which were at a distance. 

1829-1830. Henry, in accordance with the theory of Ampfere, produced 
the intensity or spool-wound magnet, insulating the wire in- 
stead of the rod or bar, and covering the whole surface of the 
iron with a series of coils in close contact. He extended the 
principle to the foil by winding successive strata of insulated 
■wire over each other, thus prodacing a compound helix formed 
of a long wire of many coils. At the same time he developed 
the relation of the intensity magnet to the intensity battery, 
and their relations to tlie magnet of quantity. Ho thus made 
the electro magnet capable of transmitting power to a long 
distance, demonstrated the principle and perfected the magnet 
applicable to the purpose, was the first actually to magnetize a 
piece of iron at a distance, and to demonstrate and declare the 
applicabihty of the electro-magnet to telegraphy at a distance. 
Using the terminal short-circuit magnet of quantity and the 
armature as the signaling device, he was the Jirst to make by 
it acoustic signals, sounding a bell at a distance by means of 
the electro-magnet. 

1833. Weber discovered that the conducting-wires of an electric tele- 
graph could be left without insulation except at the points of 

1833. Gauss ingeniously arranged the application of a dual sign in such 
manner as to produce a tme alphabet for telegraphy. 

1830. Danielin vented and brought into use a constant galvanic battery. 

1837. Stein hell discovered that the earth may form the returning half 
of the circuit, so that a single conducting wire suffices for 

1837. Morse adopted, through the agency of Dr. Gale, the principle of 

the Henry electro-magnet, and the armature made of a record- 
ing instrument. 

1838, Morse devised his "dot and dash" alphabet, a great improvement 

upon the Gauss and Steinheil alphabets. 
1844. Morse suggested and brought into use the system of relay-mag- 
nets, and relay -circuits, to re-einforce the current. 

[From the Princeton Memorial of Professor Henry.] 

My Dear Sir : In compliance with your request that I would give 
an account of my scientific researches during my connection with the 
College of New Jersey, I furnish the following brief statement of my 
labors within the period mentioned: 

I. Previous to my call from the Albany Academy to a professorship 
in the College of New Jersey, I had made a series of researches on elec- 
tro-magnetism, in which I developed the principles of the electro-mag- 
net and the means of accumulating the magnetic power to a great ex- 
tent, and had also applied this power in the invention of the first elec- 
tro-magnetic machine; that is, a mechanical contrivance by which eleo- 
tro-magnetism was applied as a motive power. 



I soon saw, however, tliattho application of tliis power was but an in- 
direct method of employing the energy derived from the combustion of 
coal, and, therefore, could never compete, on the score of expense, with 
that agent as a means of propelling machinery, but that it might be 
used in some cases in which expense of power was not a consideration 
to be weighed against the value of certain objects to be attained. 

A great amount of labor has since been devoted to this invention, es- 
I>eciaJl3' at the expense of the Government of the United States, by the 
late Dr. Page, but it still remains in nearly the same coudltiou it was 
left in by myself in 1831. 

I also applied, while in Albany, the results of my experiments to the in- 
vention of the flrateleetro-magnetictclegraph, in which signals were trans- 
mitted by exciting an electro-magnet at a distance, by which means bells 
were struck in succession, capable of indicating letters of the alphabet. 

In the midst of these investigations I was called to Princeton, through 
the nomination of Dr. Jacob Green, then of Philadelphia, and Dr. John 
Torrey, of New Yorli. 

I arrived in Princeton in November, 1832, and as soon as I became 
fhlly settled in the chair which I occupied, I recommenced my investi- 
gations, constructed a still more powerful electro-magnet than I had 
made before — one which would sustain over 3,000 pounds — and with it 
illustrated to my class the manner in which a large amount of power 
might, by means of a relay-magnet, be called into operation at the dis- 
tance of many miles. 

I also made several modifications in the electromagnetic machine be- 
ipre mentioned, and just previous to my leaving for England, in 1837, 
again turned my attention to the telegraph. I think the first actual 
line of telegraph using the earth as a conductor, was made iu the be- 
ginning of 1836. A wire was extended across the front campus of the 
college grounds, from the upi>er story of the Mbrary building to the 
philosophical hall on the opposite side, the ends terminating in two wells. 
Through this wire, signals were sent from time to time from my house to 
my laboratory. The electro-magnetic telegraph was first invented by 
me, in Albany, in 1S30. Professor Morse, according to his statements, 
conceived the idea of an ele'Ctro-magnetic telegraph in his voya^ across 
the ocean inl832, but didnot until several yearsafterward — 1837 — 'tttempt 
to carry his ideas into practice ; and when he did so, he found himself so 
little acquainted with the subject of electricity that he could not make his 
simple machine operate through the distance of a few yards. In this di- 
lemma he called in the aid of Dr. Gale, who was well acquainted with 
what I had done in Albany and Princeton, having visited me at the lat- 
ter place. He informed Professor Morse tliat he liad not the right kind 
of a battery nor the right kind of magnets, whereupon the professor 
turned the matter over t* him, and, with the knowledge he had obtained 
from my researches, he was enabled to make the instrument work 
tlirough a distance of several miles. For this service Professor Morse 
gave him a share of his patent, which he afterwards purchased from 
him for $15,000. At the time of making my original experiments on 
electro-magnetism in Albany, I was urged by a friend to take out a pat- 
ent, both for its application to machinery and to the telegraph, but this 
I declined, on the ground that I did not then consider it compatible 
with the dignity of science to confine the benefits which might be de- 
rived from it to the exclusive use of any individual. In this, perhaps, 
I was too fastidious. In brieily stating my claims to the invention of 
the electro-magnetic telegraph, I may say I was the first to bring the 


f.Iectro-magnet into the conditioti necessary to tts nee in telegraphy, and 
also to point out its application to the telegraph, and to lUnstrate this 
by constructing a working telegraph, and, had 1 taken ont a patent for 
my labors at that time, Mr. Morse could have had no ground on which 
to found his claim for a patent for Lis invention. To Mr. Morae, how- 
ever, great credit is due for his alphabet, and for his perseverance in 
hriiigiiig the telegraph into practical use. 
, [. My next investigation, aftei^being settled at Princeton, was in re- 
jn to electro-dynamic induction. Mr. Faraday had discovered that 
m a current of galvanic electricity was passed through a wire from 
ittery, a current in an opposite direction was induced in a wire ar- 
jed parallel to this conductor. I discovwed that an induction of a ( 

■ lar kind took place in the primary conducting wire itself, so that a 

■ ent which, in its passage through a short wire conductor, would 
ler produce sparks nor shocks, would, if the wire were sufficiently 
, produce both these phenomena. The effect was most strikingly 

. i.bited when the conductor was a flat ribbon, covered with silk, rolled 

the form of a helix. With this, bfilhant deflagrations and other 

• ■ rical effects of high intensity were produced by means of a current 

a battery of low intensity, such as that of a single element. 

. \. A series of investigatioos was afterward made, which resulted in 

icing inductive currents of different orders, havmg diifercnt direo- 

. made up of waves alternately in opposite directions. It was also 

vered that a plate of metal of any kind, introduced between two 

■■■ ictors, neutr^ized this induction, and this effect was afterward 

■■■ . to result from a current in the plate itself. It was afterward 

■ 1 that a cun'cnt of quantity was capable of producing a current 

"' ensity, and, nice versa, a current of intensity would produce one 


IV. Another series of investigations, of a parallel character, was made 
in regard to ordinary or frictional electricity. In the course of these it 
was shown that electro-dynamic inductive actiou of ordinary electricity , 
was of a peculiar character, and that effects could be produced by it at 

a remarkable distance. For example, if a shock were sent through a 
wire on the outside of a building, electrical eft^ts could he exhibited in 
a parallel wire within the building. As anoUier illnstration of this, it 
may be mentioned that when a discharge of a battery of several Ley- 
den jars was sent through the wire before mentioned, stret<died across 
the campus in front of Nassau Hall, an inductive effect was produced 
in a parallel wire, the ends of which tenninated in the plates of met^ 
in the ground in the back campus, at a distance of iscveral hundred feet 
frohi the primary current, the building of Nassau Hall intervening. The 
effect produced consisted in the magnetization of steel needles. 

In this series of investigations, the feet was discovered that the in- 
duced current, as indicated by the needles, appeared to change its di- 
rection with the distance of the two wires, and other conditions of the 
experiment, the cause of which for a long time baffled inquiry, but was 
finally satisfectorily explained by the discovery that the discharge of 
electricity from a Leyden jar is of an oscillatory character, a principal 
discharge taking place in one direction, and immediately afterward a re* 
hound in the opposite, and so on forward and backward, until the equi. 
Uhrinm is obtained. 

V. The next series of mvestigations related to atmospheric indaction. 
The first of these consisted of exxteriments with two large kites, the 
lower end of the string of one being attached to the upper surfivce of a 
second kite, the string of each consisting of a fine wire, the terminal end 



of tbe whole being coiled aronnd an insalated dmm. I ^ras assi»tcd in 
these esperimenta by Mr, Brown, of Philadelphia, who funiished the 
kites. When they were elevated, at a time when the sky was perfectly 
dear, sparks were drawn of surprising intensity and pungency, the elec- 
tricity being sopplied from the air, and the intensity being attributed to 
the induction of the long wire on itself. 

VI. The next series of experiments pertaining to the same class was 
on the induction from thunder clondp. For this pnrpose the tin cover- 
ing of the roof of the house in which I resided was need as an inductive 
plate. A wire was soldered to the edge of the roof near the gnb'<^, was 
passed into my stndy and oot again throngh holes in the window-sash, 
and terminated in connection with a plate of metal in a deep well im- 
mediately in front of the house. By breaking the eontinaity of that 
part of the wire which was in the stndy, and introducing into the open- 
ing a magnetizing spiral, needles placed in this could be magnetized by 
a flash of lightning so distant that the thnnder could scarcely be heard. 
The electrical disturbance prodnced in this case was also found to be of 
an oscillator^' character, a discharge first passing through tbe wire from 
tiie roof to the well, tien another in the opposite direction, and so on 
nutil equilibrinm was restored. This result was arrived at in this case, 
as well as in that of the Leyden jar, before mentioned, by placing the 
satne, or a similar needle, in succession, in spirals of greater and greater 
numbers of turns; for example, in a spiral of a single turn the needle 
would be magnetized plus, or in the direction dne to the first and more 
powerfiil Wave. By increasing the number of «>ils, the action of the 
second wave became dominant^ so that it would more than neutralize 
tbe magnetism produced by the first wave, and leave the needle minus. 
By farmer increasing the number of tarns, the third wave wonld be so 
exalted as to neutralize the effects of the preceding two, and so on. In 
tJie case of Induction by lightning, the same result was obtained by plac- 
ing a number of magnetizing spirals, of different magnetizing intensities, 
in the opening of the primary conductor, the result of which was to pro- 
duce the magnetization of an equal number of needles, plus and minus, 
indicating alternate currents in opposite direotioos. 

VIL In connection with this class of investigations a series of experi- 
ments was made in regard to lightning-rods. It was found that when a 
quantity of electricity was thrown upon a rod, the lower end of which 
was connected with a plate of metal sunk in the water of a deep well, 
that the electricity did not descend silently into water, but tiiat sparks 
could be drawn from every part of the rod sufficiently intense to explode 
an electrical pistol, and to set fire to delicate inflammable substances. 
The spark thus given ofl' waa found to be of a peculiar character, for 
while it produced combustion tmd gave a shgbt shock, and fired the 
electrical pistol, it scarcely at all aS^cted a gold-leaf electroscope. In- 
deed, it consisted of two sparks, one fr«m the condnctor and the other 
to it, in such quick succession, that the rupture of tbe air by the first 
served for the path of the second. The conclusion arrived at was, that 
during the passage of the electricity down the rod, each point in succes- 
sion received a charge analogous to the statical charge of a prime con- 
ductor, and that this chai^, in its passage down the rod, was immedi- 
ately preceded by a n^ative charge ; the two in their passage past the 
point at which the spark was drawn, giving rise to its duplex character. 
It was also shown by a series of experiments in transmitting a powerful 
discharge through a portion of air, that the latter, along the path of 
discharge, was endowed for a moment with an intense repidsive energy. 
So great is this that in one instance, when an eleetaical disohai^ teaa 


the clondd passed between two chimneys through the cockloft of a bonse, 
tlie whole roof was lifted from the waUs. It is to Uus repalsive energy, 
or tendency in air to expand at right angles to the path of a stroke of 
lightning, that the mechanical effects which accompany the latter are 
generally to be attributed. 

In connection with this series of investigations an experiment was 
devised for exhibiting the screening effect, within a space inclosed with a 
metallic envelope, of an exterior discha,rge of electricity. It consisted 
in coating the outside of a hollow glass globe with tinfoil and after- 
ward inserting, through a small hole in the side, a delicate gold-leaf 
^eotrometer. The latter, being observed through a email opeomg in 
the tinfoil, was found to be unaEfected by a discharge of ^eotrlcity passed 
over the outside coating. 

YIIL Another series of investigations was on the phosphorogeuie 
emanation from the sun, It had long been known that, when the dia- 
mond is exposed to the direct rays of the sun, and then removed to a 
dark place, it emits a pale blue light, which has received the name of 
phosphorescence. This effect is not peculiar to the diamond, but is 
possessed by a number of substances, of which the snlphuret of lime is 
the most prominent. It is also well known that phosphorescence is 
produced by exposing the substance to the electric discharge. Another 
feet was discovered by Becquerel, of the French Institute, that the 
agent exciting phosphorescence traverses with difflcnlty a plate of glass 
or mica, while it is transmitted apparently without impediment through 
plates of black quarts impervious to light. 

My experiments consisted, in the first place, in the reproduction of 
these results, and afterward in the extension of the list of substances 
which possess the capability of exhibiting phosphorescence, as well as 
the effects of different inte^sed media. It was found that, among a 
large number of transparent solids, some were i»enneable t» the phos- 
phwescing agent, and others impermeable, or imperfectly permeable. 
Am ong the former were ice, quartz, common salt, alum. Among the 
latter class, mica, tourmaline, camphor, &c. Among hquid permeable 
substances were water, solutions of alum, ammonia; while among the 
impermeable liquids were most of the acids, sulphate of zinc, sulphate 
of lead, alcohol, &c. 

It was found that the emanation took place from every point of the 
line of the electric discharge, but with more intensity from the two ex- 
tremities; and also, that the emanation producing phosphorescence, what- 
ever be its nature, when reflected from a minor, obeys the laws of the 
reflection of light, but no reflection was obtained from a surface of 
polished glass. It is likewise refracted by a prism of rock salt, in ac- 
cordance with the laws of the refraction of light By transmitting the 
rays ftxjm an electrical spark through a series of very thin plates of 
mica, it was shown that the emanation was capable of polarization, and, 
consequently, of double retraction. 

IX. The next series of investigations was on a method of determining 
the velocity of projectiles. The plan ppopo8ed,for this purpose con- 
sisted in the appUcataon of the instantaneous transmission of elec- 
trical action to determine the time of the passage of the ball between 
two screens, placed at a short distance ftom each other in the path of 
the projectile. For this purpose the observer is provided witii a re- 
volving cylinder moving by clock-work at a uniform rate, and of which 
the convex surface is divided into equal parts indicating a fractional 
part of a second. The passage of the ball through the screen breaks a 
galvanic laieoit, the time of which is indicated on t'he revolving cylinder 


by the terminal spark prodnced in a Trire enrronndinj; a buudle of iroft 
wires. Since the publication of this invention various other plass 
founded on the same principle have been introduced into practice. 

X. Another series of experiments was in regard to the relative heat 
of difi'erent parts of the sun's disk, and especially to that of the spots 
on the surface. These were made in connection with Prof. 8. Alex- 
ander, and consisted in throwing an Image of the sun on a screeo in a 
dark room by drawing out the eye-piece of a telescope. Through a hole 
in the screen the end of a sensitive tbermo pQe was projected, the wires 
of which were connected with a galvanometer. By slightly moving the 
smaller end of the telescope different parts of the image of the sun coald 
be thrown on the end of the thermo-pile, and by the deviation of the 
needle of the galvanometer the variation of the heat was indicated. In 
this way it was proved that the spots radiated less heat than the adja- 
cent p^ts, and that all parts of the sun's surftiee did not give off aa 
equal amount of heat. 

XI. Another series of experiments was made with what was called a 
thermal telescope. This instniment consisted of a long hollow cone of 
pasteboard, lined with silver leaf and painted outside with lampblack. 
The angle at the apex of this cone was such as to cause all the parallel 
rays from a distant object entering the larger end of tie cone to be re- 
flected on ft) the end of a thermo-pile, the poles of which were connected 
with a delicate galvanometer. When the axis of this conical reflector 
was directed toward a distant object of greater or less temperature than 
the surrounding bodies, the difference was immediately indicated by the 
deviation of the needle of the galvanometer. For example, when the 
object was' a horse in a distant field the radiant heat from the animal 
was distinctly perceptible at a distance of at least several hundred yards. 
When this instrument was turned toward the celestial vault the radiant 
heat was observed to increase from the zenith downward j when directed, 
however, to different clouds, it was found to indicate in some cases a 
greater and in otbera a less degree of radiation than the surrounding 
space. When the same instrument was directed to the moon a slight 
inerease of temperature was observed over tiiat of the adjacent sky, but 
this increase of heat was attributed to the reflection of the beat of the 
sun ftom the surface of the moon, and not to the heat of the moon itself. 
To show that this hypothesis is not inconsistent with the theory that the 
moon has cooled down to the temperature of c^estial space, a concave 
mirror was made of ice, and a thermo-pile placed in the more distant 
focus. When a flame of hydrogen, rendered luminous by a spiral plati- 
num wire, was placed in the other focus, the needle of the galvanometer 
jLttajChed to the pile indicated a reflection of heat, csae iKing taken to 
shade the fUe, by a screen with a small opening introduced between it 
an<l the flame. 

XII. Another series of experiments connected with the preceding may 
be mentioned here. It is well known that the light fix>m a flame of 
hydrogen is of very feeble intensity. The same is the case with that of 
the compound blowpipe, while the temperature of the latter is exceed- 
ingly high, snfSciently bo to melt fine platinum wire. It is also well known 
that by inCrodueing lime or other solid substance into this flame its radi- 
ant light is very nmch increa^*ed. I found that the radiant heat was 
incre^ed in a $dmilar ratio, or, in other words^ that in such cases the 
radiant heat was eomraensurate with the radiant light, and that the 
flame of the compound blowpipe, though of exceedingly high tempera- 
ture, is a comparatively cool substance in regard to, radiant heat. To 
study tlw Illation -at the temperature of a flame to t^e amonot of heat 


given off, four ounces of water were placed in a platintnn crncible and 
supported on a ring-stand over a flame of hydrogen; tht; minutea and 
eecoads of time were then accurately noted wliich were required for the 
raising of ttie wat«r &om the tempuuturo of 6<P to the boiling point. 
The same experiment was repeated with an equal quantity of water, 
with the same flame, into which a piece of mica was inserted by a handle 
made of a narrow slip of the same substance. With this arrangement 
the hght 4^ the flame was much increaaed, while the time of bringing 
the water to the boiling point was also commensnrately increased, thna 
coneluBively showing that the increase of light was at the expense of the 
diminution of the t^peratnre. These experiments were instituted in 
<»der to examine the nature of the fact mentioned by Gonnt BumfOTd, 
that baits of clay introduced into a fire under some conditions increase 
the heat given off into an apartment. From the results jnst mentioned 
it follows that the increase in the radiant heat, which would facilitate 
the roasting of an article beibre the fire, wonld be at the expense of the 
boiling of a liquid in a vessel suspended directly over the point of com- 

Xin. Another investigation had it« origin in the accidental observa- 
tion of the following feet ; A quantity of mercury had been left undis- 
turbed in a shallow sauoer, with one end of a jnece of lead wire, about 
tJhe diameter of a goose-qmll, and six inches long, plunged into it, the 
other end resting on the shelf. In this condition it was fonnd, after a 
few days, that the mercury had passed through the soUd lead, as if it 
were a dphon, uid was lying on the shelf still in a hquid condlHon. 
The saucer contained a series of minute crystals of an amalgam of lead 
and mercury. A similar result was produced when a piece of the same 
lead wire was coated with varnish, the mercury being transmitted with- 
out disturbing the outer surface. 

Wh«i a length of wire of five feet was supported vertically, with its 
lower end immersed in a vessel of mercury, the liquid metal was found 
to ascend, in the course of a few days, to a height of three feet. 
These results led me to think that the same property might be possessed 
by other metals in relation to each other. The first attempt to verify 
this conjecture was made by placing a small globule of gold on a plate of 
sheet-iron and submitting it to the heat of an assaying Aimace, but the 
experiment was unsuccessful, for, although the gold was heated much 
beyond its melting point, it showed no signs of sinking into the pores 
<tf the iron. The idea afterward suggested itself that a different result 
would have been obtained had the two metals been made to adhere to 
each other, so that no oxide could ftn^m between the two surfaces. To 
verify this a piece of copper, thickly plated with silver, was heated to 
near the melting point of the metals, when the silver disappeared, and, 
after the surface was cleaned with dilated sulphuric acid, it presented a 
uniform sorfoce of copper. This plate was next immersed for a tew 
minutes in a solution of mnriate of zinc, by which the sorfeoe of copper 
was removed and the sur&ce of silver again exposed. The fact had . 
loag been observed by workmen in silver-plating that, in soldering the 
parts of plated metal, if care be not takoQ not to heat them unduly, the 
silver will disappear. This effect was snpposed to be produced by evap- 
oration, or the burning off, as it was called, i)f the plating. It is not 
improbable that a slow diffusion of (Hie metal into the other takes place 
in the case of an alloy. Silver coins slightly alloyed with copper, after 
having lain long in the earth, are found covered with a salt of copper. 
This may be explained by supposing that the alloy of copper at the sur- 
&oe of the emn enteia into combination with the carbonic acid of the 


Boil, said, being thus removed, its place is sapplied by a diffusion firom 
'Within, and bo on ; it is not improteble that a large portion of the alloy 
may be removed in progress of time, and the purity of the coin be con- 
siderably increased. It is known to the jeweler that articles of copper 
plated with gold lose their brilliancy after a while, and that this can be 
restored by boiling them in ammonia. This effect is probably produced 
by the ammonia acting on the copper and dissolving off its surface so 
as to expose the gold, which by diffusion had penetrated into the body 
of the metal. 

The slow diffusion of one metal into another at ordinary temperatores, 
wonld naturally require a long time to produce a perceptible effect, since 
it is probably only produced by the minute vibrations of the particles 
doe to variations of temperature. 

The same principle is applied to the explanation of the phenomenon 
called segregation — »nch as the formation of nodules of flint in masses 
of carbonate of lime : or, in other words, te the explanation of the man- 
ner in which the molecular action, which is insensible at perceptible dis- 
tances, may produce results which would appear, at first sight, to be the 
effect of attraction acting at a distance. 

XIY. Another series of experiments had reference to the constitution 
of matter in regard tp its state of liquidity and solidity, and they had 
their origin in the examination of the condition of the metal of the lajge 
gun G0UBtruct«d under the direction of Captain Stockton, by the explo- 
sion of which several prominent members of the United States Govern- 
ment were killed at Washington. It was observed in testing the bars 
of iron made irom this gun, that they varied much in tensile strength in 
different parts, and that, in breaking f bese bars, the solution of the con- 
tinuity took place first in the interior. This phenomenon was attributed 
to the more ready mobility of the outer molecules of the bars, the inner 
ones being surrounded by matter incapable of slipping, and hence the 
rupture. A similar effect is produced in a piece of thick copper wire, 
each end, when broken, exhibiting, at the point of rupture, a cup-shaped 
surface, showing that the exterior of the metal sustained its connection 
longer than the interior. From these observations the conclusion was 
drawn, that rigidity differs from liquidity more in a polarity which pre- 
vents slipping of the molecules, than in a difference of the attractive 
force with which the molecules are held together ; or that it is more in 
accordance with the phenomena of cohesion to suppose that, in the case 
of a liquid, instead of the attraction of the molecules being neutralized 
by heat, the eftect of this agent is merely to neutralize the polarity of 
the molecules^ so as to give them peri'ect &eedom of motion around any 
imaginable axis. In illustration of this subject, the comparative tenacity 
of pure water and water in which soap had been dissolved was measured 
by the usual method of ascertaining the weight required to detach irom 
the surface of each the same plato of wood, suspended from tJie beam of 
a balance, under the same conditiou of temperature and pressure. It 
was found, by this experiment, that the tenaBitiy of pure water was 
greater than that of soap and water. This novel result is in accordance 
with the supposition that the mingling of the soap and the water inter- 
feres with liie perfect mobility of the molecules, while at the same time 
it dimiiiishes tiie attraction. 

XV. A series of experiments was also made on the tenacity of soap in 
films. For this purpose sheets of soap-water films were stretehed upon 
rings, and the attempt made to obtain the tenacity of these by phuMog 
on them pellets of cotton until fliey were raptured. The thickness of 
these films was roughly estimated by Kewton's scale of the colors of Una 


plates, and from tbe reenlts tbe condoBion vas arrived at that the at- 
tractive force of the molecules of water, for those of water, is approxi- 
mately equal to that of the molecules of ice for those of ice, aiid that the 
difTereuce in this case, of the solidity and liquidity, is due to the want of 
mobility Ju tbe latter, wbicb prevented the slipping of the molecules ou 
each other. It is this extreme mobility of the molecules of water that 
prevents the formation of permanent bubbles of it, and not a want of 

The roundness of drops of water is not dae to tbe attraction of the 
whole mass, bat merely to the action of the snr&ce, which in all cases 
of curvature is endowed with an intense contractile power. 

This class of investigation also included the study of soap bubbles, 
and the establishment of the fact of the contractile power of tiiese films. 
The curvature of the surface of a bubble tends to urge each particle 
toward the ceuter, with a force inversely as tie diameter. Two bubbles 
being connected, the smaller will collapse by expelling its contents into 
the larger. By employing frames of wire, soap bubbles were also made 
to assume various forms, by wbicb capillarity and other phanomeua 
were illustrated. This subject was afterward taken up by Plateau, of 
Ghent. Another part of tiie same investigation wirs the study of the 
spreading of oil on water, the phenomenon being referred to the fact that 
the attraction of water for water is greater than that of oil for oil, while 
the attraction of the molecules of oil for each other is less than the 
attraction of the same molecules for water; hence the oil spreads over 
the water. This is shown from the fact that when a ruptiu^ is made in 
a liquid compound, consisting of a stratum of oil resting on water, the 
rapture takes place in the oil, and not between the oil and water. The 
very small distance at which the attraction takes place, is exhibited by 
placing a single drop of oil ou a surface of water of a considerable ex- 
tent, when it will diffuse itself over the whole surface, if, however, a 
second drop be placed upou tbe same surface, it will retain its globular 

XVI. Auother contribution to science had reference to the origin of 
mecbanical power and the nature of vital force. Mechanical power is 
defined to be tfaut which is capable of overcoming retiistance; or, in the 
language of the engineer, that which is employed to do work. 

If we examine attentively the condition of the crust of the earth, we 
find it, as a general rule, in a state of permanent equilibrium. All the 
substances which constitute the material of the crust, such as acids and 
bases, with the exception of the indefinitely thin pelhcle of vegetable 
and aoimal matter which exists at its surface, have all gone into a state 
of permanent combination, the whole being in the condition of a burnt 
slag of a famace, entirely inert, and capable in itself of no change. All 
the changes which we observe on the surface of the globe may be referred 
to [totiou &om without, from celestial space. 

The following is a list which will be found to include all the prime 
movers used at the present day, either directly or indirectly, in produc- 
ing molecular changes in matter : 

( Water power. 1 Immediately referable 

Class I. < Tide power. > to celestial disturb- 

( Wind power. ) ance. 

( Steam and other powers devel- ) Immediately referable to 
Class II. i oped by combustion. > what is called vital 

( Animal power. ) action. 



The totcea of grayity, cohesion, electricity, Mid chemical attraction 
tend to produce a state of permanent eqnilibrimn on oor planet; hence 
these principles in themselyes are not primary, bnt secondary, agente in 
producing meobanical effects. As an example, we may take the case of 
water-power, which is approximately dne to the return of the water to 
a state of stable equilibrium on the snrftvce of the ocean; bat the pri- 
mary cause of the motiwi is the force which produced the elevation of 
the liquid in the form of vapor — namely, the radiant heat of the snn. 
Also, in the phenomena of combustion, the immediate scarce of the 
iwwer evolved in the form of heat is the passage from an unstable state 
into one of stable combination of the carbon and hydrogen of the fuel 
with oxygen of the atmosphere. But this power may ultimately be re- 
solved into the force which caused the separation of these elements from 
their previous combination in the state of carbonic acid->-Qamely, tlie 
radiant light of the sun. But the mechanical power exerted by animals 
is due to the i)as8age of organized matter in the stomach from an un- 
stable to a stable equilibrium, or as it were from "Uie combustion of the 
fftod. It thCTefore follows that animal power is referable to the same 
aonrce as that from the combustion of ftiel — namely, developed power 
of the enn's beams. Bnt according to this view, what is vitality 1 It 
is that mysterioas principle — not mechanical power — which determines 
the form and arranges the atoms of organized matter, employing for this 
purpose the power which is derived fifom the food. 

These propositions were illustrated by different examples. Suppose a 
vegetable organism impregnated with a germ — a potato^ for instance — 
is planted below the snrfece of the ground in a damp soil, under a tem- 
perature sutaeient for vegetation, fl we examine it from time to tamCf we 
find it sending down rootlets iuto the earth and stems and leaves upward 
into the air. Afterthe leaves have been fully expanded we eh^l find the 
tuber entirely exhausted, nothingbut a skin remaining. The same effect 
will take place if the potato be placed in a warm cellar. It will con- 
tinue to grow until all the starch and gluten are exhausted, when it will 
cease to increase. If, however, we now place it in the light, it will com- 
mence lo grow again, and increase in size and weight. If we weigh the 
potato previous to the experiment and the plant after it has ceased to 
grow in the dark, we shall find that the weight of the latter is a little 
more than half that of the original tuber. The questicm then is, what 
has become of the material which flUed the sac of the potato-1 The an- 
swer is, one part has run down into carbonic acid and water, and in this 
running down has evolved the power to build up the other part into the 
new plant. After the leaves have been formed and the plant exposed to 
the light of the sun, the developed power of Its rays decomposes the car- 
bonic acid of the atmosphere, and thus fiimisbes the pabnlnm and the 
power necessaiy to the fUrther development of the organization. The 
same is the case with wheat and all other grains that are germinated in 
the earth. Besides the germ of the flitore plant, there is stored away 
around the germ the starch and gluten to furnish the power necessary 
to its development and also the food to build it np until it reaches 
tbe surface of the earth and can draw the source of its future growth 
l^m the power of the sunbeam. lit the case of fungi and other plants 
tiiat grow in the dark, they derive the power and the pabulumfrom sur- 
rounding vegetable matter in process of decay or in that of evolving 
power. A similar arrangement is found in regard to animal organizar 
tion. It ia well known that the egg continually diminishes in weight dur- 
ing the process of incubation, and the chick when fully formed weighs 
scarcely more than one-half the original weight of the egg. . What is the 

, ,.. I,, Google 


interpretation of tiaa phenomenon f Simply that one part of the con- 
tents of the shell has ran dovn into carbonic acid and tfater, and thns 
evolved the power necessary to do the work of building up the future 
animal. In like manner when the tadpole is converted into a &og the 
animal for a while loses weight. A portion of the organism of its tail 
has been expended developing the power necessary to the transforma- 
tion, while another portion has served for the material of the legs. 

What, then, is the office of vitality I We say that it is analogous to 
that of the engineerwhodireeta the power of the steam-engine in the ex- 
ecution of its work. Without this, in the case of the egg, the materials, 
left to the nndirected force of affinity, would end in simply producing 
chemical compounds — snlphuretted hydrogen, carbonic acid, &c. There 
is no special analogy between the process of ciystallization and that 
of vital action. In the one case definite mathematical forms are the 
necessary resnlta, while in the other the results are precisely like those 
which are produced under the direction of will and intelligence, evincing 
a design and a purpose, making provision at one stage of the process for 
reSnlts to be attained at a later, and producing oi^ans intended evidently 
for locomotion and perception. Not only is the result the same as that 
which is produced by human design, but in all cases the power with 
which this principle operates is the same as that with which the intelli- 
gent engineer produces his result. 

This doctrine was first given in a commnnication to the American 
. Philosophical Society in Decembra-, 1844, and mcfre fiilly developed in a 
paper published in the Patent Office Beport in 1857. 

The publication in fall of three of the series of investigations herein 
described was made in the Transactions of the American Philosophical 
Society. Others were published in Silliman's Journal, and both these 
are noticed in tJie Eoyal Society's Catalogue of Scientific Papers; but 
the remainder of them were published in the Proceedings of the Ameri- 
can Philosophical Society, and are not mentioned in the work just 
referred to, 

In 1846, while still at Princeton, I was requested by members of the 
Board of Regents of the Smithsonian Institution, which was then just 
founded, to study the will of Smithson, and to give a plan of organiza- 
tion by which the object of tlie bequest might be realized. My conclu- 
sion was that the intention of the donor was to advance Science by origi- 
nal research and publication; that the establishment was for the benefit 
of mankind generally, and that all unnecessary expenditures on local 
objects would be violations of the trust. The plan I proposed for the 
organization of the Institution was to assist men of science in making 
original researches, to publish these in a series of volumes, and to give 
a copy of these to every first-class library on the face of the earth. 

I was afterward called to take charge of the Institution and to carry 
out this plan, which has been the governing policy of the estal)lishmeQt 
from the beginning to the present time. 

One of the first enterprises of the Smithsonian Institution was the 
establishment of a system of simultaneous meteorological observations 
over the whole United States, especially for the study of the phenomena 
of American storms. 

For this purpose the assistance of Proffessor Gnyot was obtained, who 
drew up a series of instructions for the observers, which was printed 
and distributed in all parts of the country. He also recommended the 
form of instruments l^st suited to be used by the observers, and finally 
calculated, with immense labor, a volume of meteorological and physical 
tables for reducing and discussing observations. These tables were 



publiahed by the Inatitatioii, and are now in use in almost every part of 
the world in whieti the Englisli language is spokea. The prosecution of 
the system. finally led to the application of the principles established to 
the predictions of the weather by means of the telegraph. 

WASHrsaTON, D. C, December i, 1876. 


1825. On the Production of CoIdbytheRarefectionof Air: accompanied 
with Experiments. (Presented Maf. 2.) Abstract, Trans. Al- 
bany Institute, vol. i. part ii. p. 36. 

1827. On some Modifications of the Electro-magnetic Apparatus. (Bead 
Oct. 10.) Trans. Albany Inst. vol. L pp. 22-24. 

1829. Topographical Sketch of tiie State of New York ; designed chiefly 
to show the Gteiieral Elevations and Depressions of its Surface. 
(Read Oct. 28.) Trans. Albany Inst. vol. i. pp. 87-112. 

1829. First Abstract of Meteorological Records of the State of New 
York, ibr 1828. (In conjunction with Dr. T. Bomeyn Beck.) 
Annual Report of Regents of University, to the Legislature of 
New York.— Albany, 1829. 

1829. On the Mean Temperature of Twenty-seven difl^reut Places in the 

State of New York, for 1828. (In conjunction with Dr. T. Ro- 
meyn Beck.) Brewster's Edinburgh JoW. Science, Oct. 1828, 
vol. i. pp. 249-259. 

1830. Second Abstract of Meteorological Records of the Stat« of New 

York for 1829. (In cotynnction with Dr. T. Eomeyn Beck.) 
Annual Report of Regents of University, to the Le^slature of 
New York.— Albany, 1830. 
1631. On the Application of the Principle of the Galvanic Multiplier to 
Electro-magnetic Apparatus, and also to the development of 
great Magnetic power in soft iron, with small Oalvanic Ele- 
ments. SiUiman's American Jour. Science, Jan. 1831, voL xix, 
pp. 400-408. 

1831. Tabular Statement of the Latitudes, Longitudes, and Elevations, 

of 42 Meteorological Stations in ISew York. Annual Report 
Regents of Vniversity to Legislature N, Y. 1831. 

1831. Third Abstract of Meteorological Records of State of New York 
for 1830. (Li conjunction with Dr. T. Romeyn Beck.) Annual 
Report of Regents of University, to the Legislature of New 
York.— Albany, 1831. 

1831. An account of a large Electro-magnet, made for the Laboratory 
of Yale College. (In conjunction with Dr. Ten Eyck.) SiUi- 
man's Am. Jour. Sci. April, 1831, vol. xx, pp. 201-203. 

1831. On a Reciprocating Motion produced by Magnetic attraction and 
repulsion. Silliman's Am, Jour. Sci. July, 1831, vol. xx, pp. 
340-343. Sturgeon's Anna^ of Ulectricity, etc. voL ilL pp. 



1832. On a Distnrbaitce of tbe Earth's Magnetism in connection with 
the appearance of an Aurora as observed at Albany on the 19th 
of April, 1831. (Communicated to the Albany Institute, Jan. 
26, 1832.) Report of Regents of University, to the Legislatnre 
of New York. — Albany, 1832. Silliman's Am. Jour. Set. July, 
1832, vol. xxii. pp. 143-155. 

1832. Fourth Abstract of Meteorological Records of the State of New 
York for 1831. (In conjunction with Dr. T. Eomeyn Beck.) 
Annual Report of Regents of Vniversi^, to the Legislature of 
New York.— Albany, 1831. 

1832. On the Production of Currents and Sparks of Electricity from 

Magnetiam. Silliman's Am. Jour. IM. July, 1832, vol. xxii 
pp. 403-408. 

1833. Fifth Abstract of Meteorological Records of the State of New 

York, for 1832. (In conjunction with Dr. T. Eomeyn Beok.) 
Annual Report of Regents of University, to the Legislature of 
New York.— Albany, 1833. 

1835. Contributions to Electricity and Magnetism. No. I. Description 
of a Galvanic Battery for producing Electricity of different in- 
tensities. (Bead Jan. 14.) Transactions Am. Philosoph. iSociety, 
vol. V. pp. 217-222. Sturgeon's Annals of Electricity, etc. vol. 
i. pp. 277-281. 

1835. Contributions to Electricity and Magnetism. No. 11. On the in- 
fluence of a Spiral Conductor in increasing the intensity of 
Electricity from a Galvanic arrangement of a single Pair, etc 
(Read Feb. 6.) Trans. Amer. Phil. Soc. vol. v. pp. 223-232. 
Sturgeon's AnnaU of Mectridty, etc. vol. L pp. 282-290. Tay- 
lor's Scientific Memoirs, vol. i. pp. 540-547. 

1835. Facts in reference to the Spark, etc. from a long Conductor unit- 
ing the poles of a Galvanic Battery. Journal of Franklin In- 
stitute, Mar. 1835, vol. xv. pp. 169, 170. SilUm^s Am. Jour. 
Sm. July, 1835, vol. xxviii. pp. 327-331. 

1837. A Notice of Electrical Researches, particularly in regard to the 

" lateral discharge." (Read before the British Association at 
Liverpool, Sept 1837.) Report Brit. Assoc. 1837. Part II. pp. . 
22-24. SiUiman*s Am. Jour. Sd. April, 1838, vol. xxxiv. pp. 

1838. A Letter on the production directly from ordinary Electricity of 

Currents by Induction, analogous to those obtained from Gal- 
vanism. (Read to Phdosoph. Society, May 4.) Proceedings 
Am. Phil. Soc. voL i. p. 14. 

1838. Contributions to Electricity and Magnetism. No. Ill, On Elec- 

tro-dynamic Induction. (Read Nov. 2.) Tram. Am. Phil. Soc. 
vol. vi. pp. 303-338. Sillunan's Am. Jour. Sd. Jan. 1840, voL 
zxxviiL pp. 209-243. Sturgeon's Annals of Electricity, etc. vol. 
iv. pp. 281-310. L. E. J) PkiL Mag. Mar. 1840, vol. xvi. pp. 
200-210 : pp. 254r-265 : pp. 561-562. Becqnerel's Traitd ei^&i- 
mental de PEleetridtd, etc. vol. v. pp. 87-107. Annates de Chimte 
et de Physique, Dec. 1841, 3d series : vol. iii. pp. 39^^07. Pog- 
gendorff's Amialen der Physik und Chemie, Supplemental vol. 
i. (Nach Band U.) 1842, pp. 282-312. 

1839. Anovelphenomenonof Capillary action; thetransmiasionof Mer- 

cury through Lead. (Read Mar. 15.) Proceedings Am. Phil. Soc 
vol. i. pp. 82, 83. Silliman's Am. Jour. Set. Jan. 1839, vol. 
xxxviii. pp. 180, 181. Biblioth. TTniverselle, vol. xxix, pp. 176, 
176. Liebig's Annalen der Chemie, etc. vol. zL pp. 182, 183, 


1839, A Letter on two distinct kinds of dynamic Indnetion by a Oal* 

vanic current. (Bead to Phil. Soc. Oct. 1&) Froceedinga Ara. 

Phil 8o€. vol. i. pp. 134^-136. 
1639. Observations of Meteors Tnade Kov. 25, 1835^ simaltaneouely at 

Princeton and at Philadelphia, for detennimng their difference 
. of Longitude. (In conjunction with Profiissors A. D. Bache, 3. 

Alexander, and J. P. Espy.) Proceedings Am. Phil. Soe. Dee. 

21, vol. i. pp. 163, 163, SiUiman's Am. Jovr. ScL Oct 1840, 

ToL xxxix. pp. 372, 373. 
1340. Contributions to Electricity and MagnetiBm. Ko.IV. OuEIectro- 

dynamic Indnetion. (Bead June 19.) Trang. Am. PhU. Soe. 

vol. viii. pp. 1-18. SiUiman's Am. Jovr. 8m. April, 1S41, voL 

xh. pp. 117-152. Sturgeon's Annals Electricity, etc. vol. vii. 

pp. 21-56. X. E. B. Phil. Mag. Jnne, 184:1, vol. xviii. pp. 488- 

514. Annates de Chim. et Phya. Dec. 1841, 3d ser. vol. iiL pp. 

407-436. Poggendorff's Annal. der Phya. and Chem. 1841, voL 

liv. pp. 84-97. 

1840. ContributionB to Electricity and Magnetiam. No. IV, — oontinued. 

Theoretical Gonsiderations relating to EJeetro-dynamic Induc- 
tion. (Kead Nov. 20.) Tram. Am. PML Soe. vol. viiL pp. 
1840. On the production of a reciprocating motion by the repulsion in 
the consecutive parts of a condoetor through which a galvanic 
current is passing. (Kead Nov. 20.) Proceedings Am. Phil. 
Soc. vol. i. p. 301. 

1840. Electricity from heated Water. (Bead Dec. 18.) Proceeding» 

Am. Phil. Soe. vol. i. pp. 322-324. 

1841. Description of a simple and inexpensive form of Heliostat. (Bead 

Sept. 17.) Proceedings Am. Phil. Soc. vol. ii. p. 97. 

1841. Observations on the eflfects of a Thunderstorm which visited 

Princeton on the evening of the 14th of July, 1841. (Bead 
Nov. 5.) Proceedinga Am. Phil. Soc. vol. ii. pp. 111-116. 

1842. B^som^ des Becberches faits snr les Conrant« d'lndaclioii. Ar- 

cMves de VMectridU, 1842, vol. ii. pp. 348-392. 

1842. Contributions to Electricity and Magnetism. No. Y. On Electro- 

dynamic Induction : and on the oscillatory discharge. (Kead 
June 17.) Proceedinga Am. Phil. Soc. vol. ii. pp. 193-196. 

1843. On Phosphorogenic Emanation. {Bead May 26.) Proeeedmga 

Am. Phil. Soc. vol. iii. pp. 38-44. Walker's ^leetricai Magazine, 
1845, vol. i. pp- 444r^50. 

1843. On a new Method of determining the Velocity of Projectiles. 
(Bead May 30.) ProceediTiga Am. Phil. Soe. voL iii. pp. 165-167, 
Walker's Electrical Magazine, 1845, vol. i. pp. 250-352. 

1843. Nouvelles Experiences sur I'lnduction d6velopp6e par l'Electrieit6 
ordinaire. (Translated.) Archi^ea de VEle&tridt^, 1843, voL iii, 
pp. 484^488. 

1843. On the application of Melloni's thermo-electric apparatus to Me- 
teorological purposes. (Presented orally Nov. 3.) Proceedings 
Am. PhiL Soc. vol. iv. p. 22. 

1843. Theory of the discharge of the Leyden jar. (Presented Nov. 3.) 

Proceedinga Am. PhU. Soe. vol. iv. pp. 22, 23. 

1844. On lie Cohesion of Liquids. (Bead April 5.) Proceedings Am. 

Pkil. Soc. vol. iv. pp. 5(5, 57. SiUiman's Am. Jour. Sd. Oct. 1844, 
vol. xlviii. pp. 215, 216. 
1844. On the Cohesion of Liquids, — continued. (Bead May 17.) Pro- 
ceedings Am. Phil. Soc. voL jv, pp. 84, 85. SiUiman's Am. 


Jowr. Sei.Oet. 1844, Tol.xlviii.w>. 216, 217. L.I!. It. Phil. Mag. 
Jtine, 1845, vol. xxxvi. pp. 541-543. 

1844. Syllabus of Lectures oa Physics. Princeton, 8vo. 1844 Eepnb- 

lished in part in Smithsonian Report, 1856, pp. 187-220. 
1844.' Classification and Sources of Mechanical Power. (Read Dec. 20.) 

■ Froeeedings Am. Phil. Soc. toI. iv. pp. 127-129. 
1843. On the Coast Survey. Princeton Beview, April, 1845, vol, xviL 
pp. 321-344. 

1845. On the Eelative Radiation of Heat by the Solar Spots. (Head 

June 20.) Proceedinga Am. Fkil. Soc. vol. iv. pp. 173-176. 

Brief Abstract in Report Brit. Assoc. 1645, Part II. p. 6. 

Walker's E]ectrieal Magazine, 1646, vol. ii. pp. 321-324. 

Froriep's Neue N^otizen, etc., No. 826, 1846, vol. xxxviii. col. 

179-18a. Poggendorff's Annalen der Fkgsik v,nd Cliemie, 1846, 

vol. Ixviii. pp. lOft-104. 
1845. On the Capillarity of Metals. (Bead Jane 30.) Proceedings Am, 

Phil. Soc vol. iv. pp. 176-178. Froriej/s Netie Sotizm, etc. No. 

825, 1846, voLxxxyiiL coL 168-169. Poggendorff 's AwMaien der 

Physik und Chemie. 2d supplemental v^. (Nach Band Lxxii.) 

1848, pp. 358-361. 
1845. On the Protection of Bnildings from liightning. (Bead June 20.) 

Proceedinga Am. Phil. Soc vol. iv. p. 179. Silliman's Am. Jour. 

8ci. 1846, vol. di; pp. 405, 406. Walker's Electrical Magazine, 

1846, vol. ii. pp. 32^-326. Froriep's Jfetie Ifotizen, etc., Ko. 823, 

1846, vol. xxxviii. coL 133, 134. 
1845. An account of peculiar eflfects on a boose struck by Lightning. 

(Bead Jnne 20.) Proceedings Am. PhU. Soc. vol. iv. p. 180. 
1845. On Color Blindness. Priiiceton Resiew, July, 1845, vol, xvli. pp. 


1845. On the discharge of Electricity through a long wire, etc. (Bead 

Nov. 7.) Proceedings Am. Phil. Soc. vol. iv. pp. 208, 209. 

1846. Bepetition of Faraday's Experiment on the Polarization of Liquids 

under the indnence of a galvanic current. (Bead Jan. IC.) 

Proceedings. Am. PUl Soc. vol. iv. pp. 229, 230. 
1846. Bxtrait d'une Lettre & M. de la Rive, sur lee T616graphe8 Elec 

triques dans les Btats-0nis de I'Aiu^que. Biblioth, XTniver- 

selle. Archives, 1846, vol. ii. p. 178. 
1S4S. Beport on the action oi Electricity On the Telegraph Wir^ ; and 

Telegraph-poles struck by Lightning. (Bead June 19.) Pro 

(xedings Am. Phil. Soc voL iv. pp. 260-268. Sillioiau's Am. 

Jour. Sci. 1847, vol. iii. pp. 25-32. L. E. D. PUL Mag. 1847, 

voL XXX. pp. 186-194. AgnaUtural Report, Commr. Pats, 1859, 

pp. 509-511. 
1846. On the ball supiwrted by a water jet : also experiraenlB in regard 

to the "interference" of heat. (Read Oct. 16.) Proceedings 

Am. Phil. Soc vol. iv. p. 285, 
1846. OnthecorpnscularhypothesisoftheconstitntionofMatter. (Bead 

Nov. 6.) Proceedings Am. PMl. Soc. vol. iv. pp. 287-290. 

1846. On the Height of Aurone. (Bead Dec 3.) Proceedings Am. Phil. 

Soc vol iv. p. 370. 

1847. Programme of Organization of the Smithsonian Institution. (Pre- 

sented to the Bouxi of Brents, Dec 8, 1847.) Smithsonian 
Report, 1847, pp. 120-132. 
1847. Article on "Mtmnetism" for the Eneyclopsedia Americana. En- 
cgcl. Amer. 1847, vol. xiv, pp. 412-426. 



1848. On Heat. — ^A Thermal Telescope. Silliman's Am, Jour^ Bd. Jan. 
1848, vol. V. pp. 113, 114. 

1848. Explanations and lUustrations of ^e Plan of the Smithsonian 

Institution. Silliman'a Am. Jour. 8ci. Kov. 1848, voL vi. pp. 

1849. On the Radiation of Heat. (Read Oct 19.) ProcmiingB Am. Phil. 

Soe. Tol. V. p. 108. 

1850. Analysis of the dyoamic phenomena of the Leyden jar. Proceeds 

ings Amer. Association, Aug. 1860, pp. 377, 378. 
1861. On the Limit of Perceptibility of a direct and reflected Sonnd. 
Proceedings Amer. Aaawnation, May, 1851, pp. 42, 43. 

1851. On the Theory of the sooalled Imponderables. Proceedings Amer, 

Aaaociatum, Aug. 1851, pp. 84^91. 

1853. Address before the Metropolitan Mechanics' Institute, Washing- 

ington. (Delivered March 19.) 8vo. Washington, 1863, 19 pp. 

1854. Meteorological Tables of mean diurnal variations, etc. prepared as 

an Appendix to Mr. Russell's Lectures on Meteorology; Smith' 
aonian Report for 1854, pp. 215-223. 

1854. Tboughtfi ou Education ; an Introductory Discourse before the 

Association for Advancement of Education. (Delivered Dec 
28.) Proceedinga Aaaoc, Adv. Hdwcation, 4th Session, 1854, pp. 

1855. On the mode of Testing Building Materials, etc. Proceedings Am, 

Assoc Aug. 1855, pp. 103-112. Silliman's Am. Jour. Set. July, 

1856, vol. xxii, pp. 30-38; Smithsonian Report, 1856, pp. 

1855. On the effect of mingling Radiating Substances with Combustible 

Materials: (or incombustible bodies iriiii fuel). Proceedings 

Am. Assoc. Aug. 1855, pp. 112-116. 
1855. Account of Experiments on the alleged spontaneous separation of 

Alcohol and Water. Proceed. Am. Assoc. Aug. 1855, pp. 140-144. 
1855. On the Induction of Electrical Currents. fRead Sept. 11.) Pro- 
ceedings Am. Academy of Arts, etc. vol. iii. p. 198. 
1855. Ifote on the Gyroscope. Appendix to Lecture by Prof. B. S. 

Snell. Smithsonian R^ort, 1855, p. 190, 
1855. Remarks on Rain-f^ at varying elevations. Smithsonian Report, 

1855, pp. 213, 214. 
1855. Directions for Meteorological Observations. (In conjunction with 

Prof. A. Gnyot.) Smithamtian Report, 1855, pp. 215-244. 
1855. Circular of Inquiries relative to Earthquakes. Smithsonian Report, 

1855, p. 246. 

1855. Instructions for Observations of the Aurora. Smithsonian Reptyrt, 

1856, pp. 247-350. 

1855. On Green's Standard Barometer for the Smithsonian Institution. 

Smiiksonian Report, 1855, pp. 251-258. 
1855. Circular of Instmctions on Registering the periodical phenomena 

of animal and vegetable life. Smithaonimn Report, 1855, pp. 

1866. Meteorology in its connection with Agriculture, Part t Agri- 
cultural Report of Commr. Pats. 1855, pp. 357-394. 
1866. OnAcousticsapplied to Public Buildings. Proceedings Am. Aaaoo. 

Aug. 1866, pp. 119-135. Smithaoniun Report, 1856, pp. 221-234. 

Canadian Journal, 1857, vol. ii. pp. 130-140. 
1866. Account of a largo Sulphuric-acid Barometer in the Hall of the 

Smithsonian Institution Building. Proceedings Am, Assoc 

Aug. 1856, pp. 135-1.T8. 


1856. MetedToIogy in its connection ■with Agricnltnre, Part II. Gene- 

ral Atmospheric Conditions. Agricultural Meport of Commr. 
Pats. 1856, pp. 465-492. 

1857. Commnnicatton to the Board of Eegents of the Smithsonian In- 

stitution, relative to a publieatJon by Prof. Morse. Smithsonian 
Report, 1867, pp. 85-88. 
1857. Statement in relation to the history of the Electro-magnetic Tel- 
egraph. Smithsonian Be^port, 1867, pp. 99-106. 

1857. Meteorology in its connection with Agriculture, Part IH. Ter- 

restrial Physics, and Temperature. Agricvibu/ral Report of 
Commr. Pata. 1857, pp. 41ft-506, 

1858. Meteorology in ita connection with Agriealtnre, Part IV". Atmos- 

pheric Vapor, and Currents. AgricuXtural Report of Commr. 
Pate. 1858, pp. 429-493. 

1859. On Meteorology. Canadian Natarali«t and Geologist, Ang. 1859, 

voL iv. pp. 289-291. 

1859. Application of the Telegraph to the Prediction of Changes of the 
Weather, {Bead Aug. 9.) Proceedings Am. Academy of Arts, 
etc. vol. iv. pp. 271-275. 

1859. Meteorology in its connection with Agriculture, Part V. Atmos- 
pheric Electricity. Agrieulturai Report of Commr. Pats. 1859, 
pp. 461-509. 

1859. On the Protection of Buildings from the effects of Lightning. 

Agricult. Report, Com. Pat 1859, pp. Sll-624. 

1860. On the Conservation of Force. Sillunan's Am. Jour. 8ei. July, 

1860, voL XXX. pp. 32-41. 
1860. Circular to Officers of Hudson's Bay Company (April 20). Smith- 
aoniim Miscell, Colketions, Ho. 137, vol. viiL pp. 1-6, 

1860. Description of Smithsonian Anemometer. Smithsonian Report, 

1860, pp. 4Wr-416. 

1861. Letter on Aeronautics to Mr. T. S. O. Lowe. (Marioh 11.) Smith- 

sonian Report, 1860, pp. 118, 119. 
1861. Article on "Magnetism "for the American Bncydopsedia. Edited 
by Kipley and Dana. Am. Uneycl. 1861, vol. xi. pp. 61-63. 

1861. Article on "Meteorology" for the American Encyclopaedia. 

Edited hy Eipley and Dana. Am. EneycL 1861, voL'xi. pp. 

1862. Report of the Light House Board on the proposed Transfer of the 

Lights to the Kavy Department. Exec. Docts. 37th Cong. 2d 
Sess. Senate, Mis. Doc. 'So. 61, pp. 2-18. 

1863. Introduction to Memob by Prof. J. Plateau. On the Figures of 

Eqnihhrinm of a Liquid Mass, etc Smithsonian R^ort, 1863, 
pp. 207. 208. 

1864. On Materials for Combustion in Lamps of Light-Honsee. (Eead. 

Jan. 12, before the National Academy of Smences.) [Kot pub- 
lished in Proceedings.^ 

1865. Beport relative to the Fire at the Smithsonian Institntion, occur- 

ring Jan. 24th, 1865. (In conjunction with Mayor Bichard 
WallaclL) Presented to the Begents PebroMy, 1865. Smith- 
sonian Report, 1864, pp. 117-120. 
1865, Queries relative to Tornadoes : directions to observers. Smith- 
sonian Miscell. OollecHons, No. 190, voL x. pp. 1-4. 

1865. Remarks on the Meteorology of tlte United States. Smithsonian 

R^ort, 1865, pp. 60-69. 

1866. Report on the Wanning and Ventilating of the U. 8. Capitol. 

(M^4.) £xee.I>oe.So.l(iO. H. of Rep. SSth Cong. Ist Sesa. 
pp. 4-6. 


1866. Beport of BeikliDg Oommittee on BepairB fo Sm. Institntion fivm 
Fire. (In cor^junction with Genl. Eichard Delafl^d, and Mayor 
Bichaxd Wallach.) Presented to Begents April 28. Smith- 
»oni4m Seport, 1866, pp. 111-114. 

1866. Od tbe abimginaJ Migration of the Americfui races. Appendix 
to paper by F. Von Hellwald. Smithaonicm Report, 1866, pp. 

1866. Bemarks on Vitality. SmiHwmian Bmort, 1866, pp. 386-388. 

1866. Meteorological Notes. To Correepondents. SmithmnioM Eeport, 

1866, pp. 403-412. 

1867. Circular rdating to Collections in Archteology and Ethnology. 

{Jan. 16.) ^ithsonUm Mitoell. CoUectiorw, No. 206, vol. viii. 
pp. 1, 2. 
1867. Circular relative to Exchanges. (May 16.) Sntithmtiian Beport, 

1867, p. 71. 

1S67. Suggestions relative to Objects of Scientific Investigation in Bus- 
sian America. (May 27.) Smithsonian MieeeU, Volleetiom, No. 
207, vol. viii. pp. 1-7. 

1867. Not«s on Atmospheric Electricity. To Correspondents, ifmith- 

sonian Report, 1867, pp. 320-323. 

1868. Appendix to a Notice of Schojnbejn. Smtfuonian Report, 1868, 

pp. 189-192. 

1869. Memoir of Alexander Dallas Bache. fBead April 16.) Biograph- 

ical Memoirs of Sat, Acad, Sci, vol. i. pp. 181-212. Smithsonmn 
Rqaort, 1870, pp. 91-116. 

1870. Letter. On a Physical Observatory. (Dec. 29.) Smithsonian 

Report^ 1870, pp. 141-144. 

1871. Observations on the Bain- fall of tbe United States. Proceedings 

California Aeademy of Soienoes, vol. iv, p. 185. 
1871. Instrnetions for Observations of Thunder-Storms. Smithsonian 

MiseeU. (7(rftectMw*,No. 236, vol. x, p. 1. 
1871. Circular relative to Heights. For a topographic chart of N. 

America. Smithsonian Miacell. Collections, No. 236, vol. x. p. 1. 
1871. Directions for constructing Li^tning-Rods. Smithsonian MisceU. 

ColleeHons, No. 237, voL x. pp. 1-3. Silliman's Am. Jour. Sot. 
• Nov. 1871, VOL iL pp. 344-346. 
1871. Letter to Capt. C. F. Hall, in regard to the Scientific Operations 

of the Expedition toward the North Pole. (Jnne 9.) Smitli- 

sonian Report, 1871, pp. 364-366. 
1871. SaggestioQS as to Meteorological Observations; dnring theExpe- 

dition towfud the North Pole. Smithsonian Report, 1871, pp. 

1871. Meteorological Notes and Bemarks. SmitJiaoman Report, 1871, pp. 

462, 456, 46^469, 461. 
1871. Effect of the Moon on the Weather. Smithsonian Report, 1871, 

pp. 460, 461. 

1871. Anniversaty Address as President of the Philosophical Society of 

Washington. (Delivered Nov. 18.) Bulietin PhiL Soc. Wash- 
ington, vol. L pp. 6-14. 

1872. Bemarks on Cosmical Theories of Electricity and Magnetism: an 

Api>endix to a Sfemoir bv Prof G. B. Douati. Smithsonian 

R^portj 1872, pp. 307-309. 
1872. On certam Abnormal Phenomena of Sound, in oonnecticm with 

Fog-signals. (Bead Dec. 11.) BuUetin PhU. Soe. Washit^ttm, 

ToL ]. p. 65, and Appendix ix. 8 pp. 
1S73. Letter to John C. Green, Esq., of New York, on his establishment 


of the "Henry Chair of Physics" in the College of New Jersey. 
Washington Dailg Chronicle, Mar. 21, 1873. 
1873. On Telegraphic AuDOuncements of Astronomical Discoveries. 
(May.) Smithsonian Miacell. CoUectiom, No, 203, vol. sii. pp. 

1873. Eemarks on the Light-House Service. Beport of Light-House 

Boards 1873, pp. 3-7. 

1874. Report of Investigations relative to Fog-Signals, and certain ab- 

normal phenomena of Sound. Report of Light-Souse Board. 

1874. Appendix, pp. 83-117. 

1874 Memoir of Joseph Saxtou. (Bead Oct. 4.) Biographical Memoirs 

of 2fat. Acad. Soi. vol. i. pp. 287-316. 
1874 Bemarks ou Recent Earthquakes in North Carolina. Smithsonian 

Beport, 1874, pp. 259, 200. 

1875. Remarks on the Light-House Service. Beport of Light-House 

Board, 1875, pp. 5-8. 
1875. An account of investigations relative to Illaminating Materials. 

Report of Light-House Board, 1875. Appendix, pp. 86-103. 
1875. Investigations relative to Sound. Beport of Light-House Board, 

1875. Appendix, pp. 104^126. 

1875. On the Organization of Local Scieiitiflc Societies. Smithsonian 

Beport, 1875, pp. 217-219. 

1876. Article on " Fog," for Johnson's Universal Cycloptedia. Edited 

hy Dr. Barnard. J. Univ. Gycl. vol. ii. pp. 187, 188. 
1876. Article on " Fog- Si goals," for Johnson's Universal Cyclopsedia. 

Edited by Dr. Barnard. J. Univ. Cycl. vol ii. pp. 188-190. 
1876. Article on " Hygrometry," for Johnson's Universal Cvclopsedia. 

Edited by Dr. Barnard. J. Univ. Cycl vol. ii. pp. 1072-1074. 

1876. Letter to Itev. S. B. Dod; On researches at Princeton. (Dated 

Dec. 4.) Princeton Memorial, May 19, 1878, 8vo., N. Y., pp. 51-70. 

1877. Article on "Lightning," for Johnson's Universal Cyclopedia. 

Edited by Dr. Barnard. J. Univ. Cycl. vol. iii. pp. 32-30. 

1877. Article on " Lightning-Rods," for Johnson's Universal Cyclopsedia. 
Edited by Dr. Barnard. J, Univ. Gycl. vol. iiL pp. 30, 37. 

1877. Remarks on the Light-Hoase Service. Beport of Light-House 
Board, 1877, pp. 3-7. 

1877. Report of Operations relative to Fog-Signals. Beport of Light- 
House Board, 1877. Appendix, pp. 61-72. 

1877. Address before tLe Philosophical Society of Washington. Bul- 

letin Phil. Soc. Washington, vol. ii. pp. 162-174. 

1878. On Thunder Storms. (Letter Oct. 13.) Journal Atb. Electrical 

Society, 1878, vol. ii. pp. 37-43. 

1878. Letter to Joseph Patterson, Esq., of Philadelphia, on the "Joseph 
Henry Fund," (Dated Jan. 10.) Public Led^jer and Transcript, 
May 14, 1878. Tlie Press, of Phikdelphia, May 14, 1878. 

1878. Report on the Ventilation of the Hall of the House of Repre- 
sentatives. (Jan, 26.) 45th Cong. 2d Sees. H. R. Report, No. 
119, pp. 1-6. 

1878. Report on the Use of the Polariscope in Saccharimetiy. (Feb. 5.) 
Mis. Doc. 45th Cong. 2d Sess. H. R. 

1878. Opening Address before National Academy of Sciencea. (Read 
April 16.) Proceedings Nat. Acad. Sd. vol. i. part 2, pp. 127, 128, 

1878. Closing Address before National Academy of Sciences. (Read 
April 19.) Proceedings Nat. Acad. Sd, vol. i. part 2, pp. 129, 

.y Google 

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The object of this appendix is to illnstrat* the operationa of the InBtitution by 
reports of lectures and extracts from correspondence, as well as to furnish infonuation 
uf ft character suited especially to the observers and other peisons iutAreeted in the 
promotion of knowledge. 

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Br M. AiiAOO. 

[TroDBlated for the SmitbaoniaD InBtitation by M. A. Henry.] 

Daring the latter years of tiis life, George Cuvier consented to spare 
a few moments from hia immortal reseai-cbes to umke some notes for 
tbe benefit of bis future biograpbers. One of these ooten commences 
tbns : " I baV'e written so many eulogies, tbat it is not presamptions to 
suppose tbat Home one will write mine." This remark of tbe illustrious 
naturalist has reminded me tbat tbe last secretary of tbe old Academy 
of Sciences, himself the author of firty-fonr biographies of ucadeniiciaus 
equally remarkable for their conception and their expression, has not 
yet received in this assembly tbe tribute wbicb on many accounts is 
justly bis due. Tbe fact that wo Iiavo owed this debt to bis memory 
half a century is only a more powerful reason tbat it should be disebarged 
without farther delay. Our eulogies, as our memoirs, should have truth 
for their foundation and their object. But truth iu regard to public men 
is difScult to attain, particularly when their lives have been passed in 
the midst of political storms. I therefore earnestly appeal to tbe few 
contemporaries of Oondorcet whom death has spared, for correction of 
any error I may-have made in spite of my careful efforts. 

It bas perhaps been observed that I have called my article a biog' 
rapht/aud not as usual an historical eulogy. It is iu fact a detailed biog- 
raphy I baVe tbe honor to present to tbe Academy. Without desiring 
to establish a precedent for future secretaries, I will explain how in this 
instance tbe old form did not fulfil tbe euil I desired. 

Condoreet was no ordinary academician devoted alone to tbe labors 
of the closet: a speculative philosopher, and a citizen of unbiasedjudg- 
ment,— bis life, his public and piivate conduct, and his works, were in- 
fiuential in literary, economical, nud political associations. No one saf- 
fered more from the instability of public favor, jealousy, and fauat- 
. icism,-— those three terrible scourges of reputation. In sketching a 
portrait, which it is my duty to render as faithful as possible, I cannot 
pretend to claim belief on mere assertion. It is not enongh that for 
every charaoteristie feature I have endeavored with tbe greatest care 
to assure my own mind that my impressions are correct ; I must enable 
the public to intelligently decide between the prevailing judgment and 
my own ; it is necessary, therefore, to carefully examine and combat 

cokdobcbt: a bioqbapht. 181 

tbe false riews of those vrbo. Id my estimation, hare never traly com^ 
prebended the majeetic aspect presented to his genetatioa by the great 

If I ventnr© to hope that I have foand truth where others have 
fallen into error, it is becanae I have had access to private sources of 
inrormation. The distingui^bed daughter of our former secretary, and 
her 'illustrious husband, General O'Connor, have placed their rich 
archives at my disposal, with a kindness, unreserve, and liberality for 
vbich IcannutsnfSciently thank them. Many manuscripts of Coudorcet 
finished or incomplete, his letters to Turgot, answers from tbe lord lieiv 
tenant of Limoges, tbe comptroller-geueral of finance, fifty two unpub- 
lished letters of Voltaire, the correspondence of Lagrange with the sec- 
retary of the Academy of Sciences and with d'AIembert, loiters of Fred- 
erick tbeGreat, of Frnnklin, of Mademoiselle del'Espinasse, of Borda, of 
Monge, &i!., — such are the treasures I received from the honorable family 
of Condorcet. This is the material which has led me to clear and precise 
ideas of the part taken by our confrere in the political, social, and intel- 
lectual movement of tbe second half cf the eighteenth century. 

I have a fear that I have not sofBciently avoided a temptation result- 
ing from the kindness of General and Mrs. O'Connor, In goidg over 
tbe mauuscript confided to me, my mind was involuntarily impressed 
with the apprehension of tbe thousand accidents which might happen to 
those precious pages, and the result has been an uncommon number of 
quotations, and therefore an expaDsion of points which perhaps might 
better have been only alluded to. I am aware of the inconvenience 
of such elaboration, but consider as sufBcient compensation that 1 have 
perhaps rescued from oblivion fiicts, opinions, and literary judgments 
of great value ; that I have made to speak ia my place many eminent 
personages of the last century. 

One word as to tbe unusual length of this article. I am well aware of 
the demands it must make upon the patient attention of. my hearers, 
and tbe great desirability of retrenchment even after tbe numerous 
omissions which ha<l become necessary by tbe exigencies of a public 
reading, but I consider my mission unusual, and more than ordinarily 
solemn ; in fact I am about to undertake the rehabilitation 'of a col- 
league, and that in every point of view, scientific, literary, philosophical, 
and political. Any feeling of self-love that might interft^re wiih this ena 
would manifestly be unworthy of the aaaembly I address as well as of 


Jean Antoine Nicolas Caritat de Condorcet, formerly perpetual seo- 
retary of tbe Academy of Sciences, was born on tbe ITtb of September, 
1743, in Picardy, in the small village of Kibemont, which had already given 
to the Academy tbe engineer Bloudel, celebrated by tbe construction of 


the gate of SaiDt Denis. The father of Condorcet, M.Garitat, a captain 
of cavilry, originally, the Danphiu's, was the younger brother of the 
prelate whom we see Bnccessively from 1741 bishop of Gap, of Auxerre, 
and of Lisieux. lie was also related to tbe cardinal of Bernis and the 
famons archbishop of Vienna, M. d'Yse of Salmon, who while bishop of 
Bodez made himeelf so prominent in the coaneil of Embran by his 
warm anpport of the Jesuits. 

GondoToet had hardly attained his fonrth year when he lost his 
father. The widow of Captain Caritat was very devotioual in her 
tendencies. As, in her opinion, an infallible means of protecting her 
only Bon from the dangers of youth, she dedicated him to tbe Virgin 
and to the wearing of white garments. Condorcet accordingly wore 
for eight years the costume of a girl. This singular circumstance, as 
an effectnal interdiction of all gymnastic exercises, retarded greatly the 
development of his physical powers. It also prevented him from enter- 
ing the public schools, since a boy in petticoats could not fail to be an 
object of derision. 

When he had attained his eleventh year, his ancle plat^ him nnder 
the care of one of the members of that celebrated Society of Jesus, 
around which began already to gather the political storm. 

Not to trespass upon your time, permit me here a reflection. Madame 
Caritat de Condorcet, in the excess of her maternal love, subjected the 
childhood of the future secretary of the Academy to practices tending in 
more than one respect to superstition. The yonng Condorcet, as soon 
as be opened his eyes, was snrrounded by a family com[)osed of the 
[highest dignitaries of the church and military officers, whose ideas were 
jwitboQteiceptiou aristocratic; hisfirst guides, his first instructors, were 
, Jesuits. Behold the result of so unusual a conconrse of circumstances. 
In politics, a complete r^ection of all idea of hereditary prerogative j 
in religion, scepticism carried to its utmost limits. This reflecti'on con- 
firmed by many observations of a similar character history can furuish, 
should it not calm somewbac the ardor with which political and relig- 
loos parties, setting aaide the rights of families, dispute by turns the 
monopoly of public instruction. Such a monopoly is dangerous only in 
a country where thought is chained; with the liberty of the press, 
reason, whatever may be done, will finally assert itself. 

In the month of Angust, Condorcet, then thirteen years of age, car- 
ried off the second prize in tbe institution the Jesnits had established 
at Beims. In 1758 he commenced at Paris Ills mathematical studies, at 
the College of Navarre. His success was brilliant and rapid, tor at the 
end of ten months he maintained a very difficult analytical thesis with 
so much distinction, that Clairaut, d'Alembert, and Fontaine, who ex- 
amined him, saluted him as a future member of tbe Academy. 

Such a horoscope from persons so eminent decided the future of the 
young matbematician. In spite of the resistance he foresaw on the 
part of bis £imily, be resolved to devote himself to the puc^it of science, 


and established bimself at Paris for the parpose with bis old mast«r, M. 
Giraad do E^rondon. 

When Condorcet left college he was already a profonnd thinker. I 
find in a letter of 1775, addressed to Targot, and entitled Sty confession > 
of faith, that at the age of seveoteen years the young scbolur bad seri- ( 
oasly reflected npon the doral ideas of jnstice and virtue, and upon the \ 
qnestioD whether (leaving aside other considerations) it vas to man's 
interest to be jnst and virtuous, I give his solution of the question, 
although not sare of its originality with him. I am quite couvinced, 
however, of the novelty of the extreme resolution to which it led him. ' 

"A seoticnt being suffers from the evil which another sentient being ' 
experieuces. In society, an unjust or criminal action cannot fail to iujnre 
some one. The aotbor of such an action has, then, the consciousness of 
having caused suffering to one of bis own kind. If the sen si bil it/ with 
■which uatare has endowed bim remains intact, he must therefore suffer ' 
himself. In order, then, not to destroy his natural sensibility he must, 
ill self-interest, strengthen bis ideas of virtne and justice." 

This conclusion followed naturally from the premises. It led the 
yonng Oondorcet to renounce entirely the chase, and prevented him from 
killing even insects, provided that they did not harm bim. 

There were very few subjects in regard to which Condorcet had, even 
in early youth, vague and unfurnied opinions, and there is a beautiful 
harmony between the various periods of his laborious and agitated 
career. We see him, while still a youth, place kindness towards ani- i 
mals among the most efQcaeious means for preserving natural sen- 7 
sibility, — according to him, the principal source of all virtue. This idea I 
controlled him throughout life. Even just before his death, in the 1 
admirable tract called Advice of an outlaw to Ms daughter, be writes these 
touching oxbortations : 

"My dear daughter, preserve in all its pnrity, all its force, the feeling 
which leads us to share the sorrow of every sentient being. Do not 
confine yonr sensibilities to the sufferings of the human race, but let 
your humanity extend even to animals ; render those happy which be- 
long to yon ; do uot disdain to consider their well-being ; be not insea- 
aible to their naive and sincere gratitude ; cause tbem no nstless pain. 
• • • The want of foresight in animals is the only excuse for that 
barbarous law which imjwls them to uselessly ilestroy each other." 

I mast seize the Brst opportunity which offers to show you Condorcet 
resolutely following these principles. 8ach as he was in morals we find U 
him later in politics. 

The first fruit of the meditations to which Condorcet devoted himself 
with M. Geraud de ESrondon was a work entitled Essay upon the inte- 
gral cakultiB. The author was only twenty-two when he presented it to 
the Academy. Allow me to preface with a few general refections what 
I have to say of this treatise and of other mathematical works of Con- 



Wi> cin lianlly meatiou iu the vast domaiD of scieoce more than eigbt 
or ten importitDt discoveries which have not required the sncccBsive ef- 
forts of several ^eucrations of savaos. Unbaiipily, inventors, from a mis- 
taken feeling of self-love, are not ready to acknowledge to the historians 
of scieuce the soarces from which they huve borrowed; they desire more 
to astooish than to instract. They do not see it is far better to confess 
loyally their indebtedness than to incarthe suspicion of bad faith. 

In the sciences of observation every course of stones composing a 
complete edifice is more or less apparent. Books, academic collections, 
tell when and by whom these courses have been laid. The jiublic miiy 
count iGc stages which must be surmounted by him to whom is reserved 
the happiness of laying the cap-stone. Each has his appropriate share 
of glory in the work of ceutaries. 

8iibb is not the case with pnre mathematics. The filiation of methods 
ofteu escapes the most practised eye; at each step we find processes, 
theories withont apparent connection with any which precede. Certain 
geometers move mojestically in the upper regions of space, while it is 
not easy to say who prepared the road for their ascent. We may add 
that this road is nscally established upon a scaGToldiug taken care of 
by no one when the road is completed. To collect scattered dibria is a 
task unpleasant, tingrateful, and without glory, and, for this triple rea- 
son, is seldom undertaken. 

The savans who devote themselves to pnre mathematics withont at- 
taining the first rank must resign themselves to all these disadvantages. 
I have not yet mentioned the most important ; it results from the neces- 
sity the hi^r'torian of mathematics experiences of divesting his mind en- 
tirely of the light of his own century in judging of the wo^ks of former 
times. To this may be principally attributed the fact tb&t Gondorcet 
has never taken his true rank among geometers, and it is also on 
account of this difficnlty that I have shrnnk from the obligation of de- 
scribing iu a few lines the numerous mathemnticul works ^f onr former 
secretary. Ilappily, ns I have already said, I have in my hands nnpab- 
lished articles of Lagrange, of d'Alembcrt, in which the meiaoirs.of Gon- 
dorcet are noticed at the time of their publication. Gondorcet was thus 
judged by men of the utmost competence; an advantage by uo means 
always secured to mathematical workers in the appreciation they receive 
from their contemporaries. 

The first work of Gondorcet, bis Integral calculus, was examined by 
an academical committee, in May, 17C5. The reiwrt of it, presented by 
d'AIembert, ends thas: "This work indicates great talent and deserves 
the approbation of the Academy." 

Certain superficial critics, who scarcely looked at the work of Gondor- 
cet, spoke of it with ridicule and contempt, undoubtedly considering that 
the reporter of the academical committee treated it with culpable indul- 
gence; and tbey seemed to have referred the matter to Litgrnnge, for 
this great geometer wrote to d'Alembert the Cth day of July, 1705: "The 


Tutegral calculas of Coudorcot appears to me well wortby of the praises 
witli wliieb yoti Lave Iionored it." 

But setting these aathori ties aside, it is none tbe less cstablisbed that 
this woik coatauis tbe first serious well cousidered discussious of the 
conditions of iutegratioD of the ordiuary diflereiitial eqaatioos of all orders, 
as well relatively to the iutegral of an immediately inferior order, as to 
the dolluitive integral. In it wo also find tbe genns of several import- 
ant works, Giiiee completed, on equations with finite differences. 

Tbe volume of the Academy of Sciences for 1772 coDtains the memoir 
in which the iuveutire spirit ot Goiuloccet is most brilliaully mauii'ested. 
The blind or systematic detractors of the inatbematical ability of our 
former secretary are again coutroverted by the following verdict of La- 
grange upon this production : 

*'The memoir is filled with great and fruitful ideas sufficient to have 
supplied tbu material for several works. The last article has especially 
impressed me by its elegance and utility. Eecurreut series have so 
fre<ineutly been treated before, that the subject might have been con- 
sidered exhausted. In this article, however, is a new application of 
these series, more important, io my opinion, than any which had been 
made hefore. It oiieus to us, so to say, a ncfv field for the peifectioa 
of the Integral calculus." 

Without leaving the field of pare mathematics, I might find io the- 
academic collections of Paris, Berlin, Cologna, St. Petersburg, works bear- 
ing upon tbe most difficult Questions of the science which would equally 
attest the ability of our former secretary, hut I must hasten to uotico* 
some applications of analysis which did him do less honor. To do jus- 
tice to the subject in any reasonable time I cannot proceed by order of 

When we refiect upon tbe difficulties of all kinds astronomers have 
to overcome in order to determine with precision the orbits of the- 
planets ; when we consider, further, that it has been possible to har- 
monize the positions taken by tbe planets at the apogee, at the perigee,, 
and all the intermediate points, only because they are constantly obserr- 
nble, we can hardly dare to conceive the hope of ever tracing in space the 
coarse of most of the comets, those vagrant stars which show themselves- 
for a few days, only to be lost fur centuries. 

A very si mple analytical calculus dissipates this impression. It show8< 
that, speaking theoretically, three observations are more than sufficient 
to determiue a comet's orbit, supposed to be parabolic, but the eUmeotS' 
ofthis orbit are found to be so entangled in the equations that it appears- 
difficult to Tree them without calculations of inconvenient length. 

The problem thus regarded was not really solved, even after Newton,. 
Fontaine, Euler, &c., had made it the subject of assiduous study. When 
the Academy of Berlin proposed it as a prize subject, (he astronomers,, 
instead of employing the methods or computatioD of these great geome- 
ters, still pursued the graphic systems, in which parabolas of catd-boanl 


of various parameters are Qsed. The aim of the Academy was clearly 
expressed — to have the processes employed, at once direct and simple. 
The award of the prize was to have been mode in 1774, bnt it was de- 
ferred. In 1778 Condorcet shared it with M. Tempelhoff. " Toar beaa- 
tiful essny," wrote Lagrange to oar confrere (June 8, 1778), "would have 
reeeived the entire prize if the application of jour theory had been made 
to any particniar comet. This condition was in the programme." The 
condition was certainly there, butOondorcet had, as he himself acknowl- 
edges, an extreme repugnance " for calculations which tax without pleas- 
ing the attention." Of coarse it will be understood that numerical 
calculations are meant. 

Among the great mathematical discoveries tlie world owes to France 
is a branch of calcalns still very little appreciated, notwithstanding the 
services it has already rendered and those it still promises. This is the 
calcnlus of probabilities. 

I do not hesitate to claim this discovery of the calcnlas of probabili- 
ties for onr country, notwithstanding the efforts which have been made 
to deprive her of the credit. To dignify as inventors of this calculus the 
authors of some numerical remarks, without precision upon the various 
ways of computing a certain sum of points, in the simnltaneoas throw 
of three dice, would be a baseless pretension, which even national 
pr^udice could hardly excuse. 

Among the eminent services this calculus has rendered to mankind 
we should mention in the first line the abolition of the lottery and sev- 
eral other games of chance, which were as traps set for cnpidity, cre- 
dulity, and ignorance. Thanks to the evident and simple principles 
upon which the new aoalj-sis is founded, it is no longer possible to dis- 
gaise the frauds in which these financial combinations were formerly 
entrenched: discounts, annuities, tontines, insurances of all kinds, have 
lost their character of mystery and obscurity. 

On this ground the application of probabilities has been admitted 
'Without much resistance. But when Oondorcet, after some essays of 
Nicolas Bcrnoalli, made iucursion, by means of the new calculus, into 
the domain of jurisprudence and of moral and political science, an oppo. 
sition almost general warued him that he could not take possession of 
this field without a severe contest. To tell the truth, the contest still 
coutinuus. In order to end it, the geometers, on the one hand, must 
consent to put the principles of probabiltlies in clear, precise terms, as 
free as possible from technical expressions; while, on the other hand 
(and this is much more difficult), the public wast be led to recognize, 
that appreciation of certain very complex matters cannot be attained 
at a glance ; that it is impossible to speak pertinently of figures without 
mastering first at least the principles of enumeration; finally that there 
exist troths, legitimate connections, outside of those, the rudiments of 
which may have been acquired in yooth, or by the reading of classical 
works. To comprehend that civil and criminal tribunals should be eon.- 


stitated so that the inDocent may ran very little risk of coudemoation ; 
io order also to comprehend that the chances of an unjust condemna- 
tion wilt be as much lessened as the judgment ia rendered by the greater 
majority, the simiile natural light of the most ordinary sentiments of 
humanity is all that Is necessary. The problem becomes much more 
complicated when the question is to reconcile the proper guaranty of 
justice to the inooceut with the need of society that ihe guilty shall 
not escape; simple reason here gives only vague results, to these cal- 
culation alone can give precision. 

liet me repeat, that injudicial decisions there are certain phases, cer- 
tain points of view, where resort may be had to calculation. By carrying 
into this labyrinth the torch of mathematical analysis, Condorcet not 
only proved his own courage, but opened an eolirely new path. This, 
if pursued by geometers with a firm but can:ious step, should lead 
to tiie discovery, in the social, judicial, and pohtical organization of 
modern societies, of anomalies hitherto unsnspeoted. 

It is quite evident that in its incursions into the domain of jurispru- 
dence, the calculus of probabilities has for its object s plely the numer iv^ 

cal comparison of the decisions obtained with such or such a majorit;jj , 

to find the relative value of such or such number^f witnesses. I may 
then in terms of severe reproof direct the attention of the public to the 
passages La Ilarpe, in his PhiloHophie du XVIIl SUde, has devoted to 
these applications of mathematics. It will be seen there, I dare Siiy, 
with astonishment that the writer accuses our colleague of wishing to do 
away with testimony, and~cven written proof; of pretending to replace 
these advantageously by analytical formulse. Instead of desiring to 
refiite expressions so farfrom academical as "this is a supremely litlicu- 
loususeof science," it is "an extravagant conques; of the revolutionary 
philosophy," "this shows what insanity mathematics may produce," one 
regrets to see a man of real talent fallen into such incredible errors. As 
to the rest, it ia a new proof that no one, not even an academician, can 
safely speak of that which he has not studied. 

I must confess that the mathematical writings of Condorccit lack the 
elegant clearness which distinguiab in so high a degree the memoirs 
of Euler and of Lagrange. D'Alembert, who was himself not irre- 
proachable in this respect, endeavored, but with no great success, to 
induce our former secretary to take more pains. In March, 1772, he 
wrote to Lagrange: " I wish much that our friend Oondorcet, who has 
so mnch sagacity, and such genius, had a better manner of expression, 
but it seems to be the nature of his mind to work in this way." Tbisi'X- 
ense for him has more Jbundation than might readily be accepted. 
Euler, d'Alembert, Lagrange, with an equiil talent for mathematics, had 
each entirely different modes of working. Euler calculated wilbont 
apparent effort, as men breathe, as the birds fly. In a letter I have 
under my eyes, dated 17C9, d'Alembert thus speaks of himself to 
Lagrange : " It is not in my nature to occupy myself with one thing 


long at a time. I leave .a sabject and resume it again as often as 
the bumor takes me, without discoaragement, and ordinarily this inter- 
mitt^'Ut perseverance is successful." A third way in which genius 
works seems to be indicated by this passage, which I copy from a maa< 
uscript note from the aullior of the MScaiiique analytique : "Myoccu- 
patioDS are reduced to studying geometry tranquilly and in silence. 
As I am riot pressed and work more for my own pleasure than from 
duty, like the lord of a chateau who builds, tears down, and rebuilds 
again, 1 make, unmake, aud remake until I am tolerably coutent with 
the results, which, however, rarely bajipens." It is well, p^hapa, that 
variety and individuality exist in matbematicol researches, as in every- 
thing else; that ways the most diverse may equally lead men of ability 
to such discoveries as the mutual attraction of celestial bodies, the cause 
of the change iu the obliquity of the ecliptic, the cause of the precession 
of the equinoxes, and that of the libration of the moon. 

It may be asked with very natural surprise how Condorcet could 
reuoance so easily the success a scientific career promised him in order 
to throw himself into the discussions of a subject often very problemati- 
cal — social economy, and into the heated arena of politics. If this was a 
fault, many others also were equally culpable. Moreover, here is the pal-. 
liation : Early convinced that the human race is indefluitely perfectible, 
Condorcet (1 copy) regarded its improvement "as one of the pleasautest 
occupations, one of the first duties of the man who has strengthened 
his reason by study and meditation." He expressed the same thought 
in other words when, in a letter to Voltaire, he speaks with regret of 
returning to geometry: "It seems cold to work only for vainglory, when 
onedesiresto be working for the public good." 1 do ootadmit the distinc- 
tion; the vainglory Condorcet speaks of was more directly condnctvo to 
the benefitof humanity than the researches, economical and philosophical, 
which our confTfere undertook with so much zest in the social com- 
munity. The good done by science has roots deeper and more extended 
than those from any other source. It is not subject to the fiuctuations, 
the sadden caprices, the retrograde movements which so often produce 
perturbations in society. The torch of science dissipates a hundred old 
and debasing prejudices, inveterate maladies of the moral and iutel- 
lectnal world. If Condorcet was inclined to insinuate that scientific dis- 
coveries have no direct or immediate influence upon the body politic, 
I will not revert to such well known benefactions as the marinei^a com- 
pass, gunpowder, and the steam-engine to refute the suggestion ; I will 
take one fact from a thousand that show what important eventii may 
result through the agency of the simplest inventions. 

In the year 174G the Pretender had appeared in Scotland, and France 
was sending him ponerfal succor. The French fleetandtheEnglishsquad- 
ron passed each other during a very dark night. The most vigilant of the 
watch saw nothing, gave no signal; but, unhappily for France and its 
ally, Admiral Kowles, on leaving London, was- provided with a glass 


of recent and very simple construction, known under the name of Hie 
nigkt-glaaa — a glass in which theartist had sacrificed magnifying power 
to illumination. With thisinstrnment be descried, outlined on the hori- 
zon, numerous vessels ; he pursued them, reached them, captured them : 
the humble night-glass decided the destiny of the Stuarts. 

We may esplain the sadness felt by Oondorcet on returning to matbe. 
matics by the fact that even the most illustrious of geometers were at 
that time discouraged. They believed that they had reached the final 
limits of the science. We may judge this from the following passage I 
copy from a letter of Lagrange toci'Alembert: "I believe that the mine 
is already too deep, and, as we discover do new branches, sooner or later 
it must be abandoned. Cbemistry aud pliysica proffer a richer reward, 
with easier research. The taste, too, of tlie century does not lie in our 
direction. It is not impossible that the pnrsuit of geometry in the acad- 
emies will some time become as rare as the study of Arabic is to-day in 
the universities." 

Nomination of Condorcet to the Academy of Sciences— His 


I learn by a letter from d'Alembcrt to Lagrange that Condorcet might 
have entered the Academy in 17C3, at theageof twenty five years. Ills 
parents olrjected ; to make scieuee his ofBcial occnpation was in their eyes 
derogatory to his station. He was received in 1TC9. Dis family yielded 
rather because tired of objecting than from conviction; for, six years 
later, Condorcet, already perpetual secretary of the Academy, wrote to 
Turgot, "Look with favor upon M. Thouvenelj he is the ouly one of my 
relatives who forgave me for not being a c;ivalry captain." 

I must class among the first of Condorcet's academic works, an unpub- 
lished memoir u[io!i the best organisation of learued societies, lliis 
was intended for the Spanish Goveromcnt. Influenced by the desire to 
ealmthesosceptibilitiesof the court of Mad rid, the unthop has underrated 
eertatu phases of the question, but in it we find general views the Irait 
of an enlightened judgment and some cuiious anecdotes, which give the 
key, hitherto lost, to various provisions of our ancient academic rules. 

It would show an entire waut of understanding of the Spain of the 
XVIIIth uentury to dream of establishing an academy in which the 
Medina^eli, the d'O^suna, &c., as representatives of the nobility, would 
have HO place. Condorcet made this concession; he created honorary 
meybers, but stipuLited for an equality of rights which would, he hoped, 
"Ease the academicians in the eyes of the public, aud perhaps io their 
Own estimation, for savans unfortunately are not always philosophers." 
' To render," said Condorcet, " this union of the men of rank, who love 
(cience, and the savans devoted to her progress agreeable to both par- 
ies, this saying of Louis XIV should be kept in mind : ' Do you know 
why Racine and M. de Cavoye agree so well? Racine with Cavoyeia 
'a man of the court ; Cavoye with Racine is a man of letters.' ' 



Perhaps I may be exonsed if, ia tbis connectioD, I divalge from the 
maniiscriiit of Condorcet the origin of au article of the first charter of 
onr society relatiaj; to the Domination of men of rank : 

" Wbea we introdnced," said oar confrere, " honorary members in the 
Academy, for fear that trae savans might be troubled by the hautear or 
abuse of power of the monks, Foutenelle proposed Uiat the class of 
honorary members shonid be the only one to which tbey conld be ad- 

In the hope of indaoing the Spanish authorities not to be inSneDced in 
their choice of members by the religious principles of candidates, Con- 
dorcet proposed to tbem this question : " In an academy composed of the 
heathen Aristotle, tbe Brahmin Pythagoras, tbe Mussulman Albasen, 
the Catholic Descartes, the Jansenist Pascal, tho Ultramontane Uassini, 
the Calviuist Huygens, the Anglican Bncon, the Ariau Newton, the De- 
ist Leibnitz, would there be any question of preference in regard to sect 1 
Think you there would lie consideration in such an assembly for any- 
thing but pure geometny and physics V 

Condorcet aspired at Madrid not only to secure for the director of the 
academy extended authority and large prerogatives; he desired, to 
use hia own words, "to free the savana from the indignity, especially 
distasteful to them, of being under the protection of subalterns — an evil, 
in fact, of all times and all countries." 

If the memoir of Condorcet ever sees the day, it: may be considered that 
he pronounced too absolutely against the admission of foreigners amon^ 
the resident members of the academies. If so, history may say in his 
defense that when he wrote it, the French Government was prodi- 
gal of its favors to foreigners of moderate ability, while it neglected 
men of superior talent born in the country. Witness, for example, an 
Italian, — Boscoviob, provided with a large pension by the same ministers 
who refused to d'Alembert, notnithstandiug his genius, and contrary 
to all rule, the reversibility of 1,200 livres of revenue, proceeding from 
the succession of Clairaut. See also this same individual, who is men- 
tioned very slightingly by Lagrange rfud d'Alembert in the letters I have 
in band, attempting to enter the Academy without waiting for a vacancy 
and on tho point of success, thanks to the foolish admiration entertained 
for any one with a foreign termination to his name.* 

Until ITTO Condorcet seemed desirous of confining his attention ex- 
elnsively to mathematical and ecouomiual studies. After this p&riod he 
threw himself into the world of literature. There will be no hesitation 
in discerning the cause of this revolution, when we remark tha^ it 
coincides in date with the journey made by d'Alembert and Condorcetlio 
Ferriey, the home of Voltaire. Ciion his return the young academiciah 
of twenty -seveu years wrote to Turgot, intendant of Limousin, " I found 
Voltaire so full of activity and enthusiasm that one would be tempted 
to believe bim immortal, if n slight injustice towards Rousseau and tot* 
*Ibia piuagmpheoarcelydoeiijiutioe to the diUiugaiBhed Italian phjsioiat. \ 


great seoBibility i a regard to the follies of Fr4ron did DOtproTehim tobe 
haniau." Witli reference to some articlea in tlie Dietionnatre phUoao- 
j)Ai9u«(then nDpablisbed),articIe8 the importance and origiDHlity of which 
ma; be a matter of doabt, GoDdorcet says: "Voltaire works less for 
repatatioQ than for the good of his cause. lie Bhoald not be judged as 
a philosopher but as an apostle." Conid there be aa appreciation of 
certain works of Voltaire of greater delicacy and taste f 

Voltaire became a sort of Balali'Lama of the intellectoal world. His 
friends were nndignifled courtiers, blindly devoted to the caprices of 
their master, and eodeavoring to obtain, by outrageoaa flattery and aa- 
limitcd complaisance, one of those letters from Femey, which then, 
seemed in the eyes of the world a certain token of immortality. As for 
Gondorcet, a few words will show his opinion of this foolish adulation. 

Madame Ne^ker received in 1776 some very flattering verses from Vol- 
taire. UerhQsbandjSUCcessorofTargotaa comptroller-general of finances,' ^ 
received a large meed of praise also in these verses. All this was ao- 
doabtedly a matter of Httle consequence, but Condorcet's rigid sense of 
propriety was disturbed ; he considered it an act of weakness, and feared 
that the reputation of the philosopher would suCTer by it; his uneasiness 
and displeasure were vented in expressions of considerable severity. "I 
am sorry for these verses. Yon do not consider the weight of your name. 
• • • You are like that class of people who would leave a Jupiter to 
applaud a harlequin. • • * i know your piece only by hearsay, but 
those who have read it tell me that apropos of Mme. Euveloppe (M. 
and Mme. Necker) yon speak of Gato. This reminds me of a yonng for- 
eigner who once said to me, ' 1 have seen three great men in France, Vol- 
taire, d'Alembcrt, and the Abb6 de Voisenon.'" 

One more example of his independence and loyal frankness: Voltaire 
was desirons of committing to the stage, at Paris, the tragedy he had 
composed in his old age, Ireae. Gondorcet, dreading a failare, resisted 
the pressing request of Voltaire to assist him in tbisstep, with judicious 
aud firm criticisms, couched in respectfnl language, however, in which 
is never lost the disciple addressing the master. Thus, for example, in 
a letter at the end of 1777 : " See, sir I See I you have accustomed ua 
to perfection in action and in character, as Bacine has accustomed us to 
perfection in style, • • • If we are severe it is your own fault." 

Gondorcet was a profound geometer. He belonged to that class of ^ 
intellectual men who, even when witnessing the most beautiful tragedies 
of Gorneille and Sacine, would mentally ask at each scene, what does 
that provel Voltaire surely ought to have cared little for the criticism 
of a j udge so incompetent. Liaten and decide : 

" Febnby, January 12, 1778. 

" My tTNiVEBSAi. Philosopher : Your discretion is astonishing and 
yoar friendship day by day more dear to me. I am grieved and ashamed 
to have differed from you in regard to the last effort of an old man of 
eighty- four years. I believed, npon the fiaitb of a few tears shed in my 


presence by tboso who knew bow to read and to assame wilhont feeling 
passion, that if my little effort was well di'picted and well acted it might 
produce at Paris a happy effect. I was, aufortunately, mistakeD. I 
was aware of most of the faults you have the kiudnees to poiDt oat, 
and I add to tfaem many others. I was endeavoring to miike a picture 
out of a roagh sketch, whea your criticisms, dictated by frieodtihip and 
by reason, came to increase my doubts of its worth. We can do noth- 
iog well in the arts of imagination and taste without the aid of an en- 
ligbteaed friend." 

I feel that I am dwelling too long upon a point of tbe life of Condorcet 
which would seem to be ali-eady sufficiently illustrated, but I am irre- 
sistibly impelled to give a third and last incident of tbe frankness of 
Condorcet, which, in this case, truly amounted to a beautiful and noble 

Voltaire and Uontesqnien,did not like each other. Montesquieu even 
allowed this to be too evident. Yoltairo, irritated by some pamphlets 
published by Montesquieu, wrote at Femey, against the VExprit dea Lois, 
several articles, which he sent to bis friends in Paris, asliiug to have 
them published. Condorcet did not yield to the demand, imperious 
as it was, of the illustrious old man. "Do you not see," be remon- 
strated, " that to what you say to-day will be opposed your former 
praises of Montesquieu T Ills admirers, displeased by tbe Wiiy in which 
you take op some of his erroneous statements, will seek for similar inad- 
vertencies in your own worlis, and they cannot possibly fail to find such, 
for even Ctesar describing hia campaigns in his Cora men tiiriea, commits 
some inaccuracies. • • • You wilt, Ihope,pardonmefornotcomply- 
ing with your request in this matter, which you seem to have so much 
' at heart. My attachment compels me to tell you what is for your advan- 
tage and not what will please you. If I loved you less, I would not dare 
to oppose you. I know tbe faults of MoDtesquien, but he i» worthy 
enough for you to overlook them." After this noble and loyal lan- 
gnage, which waswellcalculated to rectify wrong ideas, it cannot be said 
that all the philosophers of the XVIIIlh century were the vassals of 
Toltaire. Tlie short response of the illustrious old man to the remon- 
strances of Condorcet is a document so valuable to the history of our lit- 
erature that I cannot allow it to lemuiu bidden in my portfolio ; hc^re it 

"There is but one way to respond to what a true philosopher wrote 
me ou iLe 20th of June. I thank him very sincerely. One ought not 
to blush to go to school, even if of the age of Metbnselah • • ■ I 
repeat my thanl^s.'' 


ov TUE AcADEair OF Sciences — Appebciai'ion of ujb kulugies 


Foulenelle bad given so much 4clat to the functions of the secretary 
of Uie Academy of Sciences iLat at his death uo one wished to succeed 


him. After much solicitation, Mairan consented to occupy' provisionalty 
the place i a order to allow the learned body time enongb to makea 
choice they would not afLerwardij regret. It was finally concluded that 
the ouly nay to avoid all disagieeable comparison, was to give to the 
nephow oi' Gorneille a snccetisor who would not as|iiro to imitate bim, 
and who would disarm nil criticism by his estrrme modesty. Itwns 
under these circamBtHUcea that iu 1T43 Graudjean do Fonchy became 
the official organ of the old Academy. 

Fouehy bad occupied this position for more than thirty years when 
Condorcet entered the learned corajiaiiy. The infirmities of the perpet 
ual secretary and his age made bim desirous of a collaborator, and for 
this purpose he cast bis eyes upon his youngest coofr&re. This wa.s to 
create tmrvivorship, to eslabliah a precedent, and produced violent oppo- 
sition in the Academy. 

After au excitement rarely caused by the discnssion of an abstract 
principle, the question finally stood as follows: The successor of Fonteiielle, 
shall it lie Bailly or Condorcet! The suoggle could not fail to be noble 
audloyalinallthnt concerned these two gentlemen. Condorcet, through- 
out his life modest in the extreme, thought it necen^sary to give some 
evidence of his fitness for the place, of bis facilily in the art of writing, 
and undertook t'^ compose some iicademic eulogies. The regulation of 
1099 imposed upon the perpetual secretary the obligation of paying a 
tribute of respect to the memory of the academieiiins removed by death. 
Tbia is the origin of the numeroui» biographies, olten eloquent, always 
ingenious, left by Fontenelle, and confined all of them to the interval 
comprised between the last yvAv of the XVIIih century and 1740. Fon- 
tenelle in his iiunala of the society does not take up the piist, but com- 
mences ouly with the time of his entrance into office. The admirable 
collection ho has left us, therefore, leaves a gap of thirty-three years. 
The aciiileraicians, deceased between 16CG iuid 1609, had no biographer, 
and it is in this third of a century ibiit Condorcet found the subjects for 
the exercise o' his pen, and among them such savans as Hiiygeus, 
Ilol>ervat, Picard, Mariotte, Ptrrault, Eoemcr, &c. These, his first eulo- 
gies, are written with a prolbnnd knowledge of the wnbjects treated by 
ibe academicians, and in a simple, clear, aad concise style. Condorcet 
said, in sending tbem to Targot, "If I were able to give them more 
brilliancy of expression they would be more pleasing, but nature has 
uot endowed me with the gift of snch union of words. If I attempt any- 
thing of the kind, one word, aslonished at another^ Hiaris back in affright 
to see itself so associated. I am humiliated belbnll^t^so whom in this 
respect nature has treated so much better than myself/' fcondorcet was 
mistaken in his low estimate of work which procured for him a large 
majority iu the Academy, and of which Voltaire, d'Alembert, and La- 
grange always spoke with great esteem. Ou the 9lh of April, 1773, 
d^Alembert wrote to Lagrange, "Condorcet merited well the place of 
secretary on account of the excellent enlogies he has published of the 
S. Mis. 59 13 . 



acadetoicians deceased since 1G66. • • • They bave had with ns a 
complete succeaa." "Your work," said Voltaire on the 1st of March, 1774, 
'MS a monument to yoa. You always appear the master of those of 
whom yon speak, bat a master kind and modest ; a king describing his 
sabjects." Such commeodation gave to these first essays of Coiidoreet 
a rank from which malevolence has in vain endeavored to redace them. 
Gondorcet had hardly entered into his relation with M. du Fouchy, 
when he was commissioned to write several enlogiea, among others that 
of the geometer Fontaine, deceased Aaffust '21, 1771. DifSciilties un- 
foreseen immediately assailed him. When he wrote the biographies of 
the earlier members of the Academy of Sciecces a centnry had placed 
all things in their proper light — persons, labors, and discoveries, — and 
there was nothing for the writer to do bnt to express, in terms more or 
less happy, the irrevocable and already known decrees of posterity. 
'Now he found himself in contaxit with the reqnirements, almost always 
blind, of families; with contemporary susceptihility sometimes of friends, 
always of rivals ; Anally with opinions based npon prejudice or personal 
animosity, than which nothing in the intellectual world in more diffl- 
cnit to eradicate. £ suspect that Gondorcet exaggerated somewhat 
these ditQculties, although they were undoubtedly real, for he certainly 
spent an enormous amonnt of labor on his first enlogy of a contem- 
poraneous academician. In bis correspondence with Torgot we Bud 
him about the middle of 1772 atre-ady very busy with Fontaine. In 
the beginning of September he sent to the illustrious intendant a 
first copy of bis work. The same enlogy, retouched and altered, in 
September, 1773, was on its way to Limoges. This, it must be ad- 
mitted, was a long time to devote to an article of only twenty-five 
octavo pages. However, the masim of Boilean was not in this instance 
without fruit. D'AIembcrt, writing to Lagrange, calls the enlogy of 
Fontaine a chef-d^eeuvre. Voltaire says, in a letter of the 24:th of De- 
cember, 1 773, " Yon bave made me pass a half hour very agreeably. * 

* * You have relieved the dryness of the subject by a moral treat- 
ment noble and profound • • " which will delight all honest men. 

• • • If you need your copy I will return it to yon, asking permis- 
sion to make one for myself." Voltaire asking permissioa to copy for 
his-owu use a enlogy of Fontaine! Gould there be a greater compliment 
tha^ this T 

To the enlogy of Fontaine succeeded that, not less piquant, not less 
ingenious, not less philosophic, of Gondamioe. The Academy and the 
public at large received it with unauimons applause. With the exception 
of the years 1775 and 1770, daring which* the Academy experienced no 
loss, the secretary bad to provide annnally nntil 1788, Ihree, four, and 
even eight similar compositions. The style of these latter eulogies of 
Gondorcet is grave and noble. There is in them no trace of ofiiectatioQ 
of manner or of effort; no desire to prodace effect by expression, to 
cover, by striking or eccentric language, feebleness of thonght. 


Odf coDfr&re resisted with tbe more assurance tbe invasioo of bad 
taste, tbe coefasiOD of style, and the dithyrambic tendencifs attempted 
■by a certain school, because eucoaraged by Voltaire, who tbns wrilea to 
him irom Ferney, ou the 18th of July, 1774 : " It is without doubt a 
mjalbrtuiie to be born in a ceolnry of bad taste, but what will you havel 
Tho public for eighty years have beeu contect to drioU bad brandy at 
their repasts." 

It is DOW generally considered as a matter of hearsay that Condorcet 
lacked in his eulogies force, warmth, elegance, and sensibility. I differ 
from this opinion without fear of finding myself alone. In fact what 
have those wbo complain of his want of force to say to tbe following 
portrait of the academicians, happily few in nuaiber, whose names are 
connected with factious intrigue 1 

" Socli intrigues have always been the r-ork of those men tormented 
with the feeling of their own insignificance, who seek to obtain by noise 
what they fail to merit by worth, who haviug no right to reputation of 
their own, would destroy that merited by others, and ovorc«me by petty 
malice the men of genius wbo oppress them with the weight of their 

To the critics who have accused Condorcet of a want of sensibility, 
I oppose the following passage from the uupublished eulogy of fathers 
Jacqnier and Le Sear: • • • "Their friendship was not of that 
valgar sort produced only by conformity of tastes and interests. It 
-had its origin in a natural and irresistible attraction. In these deep 
and delicious friendships each endures the sufferings of his friend and 
eqjoya all his pleasures. He has not a thought, be Las not a senti- 
ment, wbich his friend does not share ; and if be is not always one witb 
him, it is solely on account of the preference he gives him over himself. 
This friend is not only a man that one prefers to all other men, he is a 
being ai>art, whom none resembles ; it is not bis qnalitiee, bis virtues 
that one loves in him, for others may have these and yet not be loved 
the same ; it is himself that one loves, and because it is himself. Those 
who have never experienced tbe sentiment can alone deny that it exists. 
" • * From the instant they encountered each other at Borne, every- 
thing was in common between them ; troubles, pleasures, labors — glory 
even, thegood, of all others, that two men very rarely share in good faith. 
Still each of them published separately a few articles, but these were of 
little importance, and in the judgment of him to whom tbey belonged 
not worthy to appear with the name of his frieud. They desired perfect 
equality in tbe situations they occupied ; if one obtained a distinction, 
be was not content until he bad procured a similar honor for his friend. 
• • • Father Jacquier had tbe misfortune to survive his friend. 
Father le Sear succumbed to his infirmities in 1770. Two days before 
bis decease he appeared to have lost all consciousness. ' Do you know 
mel' satd Father le Jacquier to him a few moments before his death. 
' Ves,' answered tbe dying man ; 'I have just resolved a difScnltcqaa- 



tion -xitb you.' Tbns, in tbe midst of the destrnctioD of his organs he 
bad not Torgotton the objects of his stodies, and remembered tbe friend 
xFitb whom be had all in common. Father Jacqaier was forcibly talten 
from Ibe arms of the dying man by the friends who, to nse Jacqnier's 
own expression, did not wish to lose tbem both. Ho resnmed the obair 
bis health had obliged bim to vacate ; caring little to prolong tbe days 
DO longer brightened by friendship, lie still wished to fill them with 
useful labor and thus divert tbe feelings of sorrow which nothing conld 
cure. He knew better than to add the weight of time to that of grief. 
Foi' minds that suffer, leisure is the most cmel torture." 

Tbe valuation Condorcet has given of the divers virtues of Cooda- 
mine conld, if we are not mistaken, be placed, without disadvantige, 
beside the eloquent speech Buffon addressed to the illustriouij traveler 
on the day of his reception by the French Academy. It would bear as 
well comparison in elegance with the eulogy of the same academician, 
pronounced by the Abb6 Delille, his successor. 

Tbe biogrtiphical compositions of Condorcet please because they con- 
tain wbat sbonld naturally be their essence. The history of the human 
mind is in tbem viewed from a high standard. Id the choice of details 
the author has constantly in view instruction and utility rather than 
entertainment. Without trespassing in tbe least upon truth, whose 
demands he places before every other iuterest or consideration, ' Oon- 
dorcet is constantly ruled by tbe thought that the dignity of the savant 
is to a certain degree that of science; and that any applause which- 
might be accorded to a witty portrayal of a ridiculoas inoident, would 
be a poor retnrn for even a slight wrong dooe to the most modest 
branch of human knowledge. 

Wo expect too much of Monsieur plua que Fonienelle, as Voltaire calls 
our confrfere in several unpobliabed letters I have in hand, if we hope to 
find in his eulogies any chapters devoted entirely to the subsequent 
history of the scionces. Condorcet did not commit tbe error of giving 
to his auditors food stronger than they could, digest. 

Onr former secretary was especially distinguished io his eulogies by 
tbe utmost impartiality, by philosophic thought, and by tbe interest he 
gave to the most simple biographical circumstances, by his constant 
abnegation of all personal feeling, of all party spirit, of all self-love. 
Condorcet described -his own works, as well as those of Franklin, when 
he said of the latter : " We seek iu them in vain for a lino which conld 
be suspected of having been written for bis own glory." 

The long career of Franklin certainly does not offer a better instance 
of frank, trne modesty than is contained in this passage from the enlogy 
of Foutaine : " I thought, at one time, said this geometer, that a young 
man with whom I had been brongbt into connection had more talent 
and might attain greater eminence than myself. I was jealous of him, 
. but 1 have not feared bim since." — *< The young man In qaestiofi," added 
Oondorcct, "is the author of this eulogy." 

i by Google 


The class of tbe envious, always namerons and active, and ready to 
create disturbatice, received thiough the month of Fontenelle a lesson 
of good sense and of wisdom, from which, nu fortunately, they profited 
little. The first edition of Voltaire'a Age of Loois XIV was about to 
appear. This was too good an occasion to irritute two great men against 
each other to be neglected. "How am I treated in this work?" asked 
Fontenelle. He was answered : " Voltaire commences by declaring that 
yoQ are the only living person for whom he would make exception of the 
rale he had niailo for himself to speak only of the dead." " Slop," said 
the secretary of the Academy, " I do not wish to hear more. With any - 
thing Voltaire may add to that I must bo content." Notwithstanding 
ciome criticism, Bnffon, the immortal author of the Histmre Saturelle, 
would sorely have been equally satisfied could he have heard tlie follow- 
ing tribute Condorcet renders to his cloqnence: '*The passages which 
escape I'rom the pen of Bu£fon show tbe sensibility as well as the pride 
of his nature; but always controlled by a superior judgment, they make 
lis feel, so to say, as if we were conversiug with a pnre iutelligeuce, with 
only enough humanity to luiderstaud us and to be interested in our weak- 
ness. • • • Posterity will place tbe works of this great naturalise 
besi..e the dialogues of the di-sciple of Socrates and the tcachmga of the 
philosopher of Tnsculum. ' • • M. de Buffon, more varied, more 
brilliant, more prodigal of images than the two great representatives of 
Greece and Kome, joined facility to energy, grace lo majfsty. His phi- 
losophy, with a character less prouounced, is more varied and less mel- 
aucboly. Aristotle seems to have written only for savanta, Pliuy for 
philosophers, M. de Bufi'ou for all enlightened men." 

After this quotation shall I injure Condorcet if I admit that Buffou 
never testi&ed any kindness for him ; that he was tbe most active friend 
of his rivals for the place of perpetual secretary of tbe Academy of 
Sciences and for that of member of the French Academy ; (hat the idea 
of an academic censure, strongly recommended to the ministers of Louis 
XVI, and which constantly threatened the historian ol our labors, orig 
mated with Buffou. It is worthy of uote that the bickeiiugs which at 
this time disturbed the Academy, as d'Alembert writes to Lagrange, on 
the 15th of April, 1775, to so great a degree "as to dishearten us for 
all serious study" and in which the illustrious naturalist took a prom- 
inent part, are revealed to us by the correspondence of La Harjie aud 
numerous unpublished articles from other sources, but we seek iu vain 
for any trace of them in tbe eulogies of the loyal secretary, 

Fontenelle left a gap in his eulogies of deceused academicians, from 
161)0 to 1740; was this by design? One is tempted to think so, on 
observing among tbe omitted the Duke d'Escalonue, the famous Law 
and Pfere Gouye. 1 will leave no ifoubt of the kind in regard to Condor- 
cet. If he did not make a eulogy of the Duke de La Vrilli^re, it was 
because iu his eyes the title of honorary bestowed by tbe Academy 

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did not render boDorablo the minister who all his life made a crael 
and scandalous use of the lettres 3e cachet. His timid friends calcn- 
Jated with uneasiness the danger of irritatiug M, de Manrepas, prime 
minister and brother-in-law of M. de la VrilliSre. Condorcet answered : 
" Wonld yon prefer that I shoald be persecnted for a foolish aot rather 
than for a jast and moral ooet Do yon not think I will in the futore 
be more easily pardoned for Eiilence, than for speech, since I am resolved, 
if compelled to speak, to tell exactly the trath T" 

Eulogy of Michel db l'H6fital — Letteb of a. tbeologian to 


iST — Beflectioms upon the coxubboe in. obain — New edition 
OF Pascal's thou&hts — Knteahob of Cohdokcet into tee 
Fbench Academy. 

Hitherto we have followed step by step the geometer, the perpetual 
Kecretary of the Academy. Now we see onr confrfere throw himself with 
])o]ei[iic ardor into literary and philosophical controversy,' appearing 
before the public, often anonymously, iu order, he said, not to add his 
personal enemies to the enemies of bis canse. Ooudorcet was already 
by fiiir title secretary of our aocietj- whoL the French Academy issued 
as the subject for a competitive essay the eulogy of Michel de I'Hdpital. 
Captivated by the scope, the interest, and also the beauty of the theme, 
our confrere entered the lists with all the ardor natnral to a young mau 
of unknown antecedents and with a reputation to make. He did not 
obtain the prize, however; the preference was given to a paper, to-day 
completely forgotteii, by the Abb6 Eemi. Some of the oanses for his 
disappointment have become known to me, and it may perhaps be worth 
while to notice them. 

What did the French Academy desire in proposing the eulogy of de 
l*n6pital for a prize essay! A supcr&cial review of the literary work 
of tliu illustrious chancellor, a general sketch of his political and admin- 
istrative acts, a homage to his memory, written in a more or less dorid or 
exalted style. To-day thi^ kind of composition is little to the taste ot 
the pnblic; indeed what the celebrated assembly demanded conid hardly 
he dignifieil with the name of a discourse. 
_ It was not thus Condorcet regarded the subject presented to him. In 
[lis mind utility was preferred to every other merit. The life of I'Hd- 
pital seemed to him to offL-r a salutary example to those finding them- 
selves in difficult circumstances obliged to choose between repose and 
the public welfare. He did not hesitate as to the character of his essay. 
It was a history of the life, not merely a eulogistic notice of I'Hdpital, he 
felt impelled to write. 

The life of I'Uflpital : but this is a history of a century of terrible 
events, of a long successioD of shameful disorders, of barbarous and 



cruel actiODS, a century of iutuleraoce a,D(] fauaticiBm. The field was 
large, but was not too much for tbe power, the knowledge, atid tbe zeal 
of tbe writer. Id his beaatiful work (3oiidorcet first shows us I'Qdpital 
iu Italy, with the coustable of Bourbou, iu the parliameot aud council 
of Bologua. We then see Mm at tbe bead of tbe flnaDoes. Later it is 
the chancellor, tbe mioister, the statesman whose acta arc revealed to 
the reader. The history of a life so full of incident could nut properly 
be rednoed to the limits of an article which could be read in sixty miu- 
Qtes — the time prescribed by the academy. Gondorcet could not comply 
. with this limitation, and his eulogy was three times longer tbim tbe 
programme allowed. This was snfficieut in itself to make the rejection 
of the essay a foregone couclnsion, to say nothing of the criticism tbe 
work excited in tbe literary Areopagus, of which the author of tbe 
Lyceum has preserved some siwcimons. 

According to La Harpe, tbe style of tbe eulogy of I'HOpital lacked 
harmony. The charge would have been a graver one had he said (if it 
oonld be said) that it lacked character, nerve, accuracy ; that the ideas ^ 
were neither new nor profound, and iu that ease it would be only nee- ' 
essary as a refutation to refer to such passages as tbe following : 

" If Bertraudi (keeper of the seal of Henry II) has escaped the exe- 
cration of succeeding centuries, it is because always petty even in the 
midst of bis greatest power, always subaltern, even while occupying tbe 
highest places, ho was too insigtiifiuaut to attract attention." 

" All the citizens wept over tbe ruin of their country. L'H6pital alone 
did not despair. Uope never abandons noble Bonis. The love of the public 
good had with the chancellor all the characteristics, all the illusions of a 
veritable passion ; I'Hdpital did not ignore obstacles, but felt his power 
to cope with them." 

But " the obscurity of the style." In this criticism, I do not know what 
La Harpe means by " phrases which doable upon each other." He is cer- 
tainly clear enongh, however, when be complains of Coudorcet's want of 
dignity iu speaking of vine-poles, billets of wood, and little pies, in tbe 
eulogy of a chancellor. We ought to hope in the spirit of loyalty that 
this remark of La Harpe's did not influence the decision of the Academy. 
Would you know where the expressions occur which made the critic so 
indignant? They are in a note, in which with reason the author denounces 
the strange, we might better say the deplorable regulations, which 
the prohibitive system suggested to even such minds as that of Michel 
de I'Hdpital. Yes, gentlemen; the fact cannot be denied; the virtu- 
ous chancellor prohibited the crying of little patties iu the streets, in 
order — his words are unequivocal — to insure the pastry-shops from idle- 
ness and the people from indigestion. We may laugh in these days, we 
may be astonished, but none tbe less the sale of fagotB,and vine- poles also, 
was forbidden. The laws of the timeeven determined theform of breeches 
and of farthingales. The fact that I'Hdpital could approve such re- 
strictions, shows clearly to what point even meu of genius may yield to 


thft inflaenoe of their centary. But I do uot know iq troth what isfla. 
eoce Oondorcet would have obeyed if he had substituted ehiborate 
pbrasea for the technical expreasiont) that I'Hdpital, even with hi» poet 
band, employed, if be bad used ornaDieotal style apropos of farthingales, 
of billets of wood, aad little patties. 

Voltaire certainly did not agree with La H»rpe and his friends in their 
opinion of Oondorcet, for, on the 3d of October, 1777, he writes to U. 
de Vaines, "I have just read, with great satisfactioo, I'Hdpital, by 
Oondorcet; all that he does bears the mark of a superior miud." I find 
expressions no less significant in an unpublished letter of Frauklin : " I 
have read wilh i^xtrerae pteasare yoar excellent eulogy of I'H^iital. 
I knew Iwfore that you were a great mathematician ; now I consider yon 
one of the first statesmen of Europe." 8nch praise is surely eqaal ill 
value to an academic reward. 

" The Lettre d'un Th6ologien to the author of the Dictionnaire dea troie 
Si^hs is one of the most piquant articles published for several years. 
This i>aa]phlet, unaccompanied by the name of the anthor, has been 
generally attributed to the illustrious patriarch of Femey. Never has be 
been more happy in his criticisms, never more good-natured in his rail- 
lery." It is in such terms that a correspondence since published and be- 
come celebrated announced, in 1774, the anonymous pamphlet of Con- 

Vollaire, to whom the authorship was then unknown, thus writes to 
our eonfrfere on the 20tb of August, 1774 : " There are, in the Letter of 
a Theologian,, passages of humor, as well as of eloquence, worthy of 
Pascal." He then proceeds to prove that, notwithstanding a prevalent 
opinion, the Abb6 de Voisenon could not be the author of apiece so 
i-eniarkublc. As to liimsclf (Voltaire), he ought not to he sns[>ected of it, 
for the letter indicates a profound knowledge of mathematics; and, he 
adds, " lu eouseqaence of the trouble 1 ex[)erienced with tho elements 
of Newton, I renounced, forty years ago, ibat class of studies." 

The audacity of the letter of a Theologian, since he was suspected of 
writing it, caused Voltaire great uoeasioess, and he took every occasion 
to disown its authorship. " 1 do not wish," he said, " at the age of 
eighty-three to die elsewhere than in my bed." He thus speaks of it to 
M. d'Argental (August 17, 1774): "One coald not be more eloqaent 
Dor yet more foolhardy. This work, as dsngerons as it is admirable, 
will uudonbtediy furnish means of attack to the enemies of philosophy. 
• ■ -• I desire neither tho glory of having written the Letter of a 
Tlieologian nor the punishment which will follow it. I am sorry that so 
good a canse has been iujured by being defended with too much spirit." 
Again Voltaire writes: "How could any one dare, unless in command 
of two hundred thousand Goldiers, to publish so audacious a work!" 

If he took every occasion, as we have said, and every way to declare 
that he was not the author of the Letter of a Theologian, mark well, this 
was because be needed repose and feared persecution ; not because his 


self-love was alarmed. He Is evidently far from considering this snp- 
position of the public injurious to hiui as a man of Icttera 

To SQcb evidence as this would I call tbe attention of those who have 
considered Oondorcefs style wanting in eloquence and depth. 

In the society of d'Alembert our former confrere became a geometer. 
Tnrgot iu his tarn inspired bim with a taste tor social economy. Their 
ideas, their hopes, their sentiments became identical. It would really 
be impossible to mention a single point in science apon which Tnrgot 
and Condorcet differed, even In an almost imperceptible shade. They 
were both persaaded that in matters of commerce " entire and absolute 
libertyistbeonly law of utility and even justice." They believed that tbe 
protection accorded "to one special branch of industry was detrimen- 
tal to all; • * * that tbe minate precautions with which legislatx>rs 
deemed it necessary to load tbeir regulations were the fruits of timidity 
and ignoraoce, and without any compensation, the source of inconven- 
ience, intoleraUe vexations, and real losses. 

Turgot and Ooodorcet were, if possible, still more closely united upon 
the si>ecial question of commerce iu grain. They maintained that 
entire liberty in this commerce was of eqnal importance to owners, to 
cultivators, to consumers, to employes; that there was no other' rem- 
edy for the effects of local scarcity-, no other means of redncing the mean 
price and dimiuisbing tbe rate of variations, a matter of still more import- 
ance, for mean prices regulate tbe wages of the workmen. If, on 
the oue hand, these rigorous principles were a formal discouragement to 
any yielding to disorderly clamors, or popular prejudices, ou the other 
hand tbe two economists proclaimed distinctly that in times of scarcity 
tbe government ought to make provision for the jmor. This relief 
shoold not, however, be dispensed bliudly, but should be the price of 

Turgot and his friend professed the maxim that there exist for every 
man certain natural privileges of which no lob in life can legitimately 
deprive bim. They considered among the most important of thene the 
right to dispose of his own intelligence, bis own hands, and his own labor. 
Our philosophers also advocated the abolition of a number of tedious 
formalities, often absurd and always costly, which made the condition 
of tbe workmen an odious slavery. If the mastership and tbe warden- 
ship were tbe despair of artisans and city workmen, the statutes of 
labor as severely affected tbe workmen of the rural districts. The 
labor statutes condemned to work without wages men who were depend- 
ent upon those very wages for their living. They allowed jirodigality 
in labor because this cost tbe royal treasury nothing. Tbe form of tbe 
requisitions, tbe hardness of the U-ws, the rigor of the penalties, added 
humiliation to misery. Turgot and Condorcet were tbe most ardent > 
adversaries of this cruel servitude. 

The two philosophers were not men who become tolerant of crime 
through seeing it constantly committed. The slave-trade excited their 


utmost abhorrence. If I bad timeand apace Iconid here transcribe a qaite 
recent letter firom M. Clark80D,iD which this venecable gentleman Tenders 
tOQching homage to the active eftbrts of Condorcet iu bebalf of the holy 
crusade against this cmel practice, which had absorbed his long life. It 
is therefore very appropriate that onr David has placed among the bas- 
reliefs of his beantifiil statue of Qntteuberg the noble figaie of the former 
secretary of the Academy, as one of the most ardent enemies of the 
shomefal brigandage, vhtch for two centuries depopulated and corrnpted 
the African contiuent. 

At the death of Louis XV the pablic voice called Tutgot to the minis- 
try. Firat tbi^ marine was confided to him ; a month after (August 24, 
1774), the finances. In his new and brilliant position Turgot did not 
forgettheintimateconfidantofhiseconomicalaud philosophical thoughts; 
be appointed Uoudorcet comptroller of caneucy. Ooudorcet accepted 
this favor iu terms worthy to be recorded. 

" It is said iu a certain qaarter that yoa are very generous with the 
public funds when yoa desire to oblige your friends. I should be sorry 
to give these foolish words any appearance of foundation. I pray you 
therefore do nothing for me in the way of remuneration jnst now. 
Although not rich, I am not pressed. Let me fill the place ; trust me 
with some important work ; wait nutil my efibrts have truly deserved a 

Turgot darlug his ministry conceived, in 1775, a general plan for the 
"^interior navigation of the kingdom. This plan embraced a vast system 
' of works for the improvement of the small as well as the large rivers, 
and for the excavation of canals to unite the natural-ways of communi- 
cation. The celebrated minister, in this imfiortaat matter, had to defend 
himself equally from the lovers of display, from those who seeing certain 
rivers separated on the map by only a little white paper, draw lines 
IVom one to the other and call these meaningless scratches their plans; 
fW)m those, finally, who do not know how to gauge the power of running 
water, nor how to calculate its effects. Therefore he hastened to attach 
to the administration three geometers of the Academy of Sciences, 
d'Alembert, Condorcet, and Bossut. Their mission was to examine 
plans and to sapply any hydrographic information that might be required. 

These operations, undertaken on so grand a scale, were stopped by 
Tnrgot's pecuniary inability to pursue them. Notwithstanding their 
short continuauce they have left enduring resnlts, although perhaps in 
more than one instance the connael, contained in a memoir of Uondorcet, 
was not sufficiently regarded : " Trust only such men who, could they 
join the Loire to the Yellow River of China, would feel no vanity on that 
account, but consider that a little zeal and some knowledge was all that 
bad been necessary to accomplish the work." 

The following extract from a letter of d'Alembert to Lagrange wilj 
appropriately end the brief notice just given of the works executed by 
the three geometers, the friends of Turgot s 

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" It will be told yoa that I am director of the canals of oavigatioii with 
a salary of C,000 fraDcs. This is not tme. We, Condorcet, Bossat, and 
myself Lave undertaken, through friendship for M. Target, to give him 
oar advice in regard to these canals, bat we have refused the salary 
ofl'ered to us by the comptroller of the finances." 

V^ben Turgot, as mioister, wished to carry out the reforms he had 
conceived as simple citizen ; when the comptroller-general found himself 
assailed by the cupidity of coortiers, the powers of parliament, and the 
generally conservative spirit of routine, which when great changes were 
to be made threw doubt npon the wisdom of his plans, Condorcet did 
not remain a mere spectator of the stmggle; he on the contrary, en- 
tered into it with the utmost ardor ; to a refutation of the work of Necker 
against the free traffic in grain, he especially devoted his pen, and for 
the first time ho resorts to irony in the assumed Jjctter of a laborer 
of Picardy to M. Seeker, prohibiticnisU Voltaire writes thns to our con- 
ft-ire August 7, 1775 : 

"Ah, what a good thing, what a reasonable thing, and oven what a beau- 
tiful thing is that Letter to the prohibitionist f it must attract all enlight- 
ened minds, although there are few such left in Paris, by its good sense 
and taste." I would not dare to say that good souse and good taste had 
deserted the capital, but I know that the witty Letter to the prohibitionist 
received little notice, and that Condorcet was obliged to publish a uew 
refutation, more detailed, more methodical, and more complete, of the 
work of the celebrated and rich banker of Geneva. This second article 
was modestly entitled, Reflexions upon the commerce t» {Train. The author 
io it considers successively how these cereals are produced, how the 
difference Bometimes occurring between the harvests of one place and 
another c<an be alleviated, and the regulation effected in proportion to 
wages. ' He treats also of the moan price and of its infinence, and of the 
equalization of prices ; of the effects of unbounded liberty in commerce, 
and the political advantages of such liberty. Condorcet then examines 
the prohibitions, both io a general way and in tbeir relations to the 
rights of property and legislation. Descending, finally, from these 
abstractions to questions more personal, without mentioning names, he 
inquires how the authors of the prohibitory measures acquired popu- 
larity ; he seeks for the origin of the prejudices of the people, and com- 
pletes his work by some critical reflections, touching certain prohibitory 
laws, and the obstacles opposed to the good that lilierty could produce. 

All the asj>ects of a very difficult problem are frankly cousidered iu a 
severe aad simple style. The work is not a mere pamphlet ; it extends to 
more than two hundred printed pages. Its publication excited general 
opposition among the uumerons partisans of iNeeker. Writers of the 
highest rank became from the time of its appearance the implacable 
enemiesof Condorcet. The Academy of Sciences and the French Acad- 
emy were unpleasantly aflected for many years by the conaequencea of 
the discords it produced. 

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With the mind free from prejudice I have asked myBelf if, noder the 
ciroumstaDces, our confrere overstepped the hoands of proper criticism. 
I suppose DO oDe will contest Mb right, which be used, conscientiously, 
to call the work of Xecker a mere translation of the celebrated dia- 
logues of the Abb4 Galiani into prosy and pompous language, or to 
refer in this connection to the Greek statae, graceful and bcEiutiful, 
which an emperor caused to be gilded and so ruined its beauty ; bnt thte 
aside, in going over the work of the former secretary of the Academy I 
find only one note that could have excited the anger of the warmest 
partisansof Necker. This note mentions a certain nobleman, designated, 
however, only by his initials, who had made a bad translation of TibulloB. 
The friends of Ooudorcet, ancaey leat the criticism tbey foresaw would 
trouble him, endeavored to console him. " Do not fear for my reputa- 
tion as an author," he said to them ; ■' I have jnst taken a better cook." 

Such in substance was the teriible epigram which dlBtnrbed the conrt 
and the city, which brought discord even into the boBom of the two 
Academies, and which endangered the liberty of our conli^re. I was 
disposed to blame Gondorcet. It seemed to me that his hostile atti- 
tude was assumed on insufScient grounds; that Keeker and his adher- 
ents had not used in regard to him or Turgot injurious language, but I 
was mistaken. 

Baffoa wrote to the celebrated banker " I do not understand this 
hospital jargon — these beggars whom wo call ecouomists." Keeker ac- 
cused the same writers *'of seeking to deceive others, and of imposing 
even upon themselves." He described them as ioibeciles, and even for- 
got his dignity so far as to call them ferocious beasts. 

It is for the reader to decide whether any one has a right to complain 
who, after using a dagger npon bis adversary, received in return only 
the prick of a pin. 

I have told how Gondorcet entered into the administration of the cnr- 
rency; his manner of leaving this important post was not less noUe. 
As soon asNeckerbocaniu comptroller-general of the finances, ourcoafr^re 
wrote to M. de Maurepas, " I have pronounced uiy opinion too posi- 
tively of the works of Neeker and of his character to letain any place 
which depends upon his disposal. I should dislike to be dismissed, but 
still more to be retained in office, by a man of whom I have spoken as 
my conscience has forced me to speak of M. Keeker. Permit me to place 
in your bands my resignation." 

Gondorcet did not so exhaust his ire against contemporary heresies, 
as to have noue left to combat the errors of ancient writers, even the 
most illustrious. 

Ko one is ignorant that Pascal was occupied a few years before his 
death with a work intended as a defense of the truth of the Christian 
religion. This work was not finished. D'Arnand and Kicole published 
extracts from it under the title of FagcaVg Thought* upon Beligion and upon 
other Subjects. Gondorcet, suspecting that this work had been brought 


to ligbt ia the iuterests of a party and of certain mystical syBtems 
ratber tban for tbe reputation of tho aathor, procured, in the beginning of 
1776, a complete copy of the mannacripts of Pascal, obtained from tbem 
various passages that the saintB of Port- Royal, with their Janseoietic 
consciences, felt obliged to euppresa, arranged them methodically, and 
composed of the whole an octavo volume of 507 pages, copies of which 
were sent to all the friends of the antbor, but which was not offered for 
sale. Prankuess compels me to say that the compiler of this new edi- 
tion of Tkoughts indulges, as did Arnaud, altbough in an entirely differ- 
ent spirit, in systematic suppressions. We hasten to add, however, that 
we have found a eulogy of Pascal by Condorcet, in which the great geome- 
ter, tbe iugenious physicist, tbe profound thinker, the eloquent writer 
is folly appreciated, and, with the most noble justice and impartiality, 
Condorcet adds critical commentaries to several of tbe Thoughts of Pas- 
cal. This audacity, iu which Voltaire himself had already set bim an 
example, excited great indignation ; it was considered a sacrilege. To- 
day tbe public would have been more indulgent. The admiration, amount- 
ing to veneration, of that time is out of fashion now, and, if I do not 
deceive myself, the tendency is iu the opposite' extreme. Wo no longer ] 
think of asking, is such a criticism of a celebrated author irreverent, 
but is it just. Considered, then, from onr present point of view, tbe 
remarks of Condorcet may be approved almost without exception. 

When the anthor of the Thoughts, poBhing misanthropy to its utmost 
limits, stated that if men were cognizant of all that was said by one of 
another there would be not (our friends in tbe world ; I like to find 
the commentator protesting against this antisocial decision and blaming 
Pascal for giving such a strange idea of his friends. 

When, in his ardent war against man's love of his own greatness, Pas- 
cal insinuates that our actions, eveii those apparently most disinterested, 
are always tinged with feelings of self love, by the hope of publicity 
and applause which follows in its train ; I read with delight, in a note 
of the commentator, this touching anecdote borrowed Irom our Annalea 
Maritime^, and which contradicts the melancholy declaration of Pascal : 

"The vessel which contained the Chevalier de Lordat was wrecked 
and about to sink in view of tbe shores of France, The chevalier did 
not know how to swim ; a soldier, an excellent swimmer, offered, if he 
would spring with bim into tbe sea and would cling to his arm, to save 
him if possible. After swimming ior a long time tbe strength of tbe 
soldier became exhausted. M. de Lordat perceiving this endeavored to 
encourage him, but the soldier at last declared that they must both 
perish. 'And if you were alonef 'Perhaps I might still be able to save 
myself.' Tbe chevalier let go bis arm, and sank to tbe bottom of the 

Voltaire caused the book to he reprinted at his own expense in 1778. 
Hitherto it had received only a partial publicity. Voltaire, let it bo 
said in his praise, thus became the editor and the commentator of tbe 


joQug eeoretaiy of the Academj of ScieDces. This was for Condorcet 
a very great honor, and, moreover, deserved, on aeeonnt of the merit 
of the work. Am I mistaken, however, in Hopposing that in this action 
of Voltaire with the sincere homage of the antbor of the Dictionnatre 
phUogophique was mingled some animosity against the Jansenlstic writer; 
that the antbor of the Senria^e, of. J^irope, and of so many admiral>le 
smaller jwems, saw with a secret joy the infallibility of that man attacked 
who, placed in the first rtink among prose writers, had dared to say, even 
a^r the publication of the Cid and of Ctnna, that "all poetry was in fact 
only a jargon^ t A certain amonut of anger mast have in&aenced the pen 
of the illnstrions poet when, in his appreciation of a work in which tbe 
praise is always so fraok and the criticism so moderate, he says to Gon- 
dorcet, ''You have shown as the ioside of Ibe bead of Serapis, and we 
find in it rats and spider-webs." 

In Condorcet's edition of Pascal we find this tbooghE oft repeated : 
"Speaking according to the natural light of reason, if ihereisaQod, He 
is infinitely incomprehensible, since having no beginning and no end, he 
can have no connection with ns. We are then capable of knowing neither 
what he is nnr i/keis." the portion of the phrase nor if he i« is not tbnod 
in the old editions of the works of the iUustrions tbiDker. Gondorcet 
seemed, therefore, to have been gnilty of an inexcnsable interpolation 
of the text. Tbe snspicion that he bad committed this grave o&nse 
gained weight when, in 1803,.M. Benouard, the celebrated bibliographer, 
declared (these are his own words) that " an obstinaf^e search through the 
mannsoripts of Pascal, preserved in the Boyal Library, bad failed to 
discover the three contested words." 

Tbe fact stated by M. Benouard most at tbe time have caused acme 
ttneertainty even in the minds of those who bad never doubted the per- 
fect rectitade of Condorcet. In this day tbe testimony of this celebrated 
librarian is worth nothing, since we know that in 1812 M. Benouard 
frankly acknowledged that tbe fourth page of the almost illegible niana- 
script of the library did in fact contain the thought of Pascal as Coudor- 
cet had pn1)lished it To cat short all gratuitous supposition in regard 
to this supposed alteration of the precious maonscript, I will add that 
the contested words are fonnd in an edition of the Thoughts anterior 
to that of Condorcet, and published by FalJier Desmolets. 

I cannot allow this opportunity to escape of justifying Condor- 
cet from an impatation of tbe same nature, shocking alike from its 
violence and its levity. Bead, gentlemen, the article .upon Yauvenar- 
gues, i* the work of La Harpe, entitled PMloaopiy of theXVIlIth century. 
The irascible critic first recalls to memory the eloquent prayer which 
terminates the book of this moralist, and, immediately after accnses 
Condorcet of having affirmed, with anti-religions views, that the prayer 
was not by YauveDargnes. It is Id the Commentary upon the works of 
Voltaire, says La Haipe, that tbh philosophical falsehood is to lie found. 

Never, assuredly, was reproach of snob gravity expressed iu plainer 


terms. What mnst be my reply ( The most positive deninl of the charge: 
CoDilorceb never pretended that the prayer was not by Vauvenargues; 
he said very clearly, on the' contrary, t[iat it waa. Can there bo poaaibly 
aaoh a thing as an anti-philosophical falsehood ? 

At the end of one of his best eulogies, that of Franklin, onr confrere 
blames very severely those persous wbo regnlate their coodact upon 
the maxim, old hot of low morality, the end justijieg the means, and 
denoDiJces indignautly all saccess obtained by falsehood or perfidy./. 
The actions of Condorcet were in accordance with tbeso noble senti- 
ments; bis life was one long coutest, &nt he never had recoorse to arms 
obtained tbroagb disloyalty and antruth. 

Formerly every nomination to the French Academy was an event, 
especially when men of the conrt were to be admitted. Condorcet took 
part more than once in the debates these occasions produced, but never 
allowed any consideration for rank to ontweigh claims founded on true 
literary merit. When Saint-Lambert requested, him to inform Turgot 
that the French Academy desired to give Jiim a mark of its esteem and 
to nominate him in the place of the Dake of Saint Aignan, Condorcet, 
althoDgfa he desired greatly that his friend should become a member 
of the Academy, very plainly advised him to decline the nomination 
if bis acceptance should cause any one making literature a profession to 
be rejected by the conrt-, which was at that time always consulted before 
theelectionof amember. Ourconfrdre tbas manifested his trueesteem 
and profound respect for the love of letters. 

Ills cflunsel was addressed to one worthy to appreciate it. Turgot did 
even more than his friend had advised. Hero is his answer : " Thank 
for mc M. de Saint- Lambert. At this time it would not be suitable 
for me to draw upon me the eyes of the public for any other purposes 
than the afiairs of my ministry. I think there should be an effi>rt made 
to elect La Harpe. If this does not succeed, why should not the Acad- 
emy take the A\)b6 Barth^lemy f And there is M. Chabanon ; not to con- 
sider his claims to the nomination seems to me to be treating him very 
severely. He is not, whatever may be said, without talent. They were 
not always so particalar." 

Perhaps in our time affairs are conducted as nobly j but even if this is 
so, I do not regret these citations, for they prove that onr fathers were 
at least as worthy as onrselves. 

Condorcet entered into competition in 17S2 for the place of Saurin in 
the French Acadeniy, and carried the nomination by only one vote over 
Bailly, the other candidate. The contest over the election waS very 
warm, d'Alembert representing one side and Bnffoo the other. I^ 
Harj)e gives some idea of tbe zeal manifested since he tells as that when 
, the issac of tbe votes was declared d'Alembert cried out before the 
whole Academy: "I am more pleased to have gained this victory than 
I would be if I bad found tbe quadrature of the circle." 

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208 condoecet: a biogeapht. 

The disfavor tbat this nomiDation drew apoo Gondorcet (the expres- 
aion of this feeling \a faond iu most of the writinga of the time) is to me 
{□explicable. Were the literary claims of Bailly to the Domiuation so 
ladisputably superior to those of Coodorcet that the latter conid not hon- 
estly have received the preference ! " Sboald epecalatioD," d'Alembert 
malicioualy remarks, "in regard to an ancient people, about whom every 
thing is known except their name aud place of abode, overbalance tbe 
ingenious, learned, aud often ek'gant descriptions of men of our timeT" 

In any case, supposing Gondorcet was mistaken in his claims to an 
Academic chair, the illusion was a very natural one. Thusiu the unpub- 
lished Correspondence of Voltiiiro, I have fo often quoted, I read, under 
tbe date of 1771: "You should do us the honor of belougiug to tbe 
Academy. We have need of men who think as you do." Is this said iu 
mere politeness, aud not seriously Y 

I pass over an interval of flvo years, and on the 26th of February, 
1776, flud in smother lefter of the great poet : " Belong to our Academy ; 
your name and your eloqneuce will hare some effect upon tbe set of 
hired assassins established in Paris." The same desire is repeated with 
variations in several letters of tbe month of JSiarch. That of the 16th 
contains this passage : " I repeat to you that if you do not this time 
do mc the honor of joining us, I shall go and pass tbe rest of my touH^ 
at tbe Academy of Berlin or tbat of St. Petersburg." The old man 
becomes afterward still more pressing: "I wish yon would promise 
me," he writes on the 9th of April, 17T6, " for my comfort, tbat yoa will 
take my place in the Academy and aid our assembly with your words, 
as you have supported it with deeds. Bereceived by M. d'Alembert, aud 
I will feel greater confidence that all will bo well." 

Voltaire the sceptic doubts everything except the merit, the attach- 
ment, and the gratitude, of our confrere. 

We are now at the commencement of 1776. At the close of the year 
following, tbe 24th of November, 1777, the author of M4rope wrote again 
to onr former secretary : " I shall always be tenderly attached as long as 
I live to him who foruis the glory of the Academy of Sciences, and I 
hope he will some day do the same for the French Academy. Since the 
history of literature makes regretful mention of many candidates wbo 
entered the Academy only after soliciting long for tbe honor, I may be 
permitted to show one man of letters wbo became an academician only 
after he had been long solicited." 


BiAaE wiTQ Mademoiselle de Oeouchy. 

The ordinary, the regular course of things in this world brings some 
(lays of mourning, of tears, and of deep sorrow even into the least 
troubled lives. Gondorcet experienced this in 1783. That year, on the 
29th of October, death robbed him of bis friend, the illnatilDUB geometer, 


condoecet; a bioohapht. 209 

wko noder all circnmstauceB bad been bis guide, his SDpport, bis foster 

The great man, who bad snccnmbed in tbo plenilnde of his mathemati- 
cal genias, had assumed as a rule of couduct this maxim, vhich will no 
donbt by many be considered very puritanical : "The use Of the super-, 
flnoua JB wrong, when others are deprived of the necessary." D'Alembert 
acted through life upon thia principle and died, therefore, without for- 
tune. In his latter days he was not only a prey to cruel physical pain, 
the consequences of a dreadful malady (the stone) j be suffered perhaps 
even more deeply from the impossibility to which he had been reduced 
by his constant generosity, of suitably rewarding his two faithful serv- 
ants. A classical incident occurred suddenly to the memory and brongbt 
peace tO'tbe mind of the celebrated academician. 

Eutamidas bequeathed to one of his friends the mission of taking care 
of bis mother, to another of marrying his daughter ; a similar testamen- 
taiy request confided to Condorcet the duty of providing annually for 
the needs of the two servants. The mission lasted long: Condorcet 
placed it amongthenumberof his first duties and fulfilled it with religious 
fidelity. General and Madame O'Connor have contiuned his example. 

The ardoous duties devolving upon the secretary of the Academy of 
Sciences, the obligation of maintaining an active correspondence with 
the cultivated men of all countiies of the civilized world, an irresistible 
inclination to take part in the debates of which the social and political 
condition of the country was every day the object, very early decided 
Condorcet to give up general society. The sacrifice conld not have 
cost him much, for in the eulogy of Courtauvanx ho denounces its 
amnsements as dissipation without pleasure, vanity without motive, 
idleness without repose. Outside of his scientific relations our confrere 
frequented only a few choice social gatherings where, in contact with the 
eminent men of the time, the young men learned to discuss the most 
exciting questions with moderation, delicacy, and modesty. It was 
in one of these family reunions that Condorcet met, tor the first time Id 
1786, Mademoiselle Sophie de Grouchy, niece on her mother's side of M. 
M. Protean and Dupaty, members of parliament. Like all the rest of the 
world oar confrere admired, first, the rare beauty, the distinguished man- 
ners, the brilliant and cultivated mind of this young person. Soon he dis- 
covered that tfaesc attractions were united to a noble character, a heart 
most true, an affectionate and benevolent nature. Condorcet then be- 
came strongly attached to the young lady, and demanded her in mar- 
riage. Our confrfero was at this time forty three years of age, and had 
only a moderate income ; but such was the violence of his passion that 
lie made no written agreement, but only a verbal contract with his 
future parents for the dowry of his wife. This, gentlemen, is very far 
from the calculating, cold disposition which has been attributed to Con- 
dorcet, a character drawn from that of certain of his friends for whom 
be professed an unlimited admiration, and with whom ho was wrong- 
fally supposed to be in sympathy in every way and ui>od all snbjects. 
a Mis. 59 14 


At that time, vith very few exceptions, sarans, matbemat'..' 
eBpeciulIy, were regarded by the world as beiugs of a separate or'- • 
□atare. They abonld, it was ttioagbt, like ecclesiaBtics, be iaten. : 
tbecoDcert, tbe bait, tbe play. A geometer who murried was consK 
as infriugiDg upon a priociple of right. Uclibuey seemed tbe o 
tory cooditioD of whoever devoted himself to the sublime theor < '' 
analysis. Was this mistake altogether on the side of the public f '- 
not the geometers themselves iDstrameDtal lu promoting soch v - 
Listen, gentlemen, and jndge for yonrselves. 

B'Alembert receives indirectly from Berlin the information .: 
Lagrange is aboat to give his name to one of hia yonng relatives. Ito 
is somewhat astonished that a friend with whom he is in coi-respoudence 
has told him nothing of snch intentions. This does not, however, pre- 
vent bim from mentioning tbe matter in a bantering way. "I learn," 
he writes on the 2l8t of September, 17G7, " that yoa have made what 
we philosophers call the perilous leap. ' • " A great mathematician 
ought above all things to know bow to calculate bis own happiness. I 
do not doubt, then, that, having made this calcnlatioo, yoa find mar- 
riage to be the solution." Lagrange responds in this singular manner: 
*' I do not know whether I have calenlated well or ill, or rather whether 
I have calculated at all, * * * or I may be like Leibnitz, who, by 
force of reflection, never could come to a determination. I must confess 
to yoa that I have never bad a taste for marriage, • • * but cir- 
cumstances have decided me • • • to engage one of my relatives 
* * * to come and take care of me and all that concerns me. If I 
have not inftirmed you of this it was because it seemed to mo a matter 
of so little importance in itself that it was not worth while to trouble 
yon with it." 

The marriage of Condorcet wonid also have appeared to me a matter 
of no importance, and not worth mentioning m this biography, if it had 
been, as d'Alembert suggests, the result of a calcnlation. On the con- 
trary, without calculation of any kind, but solely in obedience to the 
inspirations of a feeling heart, Condorcet had the happiness to find a 
companion worthy of him. The beauty, grace, and wit of Madame de 
Condorcet formed a sort of miracle. Tbe most decided adversaries of 
marriage among the savans, especially the mother of tbe Duke de La 
IbOcbefoucauld, the respected Duchess d'Anville, yielded so far as to say 
to our former secretary, " We pardon you." 


OF THE Legislative Assembly— Membee of the Conteniiok — 
His vote m the teial op Loms XVI. 

We DOW enter into a series of considerations and events of a totally 
different nature from those which have hitherto occupied onr attention. 


Condorcet Is about to take part in the most important eveots of oar rev- 

If it is true, as a celebrated diplomatist has said, that speech oftea 
serves to diagaiae thought, wemay add that under certain circumstances, 
eilencoisaviiryuneguivocal means of expression. Suppose, for example, 
that I say nothing of the political life of Condorcet, who would believe 
that it was not made up of blamable deeds 1 Uearen forbid that I 
should voluntarily give reason for a conjecture so contrary to the truth, ' 
that I should become the tacit auxiliary of the many i^carrilons wiitera 
who attacked with a sort of fury the former secretary of this Academy. 
Every one, in his own cause, has assuredly the right to meet with silent 
contempt the abuse of adversaries ho may consider beneath notice ; but 
this aloDO in not sufficient for him whose mission it is to defend an hon- 
orable citizen, an illustrions brother, the victim of the basest calnmnies. 

In the society of Turgot our brother beciime a man of progress not 
only in social but political economy. Placed near the seat of power for 
eighteen months, he saw in their moat secret details theplay of the worm- 
eaten wheels of the ancient monarchy, Condorcet comprehended their 
insufficiency, and, although changca were to him personally prejudicial, 
he never allowed an opportunity to escape of urging their neceasity. I 
do not know whether such noble disinterestedness is common at pres- 
ent; it was not at least in the times of which I speak. Witnes9,'for 
instance, the naive question addressed to Condorcet by a Fermier giniral, ' 
enjoying an income of two or three thousand livrea: " Why iuuovate? 
Are we not well offT 

No, assuredly ; honest men were not common in the days when Tur- 
got, the minister, said to our coufrfere: " You do very wrong to write to 
me by the postj you m.iy injure yourself and your friends. Write to 
me, I pray you, only by special opportunity, or by my couriefa." 

The "6Iac/c cabinet" opening letters addressed to a minister! Is any- 
thing further necessary to show the character of the times t In order to 
understand the ameliorations France desired, Condorcet did not need to 
consult the instructions that in 1789 the members of the constituent 
assembly brought from all parta of the kingdom. His programme of 
action, perfectly in accord with the best conceived resolutions of the 
provincial assemblies, was written out in advance. He had found its 
elements in an earoost and philosophical study of the natural rights, of 
which a society well organized will not, and cannot, deprive the most 
humble citizen. The ideas, the wishes, the hopes of our confrere form 
■ the chief interest of the Life of Turgot, published iu 1786. To-day, 
even, when most of the privilegea claimed by Condorcet in the name of 
reason and humanity have been definitely acquired, publicists may still 
learn much from reading the work of our conlr6ro. They will see iu it, 
with aatonisLmeot perhaps, bnt also with full conviction, that the 
vague principle of the greatest good of society has often been a fruitful 
sonice of ipj'irions laws, while they will always secure regulations and 


prescriptions tbe necessity nnd tbe justice of xrbicb mast beackoowl- 
edged by all, wben ioteut ooly npon secaring to the public, the enjoy- 
ment of their natural rights. 

I do not know whether, in tbe present state of opinion, my apprecia- 
tion of the work of tbe illustrious philosopher will be generally approved. 
I may at least assert that rvery loyal man must experience one senti- 
ment, that of respect, in witnessing with what vigor, since the year 
1786, the MarQuia Caritat de Coudorcet attacked the privileges of the 

Gondorcet after much study had written, at the dictation of his con- 
science, the imperative mandate he was prepared to issue, if circumstances 
ever gave him the political power. 1 perceive in this programme many 
points which have never been decided according to his views, either in 
fact by onr assemblies, or in theory by publicists in general. 

Gondorcet did not wish two chambers ; but tfaat which he demanded, 
particularly that which seemed to bim the base of a welt considered social 
organization, was a legal and periodical means of revising the constita- 
tion, so as to odjast peacefnlly the disaflfeetion of parties. 

The combination of two chambers seemed to him a useless com- 
plication, in some cases leading to results evidently contrary to the 
wish of the majority. He believed "thatiu tbe deliberations of a single 
assembly are found all the elements necessary to sccnre to legislative 
enactments all the consideration and the maturity ot judgment required 
for their justice and wisdom." Franklin, a decided partisan of a single 
chamber, confirmed Gondorcet in his views. The culQgy of this great 
man furnished later to onr brother a natural occasion for the devel- 
opment of his opinion, which lie seized with avidity. Also, in this same 
eulogy the learned secretary proclaimed as an inevitable source of evils 
aud disorder any constitution considered unchangable, any constitution 
which did not provide means for modifying such of its regulations as 
might cease to bo in harmony with the state of society. 

With Gondorcet as simple citizen or as member of onr assemblies, the 
political man is coucentrated into these two ideas, — natural rigfats, rights 
imprescriptible which no law can infringe without injustice, and po- 
litical constitutions containing in themselves a legal means for the 
reform of abuses. Thia was bis evangel. Whenever his favorite prin- 
ciples are combatted or even only questioned he hastens to their defense. 
His language then becomes animated, passionate. Bead, for example, 
this passage from a letter he wrote on the 30th of August, 1789, at the 
time wben the constituent assembly had j ust rejected the proposition 
made by Ma,tbien de Montmorency to secure by means of an express 
proviso the possibility of fatnre impiovemeots in the fundamental 
compact [ 

"If oar legislators aspire to work for eternity, they ought to bring 
dowu a constitution from the skies. To Heaven has alone been accorded 

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the rigbt to give immutable lawa. We have lost the art of working 
miracles aud of making oraclea speak. The Pythoness of Delpbos and 
the thnaders of Sinai have for agea been redaeed to silence. The legis- 
lators of to-day are but men, who can give to men — their equals, only 
laws aa fleeting as themselves." 

The first functions of a political order exercised by Oondorcet were 
those of member of the mnnicipality of Paris. In this capacity he 
was the author of the celebrated address presented by the cicy to the 
constituent assembly, to demand the reform of a very important law, 
the law which bad just been passed, and which made tbe right of citi- 
zenship and the other political rights to depend upon the quota of its 
contributions. Tbe remonstrances of Coodorcet and his colleagues 
were not without effect. 

Condorcet was still exercising his municipal fanctions Then he de- 
manded, thiij time io his own name, that the King should always select 
his ministers from a list of those qnaliBed, the formation of which 
sboulQ be one of the principal prerogatives of the representative as- 
sembly. Would such a process prevent a bad selection t I certainly 
hesitate to afBrm it. I am certain that the list of candidates would 
be very difficalt to make, and would compel laborious investigation. 

Condorcet was mnch more in sympathy with the actual world when be 
pointed oat the dangers attached to the creation of assignats, when he 
indicated almost infallible means for obviating all the iuoouveniences of 
this paper money. 

The flight of the King and the circumstances of his retnru threw dis- 
couragement oveF the minds of the most decided partisans of the mon> 
archial system. La Rochefoucauld, Dupont de Nemours, and others, 
even held meetings where the means of establishing a republic without too 
great violence were very seriously diseased. This project was after- 
wards completely abandoned. Condorcet, an active member of these 
extra- parliamentary debates, did not consider himself bound by the 
decisions of the majority to keep secret the opinions he had given ; 
he allowed bis speeches to be read at the Cercle Sodal, and this assem- 
bly caused them to be printed. From this time dates the nnhappy 
rupture which suddenly, aud without hope of restoration, separated 
bim from bis best, his oldest friends, aud in particular from La Boche- 

When tbe qnestioos which the arrest of Yarennes inevitably raised 
reached the national tribune, Condorcet, although be was not a 
member of the assembly, became in it an object of attacks and of 
violent personal abuse. Tbe illustrious publicist admitted without 
hesitation that his opinions might be iu part erroneous; but con- 
sidering tbe character of those who made such fierce war against 
bim, their disdain excited bis surprise. "Was it excessively ridicn* 
Ions," he asked himself (1 copy here a passage from a manuscript), 
" that a geometer of forty-eight years, who for nearly a third of a cen- 


tary had studied political science, who was the first perhaps to apply 
mathematical caloalation to thia science, should be permitted to have a 
personal opinion upon qnestions *debated in the constitnent aasemblyt" 
Parliamentary cnabimB were not yet folly developed. Condorcet conid 
Dot divine that a day wonld come when, in order to be allowed to speak 
apon all subjects, it sfaonld he imperatively necessaiy to have made no 
epecial study of any. 

In 1 791, after qaitting the mnnieipality of Paris, Condorcet becameone 
of the six commissioners of the national treasury. The memoirs which 
he pablisbed at this period wonld occnpy a prominent place in the ealogy 
of an author less fruitful and less celebrated. Embarrassed by want of 
time and abundance of material,- 1 cannot eren mention tbeir titles. 

Condorcet, having renounced towards the latter months of 1791 the 
place of commissioner of the treasury, went to Paris as candidate for the 
legislative assembly. Kever was there a candidate more violently op- 
posed, never did the venal press indulge in more libels. It was my duty 
to investigate and weigh these emanations of party spirit; but I should 
weary my audience if I attempted to give an auslyais of them. I must 
confess that, amidst the torrent of calumnies and absurd accnsations, 
there was one assertion made in such a clear and categorical manner 
that in the absence of an equally formal denial, which I could nowhere 
find, the wrong attributed to our coufr^re made me really aneasy. 
Thanks to the respectable M. Cardot, for a long time Condorcet's secre- 
tary, all clouds of doubt have disappeared. Condorcet, said his accuser, 
visited the court nightly, and especially Monsieur, brother to the King, 
even at the time when he was attacking them in his writings, and then 
follow tbe names of persons who could testify to these clandestine com- 
monicationa. "TesI yes I" cried the chief clerk of our secretary, when 
1 consulted him, " I remember that grave imputation, but I remember 
also that it was proved that the mysterious nocturnal visitor was not 
Condorcet, but Count d'Orsay, master of the household of Motisieur.'^ 
Yon see, gentlemen, in times of political animosity, how easily the repu- 
tation of the most honest man m;iy be compromised. 

Hardly had he been nominated to the legislative assembly when he 
became one of its secretaries. Later he was raised to its presidency. 
Timidity, great feebleness of the lungs, the impossibility of preserving 
bis sang-froid and presence of mind amidst the noise, agitation, and 
tumultuous movements of a large concourse kept him away &om tbe 
tribune, which he mounted only on rare occasions, but whenever the 
assembly wished to make a serions and impressive address to the French 
people, the army, to interior factions, or foreign nations, it was always 
Condorcet who became its official organ. 

During bia legislative career Condorcet gave especial attention to the 
organization of public instruction. The fruit of his reflections upon 
this important subject are recorded in five memoirs, published in the 



Bibliotkiqtte de Vkomme publia, and Id the exposition of his ideas oa the 
law which he presented later to the legislative assembly. 

Oondorcet entirely /ibandoned the beaten tracks. Ho has sabmitted 
to very careful examination even those institutions and methods 
vbich by their universality seemed beyond question. He threw 
new light npon the sabject by considering it from points of view well 
worthy the attention of the legislator, as an enlightened friend of 
bis country, on account of their novelty and importance. Whatever 
may be the opinion of the matter, the impartial reader cannot fail to 
render homage to the clearness of view, the largeness of conceptioa- 
manifested by Condorcet in the varioos parts of his work. 

Here, according to date, shonld be mentioned a motion of Condorcet I 
cannot fail to notice. The compass of this motion 1 am sure has been seri- 
ously exaggerated. This assertion has not been made without mature 
reflection, for it places me in direct opposition to one of the most illustri- 
ous men of our time. It requires considerable confldence in the power 
of truth to dare oppose alone an error, without doubt iuvolnntary, but 
supported by the prestige of the highest eloquence. 

Parliamentary history offers nothing more touching, more curious, 
than the analysis of the session of the constituent assembly of the 19th 
of Jane, 1700. The day when Alexandre Lameth solicited the removal 
of four chained flgnres, then to be seen in the Place des Yictoires at 
the feet of the statne of Louis XIV, an obscure deputy of Eouergue, 
M. Lambel, cried from his seat: "To-day is the tomb of vauity. I 
demand that henceforth it shall be forbidden any one to take the titles 
of duke, marquis, count, baron," &e. Charles Lameth supported the 
proposition of his colleague; he desired that in the future no one should 
be called noble. Lafayette considered the two demands so evidently 
necessary, that he thought it superfluous to support them by many 
remarks. Alex, de Ifoailles agreed with the latter, but considered the 
suppression of liveried servants equally urgent. M. de Saint- Fargeau 
proposed that no one should bear any other name than that of bis 
family, and set the example by immediately signing his own motion, — 
"Michel Louis le Pelletier." Lastly, Matheu de Montmorency insisted 
that armorial bearings, heraldry, which were among the most apparent 
remains of the feudal system, must not be spared, and demanded 
their immediate abolition. These propositions were presented, dis- 
cnssed, adopted, almost in as short a time as I have taken to give an 
account of them. In all this our confrere did not take an active 
part, for the very simple reason that he was not a member of the 
coustitaent assembly. If it was a faolt to rupture so suddenly all con- 
nection between the past and the present, Condorcet, at least, cannot 
be blamed for it. We have, in £ict, since learned, tbro:igh the memoirs 
of Lafayette, that npon the question of the abolition of heraldry, our 
learned philosopher did not agree with Montmureucy. It seemed to 
him, on the contrary, more in accordance with the tine principles of 



liberty, rather tbaa to snppresa armorial beariogB, to permit every one, 
tbe plebeian, tbe artisan, tbe beggar, aa well as tbe noble, to assame 
them if so inolined. 

Tbe law for the abolition of titles of nobility contained nothing epe- 
ciflc concerning the penalties attached fo its infringement. Such a law, 
a law without proper sanction, is never observed in any country, and 
■ soon falls into disuse. It was, no doubt, to recall to mind its existence, 
that on tbe anniversary of tlie day on which it was passed by the con- 
stituent assembly, the I9th of Juue, 1792, tbe legislative assembly at 
Paris caused to be barued a large quantity of brevets or diplomas of 
dukes, marquises, vidames, &c. The flame was still burning at the foot 
of the statue of Ijouis XIV ; tbe last contribution to it was, perhaps, 
the original title of tbe Marquis Oaritat de Condorcet, when the heirs 
of this family demanded of the national tribune that the same measure 
should be extended to all France. The proposition was nnanimously 

This proposition has been textnally inserted in the Moniteur* It 
evidently relates only to titles of nobility. A decided partisan for nnity 
in the legislativQ power, Condorcet hoped to defeat his adversaries 
{who still meditated the creation of two chambers,) by the destrno- 
tion of certain parchments which they seemed inclined to consalt when 
composing the personnel of their senate. The artillce was perhaps 
shabby, puerile. Still it does not authorize an illustrioos writer, the 
honor of our literature, to present it aa the immediate cause of the 
abandonment of certain historical works, because these works had 
ceased entirely a year before, in 1791. It still less authorizes a seriooa 
journal, and of recent date, to tell us that tbe new Omar, Condorcet, 
caused to be burned the extensive records of the learned associations, 
for these records were not burned; the proposition can be read aa 
Condorcet made it, and it refers absolutely only to titles of nobility; 
for {and this moral argument is in my eyes even stronger than pos- 
itive facta and dates) there never oonld have existed a Prench cham- 
ber, whether created by a monarch or by the populace, with elections of 
any order, which would have sanctioned by a unanimous vote the bar- 
barous, anti -literary, anti- historic, anti-national act, so lightly attrib- 
uted to tbe former secretary of the Academy. 

It is at about this epoch, and not after the condemnation of Louis 
XVI, as has erroneously been supposed, that, by the formal order of 
Catherine and Frederick William, the name of Condorcet was effaced 
from the list of members composing the academies of St. Petersburg and 
of Berlin. Notwithstanding all my efforts, I have not been able to dis- 
cover whether these two acts of disapproval distressed to any great de- 
gree our secretary. Not a line, not a single word of his nnmerona man- 
uscripts and printed works refers to this event. Condonset imagined 
perhaps, that as the imperial and royal conGrmationa addtd little to the 
'See the discoQcse of Coadorcel, of the 19th of June, 1733. 

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actual valae of the literary titles ho coald regard (he iritbdrawal of 
these confirmaUoQS as a fact little worth bis attention. 

Coiidorcet had seen arise Id the legislative aBsembly the persoaal dis- 
sensions which, growyig in bitterness, threatened to imbrue tlio conven- 
tion in blood, and bring the country to the verge of ruin. lie was never 
billing to take part in these combats when tbey seemed to center upon 
individual names. All his tendencies were to moderate rather tban- 
to excite these broils. Several times he addressed to the ears of the 
factions these words, full of wisdom : "Thinlc a little less of yourselves 
and a little more of the pnblic good." 

Iq times of revolutionary agitations, he who is governed by principle 
alone is soon considered weak by all parties. Of this Coudorcet was an 
example. Witness on the one hand this passage from Madame llolaud : 
"We may say of the iotelligence of Condorcet in relation to Lis person, 
it is a fine essence pervading cotton." On the other baud, the electoral 
corps of Paris, tben completely Jacobin, when called upon to nominate 
its representatives to the convention, withdrew from Coudorcet the 
mandate which bad made him a member of the legislative assembly. 

A little later in this same convention, for which hve depiirtmeuts, In 
default of that of the Seine, had uomiuated Condorcet, we will see that 
it is possible to be botb cotton for personal questions and biouze for 
questions of [irinciple. 

Condorcet acted as one of the judges of Lonis XVI, I know that, by 
a sort of tacit consent, it Is castomary to consider this period of our 
history as ground too hot to dwell upon with prudence. I think such 
reserve objectionable. The mystery iu which the events of the lime 
are enveloped teuds to promote the belief that, to the eternal sbame of 
oar national character, not a patriotic feeling, not an act of conrage, 
DoG an elevated idea, not a sentiment of Justice, was brought to light 
daring the long period of the painful drama. 

The large portion of the public to whom the Moniteur and other offi- 
cial sonrcesof information are interdicted, on account of their liigh price 
or their rarity, are acquainted with this part of cur annals only through 
a few barbarous phrases, several of which have been repeated from 
generation to geueration, but are none the less contrary to the truth. 
The overcaation, which under such circnrostaBces would prevent the 
historian from attributing to each person his reul patt of the responsi- 
bility, is, in my opinion, inexcnsable. I will, therefore, tell you faitb- 
lally and withoot reticence what was Coudorcet's conduct during the 
celebrated trial. 

Gould the King be tried t His inviolability : was it not absolute nc> 
cordingto the terms of the coustitutiou T Liberty: was it possible in 
a country where positive law ceased to be the rule of judgment T 
Would it not be violating an eternal axiom, founded upon humanity 
and upon reason, to prosecute actions which no anterior law bad 
stamped as derelict or criminal T In strict Justice, should not the mode 

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of jactgrneot Lave been regulated before the time of tlie offeoee or 
crime f Was tt to be Itoped tbat a fallea sovereign migbt find impar- 
tial judges among tbose be ODce called his sabjeetsl If Louis XYI bad 
not counted apon absolute inviolabilitj, are we sufe tbat be would bave 
accepted tbe crown t 

Bebold tbe serie^ of questions, assuredly very natural, wbicb Condor- 
cet presented to the tribune of the convention, and wbicb be submitted 
to a severe discussion before the commeucetnent of the trial of Louis 
XVL I ought to enumerate tbem if only to show to what extent they 
may deceive themselves to whom the history of our revolution is known 
only by a sort of oral trjidition, which represents all the members of 
the convention as tigers, thirsty for blood, taking no care to cpver 
tbeir fury with even the appearance of right nnd legality. Gondorcet 
admitted tbat tbe King was inviolable, tbat tbe constitutional compact 
justified all the acts of power which were delegated to liim. He did 
not believe tbat the same rule should be extended to personal derelic- 
tions, If they were without nccosstiry connection with tbe functions of 
royalty. Th e moat, perfect codes, said Condorcet, contain defect s. Tbat 
of Solon, for example, makes no mention of the parricide. The monster 
guilty of sncb a crime, should he therefore remain uopuuished t INo, 
certainly; to him was applied the penalty of the murderer. 

In admitting condemnations by analogy, Condorcet desired at least 
that the tribunal, constituted with unusual prerogative's, should be based 
upon dispositions favorable to the accused; he desired the right of re- 
cusation more extended ; the necessity of a larger majority for the con- 
demnation, &C. According to his views, the judgment of the King 
Qbonld bave been confided to a special jnry, chosen from the whole 
country by means of electoral colleges. 

The right to pnnisb the King did not seem to our confrere so incontest- 
able as the right to judge him. The idea of a sentence in some sort 
moral might seem, perhaps, strange; Gondorcet saw in it tbe occasion 
of showing to Europe, by a legal, discussion, tbat the change of the 
French constitution had not been the effect of the s imple capric e of 
Homi^ ind jvidii:tln . 

After having developed the opinicus, true, fklse, or quDstionable, tbat 
have just been presented to you,. Condorcet declared, with no less sincer- 
ity, that., without violating the first principles of jurisprudence, the con- 
vention could not judge the King. A legisl^ive jiuliciary was in bi a 
ey.^_a vcritabla-chimera. Sach an assembly, at once legislator, im- 
peacher, and judge, seemed to him a moustrosity, an example the most! 
dangerous. In all times, be said, and in all countries, the judge baa 
been considered lawfully reprehensible who in advance manifests anjj 
opinion of the cnlpability or the innocence of the accused. In factl 
justice cannot be expected from men who, forced to renonnoo an opiui 
ion publicly expressed, must consequently incur at tbe least thi* 
reproach of hckleness. Now, said Condorcet, in a solemn declaratioa 


condoecet: a biogeapht. 219 

addressed ta the Swisa nation, the coDventioD bas already proDonuoed 
apoii the calpability of the King. Coudercet as to the rest demaoded 
that in thecaseofcoDdenination, the right shonid be reserved of mitigat- 
ing the punishmeaL "To pardon the King," Baid he, "may become 
an act of prudence ; to coDserve the power to do so is an act of wisdom." 

It is in the same discourse that I read the words, whose beaat; are 
enlianced by tbe solemn circnmstanees of the speaker: 

"1 believe the punishment by death nnjnst. * * • The abolition 
of the death penalty would be one of the most efficacious means of ele- 
vating the human species by assisting to destroy the inclination to- 
wards ferocity, which has long dishonored it. ' • • Pgriisbments 
which allow correcti on and r epentance, are alone suitable for tbe regen- 
eration of the race." ' 

The convention, scorning all thescrnples Cnndorcet had raised, con- 
Btitnted itself a sovereign tribunal for tbe trial of Louis XVI. Our 
brother did not decline to take part. Was this one of those cases in 
the body politic, when tbe minority must blindly submit to tbe yoke 
of the majorityl The most criminal of usurpations is, without con- 
tradiotion, that of the judicial power; it wounds both the intelligence 
and tbe heart. Ou such a subject, could tbe testimony of tbe con- 
science- be placed in the balance against the material result of the 
' baJIotI Let ns not always carry severity to theextreme; let us remem- 
ber that in tbe open sea, in tbe midst of the storm, even the most in- 
trepid sailor is sometimes seized with dizziness the timid landsman eafe 
on shore has never experienced. It would certaiuly have been more 
Roman to have refused the fnnction of judge; it was more human, accord- 
ing to the ideas of Condorcet, to accept it. Gondorcet refused to vote 
for the punishment of death. Any other penalty he considered could be 
awarded, and he demanded an appeal to the people. 

Discussion. OF THE constitution of the second ybab.— Condoe- 


CoNDOEOET — His death. 

Uf all the writings of Oondorcet none exercised so fatal an influence 
upon his destiny as the plan for tbe cotistitntion for the second year. 

In the midst of the incomparable efforts made by the convention to 
repulse the armed enemy, to suppress the civil war, to create financial 
resources, to resnpply the arsenals, tbe political organization of the 
country was not forgotten ; a commission composed of nine of its mem- 
bers was intrusted with the preparation of a new constitution. Cop- 
dnmrt ffnfi nnn of thn ninr After several mouths of assiduous labor 
and of profound discussion, this commission picsented, on the IGth aud 
16tb of February, 1793, the result of its deliberation. The new plan 
of the constitution consisted of not less than thirteen heads, sub- 

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divided into a great namber of articles. Ad introduction of a bnndred 
and flfteea pages, written by Condorcet, gave in detail the motives 
which had decided the commiBSiou. The convention accorded to the 
dranght uf our colleagne the preference over all the others presented for 
ita consideration from other qnarters, and concluded that it wonld with- 
out delay be publicly discnsRed. Yiolent debates excited each day by 
pernouHl enmity, the bitterness of party spirit ; the vearisome difficnltiea 
of the circnm stances, and the incessant usurpations of the eommnne of 
Paris absorbed all the time of the sessions. Condorcet, caring only for 
what he considered as directly promoting the trinmph, the glory, and the 
happiness of France, grieved to see the consideration of the constitu- 
tion duy by day deferred. lu his impatience he demanded a limit 
fixed for the delay, at the expiration of which a new convention should 
be called. At Paris the proposed constitution received very little 
attention; the departments, on the contrary, received it with favor. 
It carried and promoted ideas which had become so powerful that it 
was impolitic not to take them into account. Accordingly after the 
events of the Slst of May and the 2d of June, the part of the cotiven- 
tion iu the ascendency considered it opportune to gratify without 
delay the wish of the people for the constitution so long promised the 
country; but it refused to tahe up again the plan of Condorcet. Five 
commissioners, appointed by the committee of the public safety, at 
the head of which was H^rault do S^chelles, made a new plan which 
the committee amended and accepted in a single session. The conven- 
tion was not h'SS exi>editious. The constitution presented on the 10th 
of June, 179.1, was decreed on the 24th of the same month. The happy 
shouts of the populace and the thunder of cannon announced in Paris 
the great event. 

The constitution, according to the terms of the decree, was to be sanc- 
tioned or rejected by the primary assemblies in the short space of three 
days from the time of notification, and here occurred an act of Condorcet 
in order to appreciate the bravery of which it is necessary to go back 
in thought to that terrible period in our annals which followed the 31st 
of May. 

SieySs, in private confidence, called the work of H4raQlt de S^chelles 
a had index of subjects. What Siey^s said in sesret Oondorcet dared to 
write to his constituents. He did more: in a letter made public, the 
celebrated savant openly proposed to the people not to sanction the new 
coiistitntion. Hia reasons were many and clearly expressed : 

"The integrity of the national rejireaentation," said Condorcet, "has 
just been destroyed by the arrest of twenty-seven Giroudin members. 
The discussion conid no longer be free. Inquisitorial censure, the pillage 
of printing offices, the violation of the secrets of letters, must be consid- 
ered as having presented insurmountable obstacles to the manifestation 
of the popular sentiment. The new constitution," added Condorcet, " ub 
it speaks of no compensation for the deputies, leads to the supposition 

condobcet: a biogeapht. 221 

that it 18 considered desirable to compose the national convention always 
of rich men or of those with good prospects for the future. The elections, 
too indirect, are a premium for intrignes and mediocrity. It is an insult 
to the people to suppose them incapable of making good immediate elec- 
tions. To compose the executive power of twentj-four persons is to 
throw affairs into hopeless stagnation. A constitution which does not 
guarantee civil liberty is radically defective. There is in some minds a 
tendency toward federalism.towardthe raptaro of French unity, butthe 
greatest mistake is to have rendered the means of reform illnsory.'' 

A critic so quick, so aocurate, so just, moreover, could not have been 
welcome to the antbors of the project, bat what followed irritated them 
still more, for self-love is always the weak side of our species, even with 
those who call themselves statesmen. 

"All that is good in the second project of a constitntion is copied 
from the first, — which has only been perverted and corrupted h; the 
attempt to correct and improve." Cbabot denounced the letter of Con- 
dorcet to the convention in the session of the 8th of July, 17d3. The 
exCapochin callefl the new constitntion of H^rault de S^chelles a sub- 
lime work. Ho spoke of the criticism as an infamoKS article which only 
villains could tolerate, and after the use of these abusive terms, adds: 
"Condorcet pretends that bis constitntion is better; that the primary 
assemblies ought to accept it. I propose, therefore, that he be placed 
under arrest, and compelled to plead bis cause at the bar." 

The assembly accordingly decreed without further accnsation that 
the illustrious deputy from Aisne should be arrested and the state seal 
placed upon his papers. 

Condorcet, although generally, bnt erroneously, considered a Girondist, 
vas not among the number of the twenty-foar deputies arrested on the 
3lst of May. On the 3d of October, 1793, however, his name is found 
with those of Brissot, Yergniand, Oeosonn^, Yalaz^, in the list of tbe 
conventionals brongbt before the revolutionary tribunal, accused of 
conspiracy against the unity of the republic and condemned to death. 

Condorcet, condemned as contumacious, was outlawed ; was placed 
upon the list of exiles and all his possessions were confiscated. 

"Honor took refuge in the camp." In this short sentence historians 
pretend to give an idea of the terrible years 1793 and 1794 of oup 
tevolatioD. But the great epochs of history can be described in so few 
words, only at the expense of truth. It is true the armies of the repub- 
lic manifested a devotion, a patience, and a courage really admirable; 
it is true the soldiers, badly armed, badly clothed, barefooted, strangers 
to tbe most simple military evolutions, hardly knowinghow to use their 
guns, overcame by force of patriotism the best troops of Europe, and 
drove them disorganized beyond tbe frontiers; yes, from the bosom of 
tbe people, whose intelligence had been dwarfed by the aristocratic 
pride and prejudices of our ancestors, sprang as if by enchantment im- 
mortal leaders ; yes, when the welfare or honor Qf ^he couoti^ required 


it, tbe SOD of an faamble ^at-bord became tbe illustriotis bead of one of 
OQT armies, tbe eoDqaeror of Marshal Wurmser and tbe peace-maker of 
the Vendue; yes, tbe son of a simple tavern-keeper precipitated bimself, 
like an avalanche £roai the heights of the Albia, and dispersed from 
tiadeE the walls of Znrich the Rnssian forces of KorsakoS, even at tbe 
monient wheo the; considered tbeunselves marching sorely to tbe con- 
qaest of France ; yes, the son of a plasterer with a few thousand men 
gave at Heliopolis snch proofs of skill and of bravery that the phalanx 
of Macedonia and the legions of Gsesar can no longer be called the most 
Taliant troops which have trodden the land of Egypt. 

I deplore, I denonnce, as vehemently as any one, the sangninnry acts 
which stained the years 1793 and 1791, but I cannot regard oar glorioas 
revolution only ander this sad aspect. I find, on the contrary, much to 
admire, even amid the crael scenes which marked the varions stages of 
its progress. Can we cite, for instance, any country, ancient or modern, 
in which the victims of Itoth sexes and all parties have given greater 
proof at the foot of the scaffold of resignation, of force of character, of 
ready sacrifice of life, than was manifested by our ahfortanate compa- 
triots t Kor should be forgotten the intrepid assidnity manirested by 
many honorable citizens in assisting and sheltering the proscribed. 

This last redection brings us back to Condorcet and the admirable 
woman who concealed him for more than nine months. It may be sup- 
posed that Condorcet did not fully measore all the gravity, all the import- 
ance, of the article which he published after the adoption of the constita- 
tioD of the second year. This mistake, however, must be corrected. That 
which presented itself to the mind of the deputy of Aisne as a doty, 
he accomplished with fall knowledge of the imminent danger incurred. 
As indisputable proof of this, I find that the pablication of tbe Address 
to tlie citizens of France vpon the new constitution coincides exactly with 
the steps taken to secure a place of refuge for the anthor. 

Id tbe political as in the terrestrial atmosphere, there are signs that 
herald storms, recognized at a glance by the experienced, however indefi- 
nite they may appear to others. Condorcet, bis brother-in-law Cabaois, 
their common friend Tic-d'Azir, conld not be deceived. After his pub- 
lic manifestation npon the snbject of tbe constitution of the year II 
(of the Kepublic), the impeachment of Condorcet was inevitable; tbe 
thnnder-bolt was launched at his head, and it was necessary for him to 
seek shelter without delay. 

Two pnpils of Cabanis and of Tic-d'Azir, who have since become dis- 
tingnisbed members of this Academy, MM. Pinel and Boyer, suggested 
that be sbonld resort for this parpose to No. 21 Servandoni street, 
where they had resided. This house, ordinarily occupied by students, 
belonged to the widow of Lonis Frjn9ois Ternct, a sculptor and near rela- 
tive of the great painters of that name. Madam Veruet, as well as her 
basband, was born in Proveoce. She had a warm heart, a lively 
imaginatituii a phariic;:er open and frank; her benevolence amounted 


to self- sacrifice. These qualities obviated the necessity of circamlo- 
cutioa and long Dcgotiation. "Madam," said MM. Boyer aod Pinel, 
" we wish to save a prescript." " Is be an hooest man ; is he virtuoas t " 
"Tes, madam." "In that case, let him comet" "We will tell joa his 
name." "Tou can tell me that later; lose not a momeut; while we 
speak together, your friend may be arretted." 

That same evening Coadorcct intrusted bis life to a woman whose 
existence even a few hours before was anknowu to him. 

Condorcet was not the first fugitive received at So. 21 ; one other had 
preceded him there. Madam Yernet never consented, iu regard to tiiis un- 
known, to satisfy the natural curiosity of the family of our confrere. Even 
in 1830, after nearly thirty-seven years had elapsed, her answers to the 
pressing questions of Madam O'Connor never passed beyond vague 
generalities. The refugee, she said, was a great enemy of the revolution ; 
he lacked firmness, was frightened by the least noise in the street, and 
did ootqait his retreat until after the Otb Thermidor. The excellent 
woman added, with a smile au'J some saduess, " Since that time 1 have 
not seen him ; how do yon sappose I can recollect bis name." 

Our confrere had hardly entered bis retreat in Servandoni street, 
when he became a prey to the most crael taental torture. Hia income 
was seized; he could not dispose of a straw belonging to him. For 
himself, personally, he did not suffer ou this account, for Madam Ver- 
net provided for his necessities ; with this incomparable woman to as- 
sist an unfortunate was so much a matter of duty, that afterward, when 
the family of the illnstrioas secretary became opulent, they endeavored 
in vain, with repeated and constantly-renewed efforts, to induce her to 
receive some remuneration. 

But, safe himself, " Where," thought the illustrious academician, "will 
she live who is so unfortunate as to bear my name to-day, when every 
uoble woman, and much more every wife of a proscript, is excluded from 
the capitalt" "Trustto the resources of a devoted wife." Madam Con- 
dorcet managed to come into Paris every morning with the purveyors 
of the markets. " But how will she support herself!" still demanded onr 
confrere in his uneasy solicitude. It seemed, in fact, impossible that a 
lady delicately reared, accustomed to be served and not to serve others, 
,conld gain by her own exertions sufficient maintenance for herself, her 
young daughter, her sick sister, and an old housekeeper. But the ap- 
parently impossible was soon in f»ct accomplished. The need of some 
representation of the lineaments of relations and friends is never greater 
than during a revolution. Madam de Condorcet passed ber days in 
making portraits now in theprisons, and these were the most in demand; 
now in the silent retreats the charitable secured for the proscribed; in 
the brilliant drawing-rooms, or in the modest habitations of citizens of all 
classes Vbo considered themselves threatened by approaching danger. . 
The skill of Madam Condorcet also rendered much less vexatious, much 
less perilous, the frequent ratdi of detachments of the revolntionary 

224 cohdobcet: a bioqbapht. 

army npoD her dwelling-place of Aateail. Upoo the demand of the sol- 
diers she reprodaced their features with the pencil or the brash. She 
exercised over them the fascination of her talents, and almost converted 
them into protectors. As soon as painting ceased to he remanerative, 
Madam Condorcet, exempt from prejudices, did not hesitate to open a 
store for lingerie. Later she became the skilful translator of the work 
of Adam Smith upon the moral sentiments, and published, herself, some 
letters upon sympathy equally worthy of esteem on acooant of their 
delicacy of perception and their elegance of style. 

The first steps, the first snccesses, of Madam Condorcet in the career 
of personal aboegation and courageous devotion we havejnst described 
were a balm to the almost fninting heart of the unhappy proscript. He 
felt himself inspired for persevering and laborious work. The force, 
the clearness of his mind were not less perfect in the retreat guarded by 
the heroic humanity of Madame Vernet than they were twenty years 
t)efore, when he was secretary of the Academy of Sciences. 

The Urst work written by Condorcet in his seclusion has never been 
printed. I will quote the opening lines: 

"As I cannot know whether I shall survive the present crisis," writes 
the illnstrious philosopher, ^' I consider it a duty to my wife, my child, 
and my friends, who may suffer from the calumnies attached to my 
memory, to give a simple exposition of my principles and my conduct 
during the revolution." 

Cabanis and Qarat were mistaken when they affirmed in the introduc- 
tion to the Sketch of the progress of the human mind that their friend wrote 
only a few lines of this exposition. The manuscript consists of forty- 
one closely -written pages, and embraces nearly the whole of the public 
career of Condorcet As secretary of the Academy of Moral and Polit- 
ical Sciences, I should perhaps transcribe the whole of this writing, in 
which the candor, the good faith, and the sincerity of our coufrfere are so 
brilliantly manifested ; but the specialties of the Academy of Sciences 
exclude such details. Nevertheless, as it is the manifest duty not only for 
all academicians bat all citizens to ft'ee onr national history, onr common 
patrimony, from the miserable stains the action of a limited party have 
impressed upon her, I will givethe opinion of Condorcet in regard to 
the massacres of September : 

" The massacres of the 2d of September," he writes, " a stain upon our 
revolution, were the work of the folly, the ferocity, of a few men, and 
not of the people, who endeavored not to see what they were unable to 
prevent. The factions party, few in jiumber, to whom these deplorable 
events ought to be attributed, were artful enongh to paralyze the public 
power, to deceive the citizens and the national assembly. They were 
resisted feebly and without system, becanse the true condition of affairs 
was not understood." 

Is it not a pleasure, gentlemen, to find the people, the true people of 
Paris, exonerated from all responsibility in the odious butchery, by a 


man whose enlighteQed aaderBtaudiDg, patriotism, ami high position are 
a triple guarantee of trathfuloessl lu futare the rollo\. ing apostrophe of 
a workmaa to the commuue will not stand aloue as au isolated expresaion 
of individual opiuion : 

" You pretend to be destroyiug the enemies of tbe coaotry, I do not 
call unarmed meu such. Lead to the Obamp de Mara theae unfortnn- 
ates wlio, aa you say, would rejoice in tbe failure of tbe republic. Let 
ua meet tbem eqnal in numbers, equal in arms, and there will then be 
nothing in their death to cause ns to blush." 

Condorcet bore his seclusion witb great resignation until be heard of 
the tragical death of the Girondiatconventioualiats, who had been con- 
demned on tbe same day as himself. Tbis terrible circumstance conceu- 
trated all hia tbougbta upon tbe danger incurred by Madame Yernet. 
Ho bad an interview with bis brave protectress, which, although it 
seems like sacrilege, I give without changing a single word : * 

"Your kindnesaes, madam, are engraved upon my heart witb inefface- 
able lines. The more I admire your courage, tbe morb I feel it my duty 
aa an honest man not to impose further upon it. The law is positive : 
if I am diacovered in your dwelling, yon will have the same sad end as 
myself. 1 am an outlaw ; I cannot remain longer." "Tbe convention, 
monsieur, baa the right to put you beyond the amenities of the law, but 
has not the power to place you beyond tboae of humanity ; you will re- 

This admirable answer was immediately followed by tbe organization 
in No. 2L Servandoni street of a system of surveillance to prevent tbe 
departure of the illustrious refugee, in which most of the members of 
tbe household, and particularly the humble porter, had a part. Mad- 
am Vernet inspired with her own virtue all those who surrounded her. 
From this day Oondorcet did not make a movement which was not ob- 

At this time occurred an incident which shows the superior intelli- 
geoce of Madam Yernet, and her profound knowledge of the human 

One day as be was monnting tbe staircase leading to tbe chamber be 
ocenpied, Condorcet encountered tbe citizen Marcos, deputy solicitor to 
the convention for the department of Moot Blunc Marcos belonged to 
the section of the mountaineers ; he had been lodging for several days 
witb Madam Yernet. Under hia dtagnise, Oondorcet bad not been rec- 
ognized ; but was it possible to count upon this good fortune for any 
length of time 1 Tbe illustrious prescript confided hia uneasiness to his 
devoted hostess. "Wait," said ahe, "I will arrange this matter immedi- 
ately." She ascended to the chamber of Marcos, and, without any pre- 
amble, addressed these words to him : "Oitizen, Condorcet dwe'ls under 
the same roof with yonraelf; if he is arrested it will be you who has 
denounced him ; if be perishes it will be yon who has caused bis head 
to full. You are a benevolent man ; I have no need to say more." Tbis 
8.Mis.e9 15 * ^ , .1,. GoOqIc 


noble coofldeDce was not betrayed. Marcos entered, even at tbe peril ^ 
bis life, into direct relations with Coiidorcet. It w'as he wLo provide^ 
Itim wltb tbe romances which our conl'r^re devonred in large numbersi 
Madam Yeroet felt that tbroagh the restlesBnees of the prisoner, atf 
accident might at any time betray him ; that her efTorts woald in the 
end prove to be in vain if his mind were not more eerioasly occupied. 
At her instigation, "Madam de Gondorcet, and the friends of ber bus- 
band, entreated him to devote bis time to some important composition. 
Oondorcet yielded to their connsel, and commenced his Sletck of a Jm- 
torie picture of tke progress of the buman mind. 

While thug, through the judicious influence of Madam Vernet, Gon- 
dorcet turned hjs scrutiniziog gaze on the social condition of the past and 
future bnman race, he sacceeded in diverting his thoughts completely 
from the terrible convulsions in which France was then straggling. In 
the Sketch of the progress of the human mind there is not a line in which 
tbe acrimony of the proscript has taken the place of tbe cool reason of 
the philosopher and the noble desire to promote the advance of civiliza- 
tion, "Everj'tbing tells ns that we are on the eve of one of tbe great 
revolutions of the hnman race. • • • - The present indications are 
that it wilt be a happy one." Thus Condorcet wrote when he was hope- 
less of escape from the active pursnit of bis implacable persecntors; 
when tbe sword of death waited to fall only until the identity of the 
victim could t>e assured. 

It was in the middle of March, 17D4, that Gondorcet wrote tbe last 
lines of his essay ; to carry the work further without the aid of books 
was not in the power of any haman mind. The work did not see the day 
□ntil 1795, after the death of the author. The public received it with 
universal approbation. Two translations — one English, one German — 
made the Sketch very popular abroad. The convention obtained three 
thousand copies, -wbicb were diatribnted through the efforts of tbe com- 
mittee of public instruction over the entire republic. In the autograph 
manuscript the work is called not a sketch but a Programme of a historical 
picture of the progress of the human mind. Condorcet indicates its object 
in tbe following terms : 

" I intend to confine myself to the general traits which characterize 
the various phases through which the humap race must pass, which 
sometimes manifest i(e progress, sometimes its decadence, which betny 
causes and show their effects. * * • It is not the science of 
man in general that I nndertake to treat ; I wish to show solely how, 
through time and bis own efforts, he has been able to enrich his mind 
with new truths, to perfect his intelligence, to extend the use of his 
faculties, and to employ them to better advantage lor his own happiness 
and the common good." 

The work of Gondorcet is too well known to require analysis here. 
How, moreover, can a programme be analyzed t I will merely draw the 


attention of anprpjadiced miods to the cnrioaa chapter wLere, divelling 
upon the futnre progress of the human mind, the author shows the 
necessitj, the justice (these are his expressions) of establishing an 
entire eqaality of civil and political rights between the individuals of 
the two sexes, and proclaims, besides, the indefinite perfectibility of the 
hamao race. 

The latter philosophical idea was opposed with extreme violence in tbe 
beginning of this century by all the popular writers. According to 
them the doctrine of indefinite perfectibility is not only untrue, but 
productive of disastrous consequences. The Journal des Debats pre- 
sented it "as favoring too much the projects of the seditious." In the 
severe criticism made of it in the Mercure, in reference to a work of 
Madam de Stael, Fontaues flattering the passions of Napoleon, even 
maintained this dream of perfectibility to be n terrible menace to gov- 
ernments. Finally, to wealien (according to the ideas of the day) the 
rights of this philosophical doctrine to any serious consideration, it 
was pretended that Voltaire was its first, its'true originator. This as- 
* sertion, however, could not well be sustained. The idea of perfectibility 
is in fact fonnd in Bacon, in Pascal, in Descartea. Nowhere, however, 
is it more clearly expressed than in this passage from Bossnet: "After 
ttix thousand years of observation the human mind is not yet exhausted ;' 
it investigates, it discovers still, and may do so to infinity; idleness 
alone can limit its knowledge and its inventions." 

The merit of Condoreet in regard to this particular subject is confined 
to having studied by means of data furnished through niodero science, 
and by ingenious association of the facts obtained, the hypothesis of an 
indefinite perfectibility relative to the duration of the life of man, and 
his intellectual faculties. But he was, I believe, the first to extend the 
system so as to induce the hope of the indefinite perfection of the moral 
facQlties. Thus I read in his work "that a day will come when our 
interests and our passions will have no more influence upon the judg- 
ments which control the will than they have now upon scientific opin- 
ions." Here, without entirely diEFeriog from the author, I would say he 
makes a prediction it will require a long time to fulfil. 

Tho programme was originally intended to have been followed by a 
Tableau complet (a complete picture) of the progress of the human mind. 
This picture, composed principally of facts, of historical documents, and 
of dates, was not finished. The editors of 1S04 published some frag- 
ments of it; other portions are found in the papers of M. and Mme. 
O'Connor. Let as hope that filial piety will favor the public with tbe 
rest. I dare to hope that it will establish the judgment given by Dan- 
non of the sketch: "I do not know any one, however erndite, either 
of this or any other nation, who deprived aa Condoreet was of books, 
and with no other guide than his memory, could have composed such a 

As soon as tbe fever of authorship of oar confifero was abated, his fears 

I ' ,.. I,, Google 


of tbe danger inCDrred by Madam Yeroet by liis pretence in Serv^ 
doni street were renewed. He tben, to aae his own words, resolveduo 
qnit a retreat wbich tbe nnlimited devotion of his tutelary Baint btli 
transformed into a paradise. 

Condoreet was so well assured of the probable consequence of tbe 
step be was about to take, tbe chances of safety appeared to him ao 
attgbt, that before leaving tbe protection of Madam Vernet be recorded 
his last wishes. Tbis docament, which I have in my ttands, manifests 
throughout an elevated mind, a feeling heart, and a beaatifnl boqI. I 
dare even to say that in no langaage can there be fonnd anything more 
thonghtfnl, more touching, more graceful in form than some passages 
in this testament, the last effort of our confrere, whieb be called Tlie ad- 
vice of a proacript to his daughter. 1 regret that time does not permit 
me to make some quotations from it. These lines, so clear, so full of 
delicate and natural feeling, were written by Condorcet on the very day 
when he was abont to expose himself to great danger. The feeling that 
a violent death was almost inevitable did not distnrb him; his hand 
traced these terrible expressions, my death, my approaching death, with • 
a firmness the stoics of antiquity might have envied. Sensibility, on 
the contrary, overcame his strength of mind Then the illustrious pro- 
script considered that Madam de (Jondorcet might be included in tbe 
violent death which threatened him. When obliged to mention this 
terrible contingency, he no longer speaks directly to the point, but en- 
deavors, if we may bo say, to veil from bis own eyes the horrors of the 
situation by ambiguous expressions — "If my daughter is destined to 
lose both parents." This is tbe most explicit reference he makes to tbe 
subject in all the writing; and then, as if even this was too much for 
him, be immediately reverts to tbe support of bis child, then only five 
years old. He hopes that his dear Eliza will remain with his benefac- 
tress. He foresees and provides for everything. Eliza will call Madame 
Vemet her second mother ; she will loam, under the direction of this 
excellent friend, besides the usual occupations of woman, bow to design, 
paint, and engrave suflBciently well to gain a living. In case of neces- 
sity, she might apply for assistance in Engl^ind to Lord Stanhope, and 
Lord Dean ; in America, to Bacbe, grnndson of Franklin, and to Jefferson. 
She should therefore be taught the English language; this, moreover, 
was the wish of her mother, which was, in itself, enough. At the proper 
time, Madam Vernet will cause to be read to Mademoiselle Condorcet 
the instructions of her parents from the original mannscript (this cir- 
cumstance is especially indicated). Eliza must be kept free Irnm any 
desire for revenge, must be taught to overcome what would naturally 
be, under tbe circumstances, her filial tendencies in this respect. This 
was a sacrifice demanded of her iu the name of her father. The will 
terminates with these lines: "Isay nothing of my feelings towaid tbe 
generous friend (Madam Yemet) for whom this docament is intended; 


condoecet: a biogbapht. 229 

let her put herself in my place, thea qaestion hei owd heart, and she 
will kuow them all." 

Thus Goodorcet wrote, on the moniitig of the 5th of A]>ril, 1794. At 
ten o'clock he left his room io his asual disguise, a vest and large cap, of 
wool, and descended to a small apartment on the grotiud floor, hoping to 
elude the surveillance of which be was the object, and make his escape ; 
hut finding Madam Yeruet there, he entered into conversation with 
another inmate of the honse* who was present, interlarding his discourse 
with Latin phrases and making it in every way aa tedions and nniuterest- 
ing as possible, in order to drive her from the room, bat in vain. The 
proscript was in despair, when, by chance or by calculation, be manifested 
annoyance at having forgotten his snuff-box. Madam Yernct, always 
kind, hastened to mount the stairs in order to look for it. Condorcet 
seized this moment to rnsb' into the street. The distressed cries of the 
portress immediately informed Madame Yernet what had happened, and 
that she had lost the fruit of nine months' unexampled devotion ; the 
poor woman fell back fainting. To avoid a pursuit, which would have 
mined his benefactress, Condorcet passed rapidly through Servandoni 
street. Stopping to take brcatb, as he turned into the street Vaugirard. 
he saw at bis side M. Sarret, the cousin of Madame Yeruet. The pro- 
script had hardly time to utter some words of farewell, in which admira- 
tion was mingled with affectionate gratitude, when M. Snrret said to 
him, with a firmness that admitted of no resistance, " The costume you 
wear does not disguise yon sufficiently ; yon do not know yont road ; 
alone yon will never succeed in escaping the active surveillance of the 
argus-eyed sentinels the commune has placed at all the gates of Paris. 
I have therefore determined not to leave you." 

It was at ten o'clock in the morning, in broad sunlight, in a frequented 
street, at the door even of the terrible prisons of Luxembonrg and of 
Carmes, out of which none ever came, except to go to the scaffold ; it was 
in full view of lugubrious notices, declaring in large characters that the 
punishment of death would be inflicted npou any one who rendered assist- 
ance to the prescripts that M. Sarret attached himself to our prescript. 
Was not this intrepidity equal at least to that of a body of soldiers who 
throw themselves upon the thundering artillery of a redoubtl The two 
fugitives escaped by a sort of miracle the dangers which attended them at 
the barrier of Maine, and then directed their steps toward Fontanay-aux- 
Boses. The journey weis long, after nine months of absolnte inactivity 
had unfitted our confrere for walking. At last, nbont three o'clock in 
the afternoon, Condorcet and his companion arrived without mishap, 
bat extremely fatigued, at the door of a country house, occupied by a 
happy family, who for nearly twenty years bad received from Condorcet 
distinguished services and marks of favor without number. There ended 

* This man waa nnnied Sarret ; woa on author of several works. He had married 
Madame Vemet, bat the manUge waa kept aecret, aa the lady did Dot wiali to give 
np hec maiden aatao, 



the dangerons mission Satret bad nndertaken ; he left Condorcet and 
returned to Furia 

Wliat happened then, accoants do not agree. As far as I can learn, 
Condorcet solicited hospitality only for a single night. Certain difQcnl- 
ties, of which I will not makemjself the judge, prevented his friends from 
granting his roqacst; nevertheless they arranged that a small garden 
door opening outward toward the country should not be closed at night, 
and that Coudorcet might present himself there at ten o'clock. When 
taking leave of the unl'ortunate proacript, they presented him with the 
Epistles of Horace, a poor resource in truth for one obliged to seek a 
refuge in the dreary durkness of the quarries of Clamast. These old 
friends of Condorcet uudoobtedly committed the irreparable faaltof 
delegating to others, and not seeing themselves that the arrangement 
made was carried ont. For one or two days afterward Madam Yernet 
who paaaed over the country of Foutenay-anz-Bosea in every direction, 
in the ho^ie that her presence there might be useful to the fugitive, 
remarked a mound of earth and tuft of grass in front of the little gate, 
proving, alas, only too well, that for a long time it had not turned on 
its hinges; during two dreary nights no door hod been open for him, 
except in Servandoni street. There at No. 21 dnring a whole week front 
door, shop door, or alley-door would have yielded to the slightest pres- 
sure of the fugitive's finger. lu the possibility, 1 can hardly say the 
hope of a nocturnal return, Madam Yernet did not think of the thieves 
and assassins who at that time especially haunted Paris. Great, alas, 
was the difference in conduct of the two families, with whom ties 
formed in prosperity by favors conferred and ties of misfortane had 
connected Condorcet. 

Ou the 5th of April, at two o'clock, we see Condorcet leaving with 
resignation, but not without sadness, the country house where he had 
hoped to pass twenty-four hours in security. Ko one will ever know the 
anguish, the sufferings be endured throughout the 6th. On the 7tb 
we see him, wounded iu limb and impelled by hunger, enter an eating- 
bonse of Clamart, and ask for au omelette. Unfortanately this man, 
of almost universal information, did not know even approximately how 
many eggs a workman eats at a repast. When asked by the shopman 
how many he desired, heanswered a dozen. This unusnal number excited 
surpiise, soon suspicion, which spread quickly. The stranger was re- 
quested to exhibit his passport; he had none. Pressed by questions, he 
called himself a carpenter, but the state of his hands contradicted the 
assertion. The municipal authorities were informed, had him arrested, 
and sent htm to Bonrg-la-Beine. Ou the route a kind vine-dresser mcit- 
ing the prisoner, seeing his wounded limb and his limping walk, gen- 
erously lent him his horse. I ought not to pass over this last mark of 
sympathy received by our unfortunate confrfere. 

On the 8th of April (1794), iu the morning, when the jailer of Bourg la 
Beine opened the door of the dungeon in which the nnknowo prisoner 

C0ND0BC£T: a bioobafht. 231 

bad been conflned, io order that the gendarmes might conduct bim to 
Paris, he foond out; a corpse. Our confrere bad escaped the scaffold 
by a dose of coocentrated poison he bad for sometime carried in a riug.' 

Bochard de Saron, Lavoisier, La Bochefoacaald, Maleaherbes, Bailly. 
Oondorcet — snch were the losses sastaiued by tbe Academy dariug 
our sangaiaary struggles. The memories of these illastrioDs meu 
have fared very differently ; some have rested in peace iu the auiveisal 
and well-deserved regret ; others have periodically been subjected to 
the storm of political abuse. 

If my powers obey my will, I hope soon in this place to'speak to yon 
of Bailly. To-day I shall not feel that I have accomplished my sacred 
task, even after all that has been said, if i do not free tbe memory of 
Gondorcet from a nalamnious imputation. The form of this accusation 
agaiust our brother does not lessen my inquietude; it imputes to him 
only weakness, bat weakness under some circumstances is a crime. 

In giving an account of the deplorable condemnation of Lavoisier, a 
pen very wise, very respectable, and very respected, wrote same years 
ago : " Much hope was felt for Lavoisier on account of certain circum- 
stances some of bis confreres could adduce in his favor; but terror 
froze their hearts." With this as foundation, a certain public, cruelty 
trifling, numbered upon their fingers tbe academicians who had seats 
in the conventlou, and so, without further examination, the name of our 
former secretary is found fatally implicated in tbe stupidly ferocious 
act which deprived France of an excellent cilizen, tbe world of a man 
of genius. Two dates, two simple dates, will show that when no names 
are mentioned in connection with so grave an event, when only general 
terms are used and do one is especially accused, it is not wise, to say the 
least, to implicate everybody. 

Gondorcet, it has been said, might have interfered in &vor of Lav- 
oisier. When! — at tbe time of the arrest? Then this is my answer: 
Lavoisier was arrested in the month of April, 1704. Gondorcet was 
proscribed and hidden with Madam Vernet from the commencement 
of July, 1703. After the sentence of the revolutionary tribunal! The 
response is still more decisive : Lavoisier died on the 8th of May, 1704. 
Coudorcot poisoned himself at Bonrg la Bi:ino a month before, on the 8th 
of April. I need not add a word to these figures; they will remain im- 
printed by ineffaceable lines upon the foreheads of tbe calumniators of 
our noble confrere. 


1 have successively presented to your eyes, and iu what has appeared 
to me the true light, the savant, the liteiateur, the political economist, and 
the member of two of oar national assemblies. It remains for me to 

'Tills poiaoQ (ne do not know its natOTo), vaa prepared by Cabauis, That with 
vUch Napoleon attempted to poison binueU at Fentaineblean was of the aatut origin 
Kid the same date. 


give tbe portrait of tbe man of society, to speak of hia exterior appear- 
ance and of bis matmers. At one time I was in despair of fnlfllling 
this part of my tasfe, for I had not known personally the secretary of 
tbe Academy. I bad never even seen him. I knew too well, besides, 
that books are very anfaitbful guides to a knowledge of their writers; 
that authors can assume sometimes in tbeii works a character totally at 
variance with tbeir habitual actions. Themaxim of Baffon had often been 
contradicted by fact: "A man's style is the man himself." Happily, 
uopnblisbed correspondenee bas in a manner transferred me into the 
fomily of Gondorcet; has shown him to me surrounded by bis relations, 
bis friends, his confreres, bis subordinates, and his clients ; has made 
me the witness, the confidant, f had almost said, of all bis actions. So 
I feel reassured. Need I fear to speak with boldness of tbe most secret 
thoughts of the illustrioas academician, of his private life, of his most 
sacred feelings, when I have for guides and refereaces Turgot, Voltaire, 
d'Alembert, Lagrange, and a woman [Mademoiselle de L'Espinasse) 
celebrated by the extent, the penetration, and the delicacy of her mJudf 

Condorcet was of large stature; the immense size of his head, hia large 
shoulders, hia robust body, contrasted with limbs which bad always 
remained slight ou account, onr brother thought, of the inactivity which 
his costame of a girl, and tbe too great solicitude of his mother, im- 
posed npon him during the first eight years of his life. 

Condorcet always retained, with great simplicity, something approach- 
ing to awkwardness. To see him only in passing, it would have been said, 
That is a good man, rather than. That is a wise man. His principal trait, 
his truly characteristic quality, was an extreme kindnesf, which was in 
accordance with the gentle expression of a beautiful face. 

Condorcet was considered by bis mere acquaintances as cold and in- 
sensible. This was a great mistake. He never, perhaps, addressed aflee- 
tionate expressions to his relatives and friends ; bnt he never lost an 
opportunity of giving active proof of his attachment. He was af^icted 
with their afSictions; ho suffered from ibeir misfortunes to such a degree 
that his sleep was often disturbed and his health afiected. 

How does it happen, then, that our confrere has been so frequently 
accused of insensibility T^ Because tbe emotions of bis noble soul were 
not manifested readily in his countenance. He would listen with an 
air of tbe utmost indifference to the story of au nnfortunate ; bat while 
others were content to manifest their sympathy in vain words, be, with- 
out saying anything, woald bring snccor and coosolattoa of all kinds 
to relieve tbe sufferings which had been revealed to him. Yon know now 
the true meaniug of the words of d'Alembert, "Condorcet is a volcano 
covered with suow." It is a great mistake to suppose the immortal 
geometer, by bis picturesque simile, meant to indicate violence of char- 
acter, disguised by coldness. 

D'Alembert had seen tbe volcano in full action in the year 1771. The 
geometer, the metaphysician, the political economist, the philosopher, 


Oondorcet, entirely overwhelmed by an affair of tbe heart, had tbea be- 
come for all bis ecqnaiutaDces an object of pity. He even thongbt of 
committing suicide. The manner in wbicli be rejected the palbative for 
bis grief, recommended by his friend and confldaut, Tnrgot, is ititerest- 
ing: "MakeBome verses; itisakindofcompositionyoaarennnccastomed 
to, and will distract yonr mind." " I do not like bad verses ; I could not 
endure my own." "Attack some deep problem of geometry." "When a 
depraved taste has supplied us with aliment of strong flavor, all other 
food is displeasing to as. Tbe passions are a degradation of tbe intel- 
lect; outside of the feeling which absorbs me, nothing in the world 
interests me." As a physician tries all remedies in decperato cases, Tur- 
got then eodeavored to escite the fortitude of his friend by examples 
taken from ancient and modern history and even mythology, but aU ia 
vain; time aloue coald cnre, time alone did care, iu fact> the wound 
which rendered onrconfr&re so unhappy. 

If the public were wrong ia accnsing Condorcet of insensibility, they 
_were equally mistaken iu considering him iadiffereut in matters of art. 
' When at the French Academy was read for the first time one of those 
literary productions whlchformed the glory and the honor of thu eighteenth 
century, Condorcet would remain completely impaswve in the midst of 
the most enthusiastic manifestations of admiration for the author, would 
hardly seem to have listelied, but as soon as opportunity offered he 
woald analyze minutely the work, appreciating its beauties and indi- 
cating the weak portions with tuct and delicacy as well as admirable 
judgment, while in support of his remarks he would recite without hesi- 
tation long quotations in prose or verse which had become engraved 
upon bis most remarkable memory. 

The reserve Condorcet imposed upon himself before strangers gave 
place in social intercourse to a gayety, simple, reflueO, and slightly 
epigrammatic iu expression. It was then the immense variety of his 
knowledge was revealed. He spoke with equal clearness, equal assur- 
ance of the rules of geometry, and the regulations of the palace ; of 
philosophy and the genealogy of the court people ; of the customs of 
the republics of antiquity, and the trifles of society. 

The secretary of the ancient Academy of Seieaces descended into the 
polemic arena only to defend bis ^ends against the attacks of mediocrity, 
of hate, and of envy. But his courageous devotion did not lead him to 
share the unjust prejudices even of those to whom he was most tenderly 
attached. This kind of iadepeudence is so rare I must give some exam- 
ples of it. 

D'Alembert, nncoosciously influenced by a feeling of jealoasy, did not 
render full justice to Clairaut. Yet we find Condorcet, in his eulogies 
of M. deTrudaine and of M. d'Arci, referring almost unnecessarily to the 
relations of these savans with the author of the beantiful work upon the 
figure of the earth, while he does not hesitate to call Clairaut a man of 
genius and to speak of tbe wonders he accomplished in his youth. 


234 cosdoecbt: a biogeapht. 

LagraDge and d'Alembert bad a very lotr opinion of tbe Lettres ePEu- 
ler b, une Princetae ^Allemagrte. They bad even gone so far as to call 
tbem, in allasiou to a feeble work written by Newton in bis old age, 
"the commentary upon the apocalypse of Ealer"; Condorcet regarding 
tbem from aootber poiot of view fonod tbe letters nselul, and not cod- 
tent with praising tbem, became tbe editor of them, witbont tbo light- 
est Bospicion that thia iadepeudence of opinion might cause ambrage to 
hU best friends. 

Tbe book of Helv4tias had irritated Target, who expressed himself 
very empbntically abont it, in his Gorrespoudence. Upon this point the 
celebrated iotendant of Limoges was impatient of contradiction. Goa- 
dorcet nevertheless maintained his own opinion of the work with grent 
flrroness; he was far from considering it irreproachable, but thoagbt 
that its dangerous tendencies were exaggerated. 

Vanity reigns sapreme in all classes of society, particularly, it is said, 
among meu of letters. We can uevertheltfss afSrin that this active and 
nniversal stimulant of our actions never affected tjie beautiful sonl of 
our former confrere. A nnmber of circumstances give evidence of this 
rare phenomenon. Jealousy is tbe just punishment of vanity; yet Gon- 
dorcet never experienced this cruel infirmity. When absorbed by his 
arduous duties as secretary of the Academy, and by his literary and po- 
litical engagements, our confrere was oblige'd to renounce the great and 
pare pleasure of scieutiBc discoveries ; be nevertheless wrote to Euler, 
to Lagrange, to Lambert (d'Alembert was sick at that time), " Give me 
news of yonr work ; I am like one of those old goarmands, who, anable 
longer to digest, still take pleasure in seeing others eat." 

Oondorcet carried so far his desire to be useful that bis door was oever 
closed against aoyoae; he was always accessible; he received every 
day without impatience, without even appearing to be fatigued, tbe 
interminable visits of the legions of troublesome and idle fellows who 
abound in all great cities, especially Paris. Considering tbe value of 
hia time, tbis was kiudnesa carried to heroism. As to Condorcet's dis- 
interestedness, I need not speak of it, as it is well known. "In ethics," he 
wrote in a letter to Target, " I am an enemy to indifierence and a fViend 
of indnlgence." The phrase woald not represent tbe trntb if taken in 
an absolute sense. Condorcet was very indalgent toward others bat 
very severe with himself. He was very independent in action, so much 
BO as to injure himself seriously by considering certain forma of polite- 
ness, current in society, as species of small change too trifling to be 
taken into accoont. As an example of his disregard of iiopniar opinion, 
especially where a principle was concerned, I give tbe following incident : 
M. do Manrepas was very mach irritated by a letter directed against 
decker, and in which occurred some passages which could be Injurions 
to tbe public credit. IC was wrongfully attributed to Condorcet. Tbe 
Dake de Kivemais endeavored to persuade bis friend and confrere to 
write to tbe minister, but he resisted with a finaneas which, at the time, 


Beetned inexplicable. To-day I find the explanation in an nnpnblislied 
letter addressed to Turgot. The secretary of the Academy would not 
pay even the semblance of respect to a man whom he was far from 

Goiidorcet acknowledged his faalta and the errors be committed with 
n frankness of which the following brief incident is an exan)|)lo: " Do 
yon know," said some une to him, " the circumstances which caused the 
ra[)tnre between Jean Jacques and Diderot?" "So," be answered, "I 
only know that Diderot is an excellent man, and whoever involved bim 
in dissension was wrongl" "Eat it was yourself!" "Then I was 

In the edition of Pascal's thoughts, by the author of M^rope, I find 
thisnotcofCondorcet:"TheexpreaBion, 'honest men,' signified originally 
men of probity ; in the timeot Pascal, it indicated men of good society; 
now it is applied to men of title or of money." "Bo," said Voltaire, 
addressing himself to the annotator, "the honest men are those nt 
whose head yon stand." 

To justiiy this exclamation, since it seemed to me the expression of 
trntfa, has been my object in writing these pages. I shall be happy if 
the portrait I have traced of the illustrious perpetual secretary of the 
ancient Academy of Sciences has dissipated the very cruel prejudices, 
neutralized the effects of the more detestable calumnies which have in- 
jured his memory ; if, with those who enjoyed the intimacy of Condorcet, 
I have made you see in bim a man who has honored science by his 
labors, France by his high qualities, hamanity by bis virtues. 


Id b, Google 



Bt Ernbbt Fatbb. 

[Traiuilated for the BmithBomon Institution* by H. A. Hmiy.] 
The name of Agassiz, for twenty years intimately connected Trltli the 
history of Bcience in America, has nevertheless retained its popnlarity in 
Switzerland, where his works have a great celebrity. It is in our country 
that he was bom, in our country- he acquired renown, and Switzerland 
can never forget that he is among the nnmber of her children. Without 
other resource than his intelligence and his energy, he rose to the first 
rank among the eminent men of science of our country. We desire in 
these few pages, aa a souvenir of this great scientist, to notice briefly 
the variona phases of his life and the principal subjects of investigatioa 
he pursued.! 


Louis Jean Bodolpho Agassiz was bom on the 28th of May, 1807, in 
the rectory of the village of Motier, situated in the canton of Fribnrg, on 
the shore of Lake Morat. Nothing in his family nor in his surroundings 
gave promise of the brilliant destiny which awaited him. His ancestors 
had filled the ofQce of pastor for six generations ; his Either, deprived of 
fortune, had embraced the hereditary occupation. It was then entirely 
to his own energy, his talente, and his gcnios that he owed the high 
position he afterward attained. 

There is little to be said of his early years. From hia infancy the ob- 
servation of animals was one of his greatest pleasures. He passed many 
hours fishing in the lake and in studying the habits of fishes ; he watched 
with interest the metamorphoses of the caterpillar. The eame taste was 
manifested both at Biennc, where he pursued his studies in the college, 
and at Orbe, where he resided later, by his passion for collecting insects 
and plants, and he was often heard explaining with enthusiasm to his 
younger brother phenomena of nature he as yet but imperfectly under- 

'From the "Archiveades Scieacee de la BibUoth^ne Uniyersello, Gen^re, Mai 1877, 
tome LXix." 

t la the " Catalogne of Sclenti&o Fapere," published by the Soy al Soclet; of Lon- 
don, ift found a list of 130 piiblicatioDB made hj Agassiz. This list incladea only 
aijicles which have appeared in ecientifio periodicalB. To it most therefore be added 
all bisTsiioneworkapublishedseparately, aa well aa hia nnmerona contribntiona alnca 
the year 1863, at which date the above oatologne terminated. 



stood. The coarse of tbo Academy of Lansanne afterward tamed bis 
attentioa toward claaaical stadies. 

When he arrived at the age to choose a profession his parents desired 
to procure for him a commercial apprenticeship, but he obtained instead 
permission from them to pursue the study of medicine, which could give 
him both the means of providing for his support and the opportunity of 
continuing the study of natural history, for which he felt a decided voca- 
tion. He passed two years at Zurich, then a winter at Heidelberg, 
where BisehofiF, Leuckardt^ and Tiedemann were professors. While at 
this university fishes were still one of his favorite studies. He already 
began to classify them and to make drawings of them, and thus accumu- 
lated material which later was of great service to him. 

In the autumn of 1826 he went to Munich, where the chairs of natural 
history were occupied by men of the first rank. Oken Martius received 
him "with kindness; Doellinger, the illustrious professor of embryology, 
took him under his protection, made him a member of his bonsehold, 
and developed in him a taste for this science, to which Agassiz always 
attached great importance. At this time the youug student had already 
excited great anticipations for his fature ; soon his masters and comrades^ 
among whom we find the botanists Schimper, and Braun, and Burck- 
hardt, his draftsman, were his friends, and he became the center of an 
eagbr group of scientists. "When we assembled," he wrote, "for con- 
versation, or to give each other lectures, as was frequently our custom, 
our professors were often among our auditors, and encouraged us in our 
efforts for individual research. My room was the place of meeting — 
bedroom, work-room, museum, library, lecture-room, and fencing school) 
all in one. Students and professors called it the Little Academy." 

The four years he passed thus at Munich in the study of medicine, of 
the natural sciences, and even of philosophy, with all the hope, the en- 
thusiasm of youth, were among the happiest of his life, and he always 
cherished a pleasant recollection of them; moreover, it was during this 
period that his future career was definitely decided. Martins and Spix 
had only a short time before returned from an expedition to the river 
Amazon, and Spix had since died, having only commenced the descrip- 
tion of the fishes collected. Martins requested Agassiz, somewhat pre- 
pared for the subject by his own studies, to take charge of the work. 
The young student acquitted himself of his difficult task with honor, 
and this was the commencement of his reputation. The work appeared 
in 1829.* The same year Agassiz received the doctorate of philosophy. 
The following year he was admitted to practice as doctor of medicine, 
and went to Yienna in order to study, In the collections of that city, the 
fishes of the Danuba 

He was recalled to Switzerland by his father, who demanded that he 
should return there and practice medicine ; but he succeeded in obtain- 

'Selecta genera etapeoies placiom qnos collegit et pingeados coravit, Dt, I,-B>de 
Spix; digessit, descripait et obaervatiombiis UlnstiaTit, Di. L. Agaa ' 

..oo^ Ic 



ing a delay, and after a brief sojourn in YJenna went to V^s, where he 
conceived a strong desire to bring himself into relation wifth die pleladea 
of celebrities of the Museum of Natural History. Cuvielii BlainTllle, 
Valenciennes received very kindly the yomtg doctor. He eaw-ireqaently 
Hnmboldt, who was then in the height of bis renown, and who gave him 
substantial proof of his friendship by fomisbiiig him the means of pro- 
longing his stay in Paris. • 

The interest felt by Agassiz in Hie investigation of fishes increased 
with his knowledge of the subject. He found in Paris one of the most 
complete collections, and a beautiful series of fossil fishes from Monte 
Bolca belonging to Count Gazzola, He undertook the description of 
the latter. This was his first step in paleontological research. Cuvier, 
who soon observed in the young naturalist signs of rare ability, placed 
generously at his disposal material collected for a history of fossil fishes, 
and this iDfluential encouragement decided his career. 

Zoology alone did not satisfy his powers of generalization, and he 
soon recognized that paleontology was its indispensable complement. 
The division of the animal kingdom into branches, classes, orders, fami- 
lies, genera, and species, was not in his opinion merely a system, in- 
vented to simplify research, bat a divine institution j according to his 
view, this great plan of creation existed from the beginning, and the 
organisms now found upon the surface of the globe form a part of it' as 
well as those whose remains are fonnd in the most ancient deposits. 
The nature of fossils, the entire system of their organization, prove in the 
most conclusive manner the existence of this primitive plan, which has 
developed regularly op to the present period. Paleontology furnishes 
thousands of species, of genera, and even of numerous families, which 
t»-day have entirely disappeared, and which constitute an important part 
of this great plan. To base a zoSlogical classification upon living organ- 
isms is to make a whole of a small part, is to efiminate arbitrarily &0I^ 
the divine system the majority of the elements of which it is composed. 
The great work of Cuvier had suddenly revealed the importance of pa- 
leontology. In his investigation of fossil bones he laid the fonnd'ation 
of this science, by showing that the species found below the surfcice of 
the globe are different from those living at the present time. He had 
established the laws of the unity of plan which allowed the conception 
of ancient from existing forms ; and the law of concordaiux of characters, 
which, establishing the necessity that all parts of an organism are dis- 
posed for the same end, authorized the deduction from each of them of 
the character of the other parts, as well as of the kind of hfe of the ani- 
mal, t 

To understand an extinct type we do not need to have it entire under 
our eyes. The solid parts (which are alone preserved) not only give us 
sufficient characteristics to class it in the genus and the species to which 

*I.ettorH of Agassiz to LonJs CodIod, Mem. Soc Phjs., GeD^ve, 1S74, XXIII, 473. 
tPiotet, TmiU de Polfontologie. Introdaotioii. 


it belongs, bnt a mi re fragment of this framework, a single bone, a jaw, 
a tooth is in most case^ enough for this pnrpose. 

These principles axe based, above all, upon the comparative anatomy 
of living animals, the study of which is indispensable to a knowledge of 
extinct types. Agaasiz applied them to that of foBsil fishes, the collec- 
tions of which contained et that time many specimens which had not 
yet been examined. The public and private musenms of England fur- 
nished most of the material for his investigations, but those of the conti- 
nent were also made to contribute. 


Hitherto we have seen Agassiz utilizing for the profit of science the 
great resonrces placed at his disposal. His return to Switzerland, in 
1832, makes us acquainted with a new attribute of his great mind, the 
talent for creation and organization. The liberal encouragement of 
Louis Coulon, and among others that of Humboldt, who exercised a 
great infiueuce over the King of Prussia, then suzerain of Neuchatel, 
facilitated the establishment of Agassiz in that city. An annual com- 
pensation of SO louis as professor at the gymnasium, and the sale of hia 
collections for 500 louis, i)rovided the first resources necessary for the 
continuation of his publications. He had not here, as at Munich and 
Paris, immense stores of material at his command and illustrious men 
of science to come to his aid. Everything was in an unformed condi- 
tion ; but he was the pioneer, the chief, and he soon rallied about him a 
group of naturalists, who recalled upon another theater the "Little Acad- 
emy" of Munich. The well-known names, Desor, C. Vogt, Gressly, 
Gnyot, Nicolet, of MontmolUn, are connected with this period of his 
life ; the first two were his most active collaborators. Several of his 
fellow-students of Munich — Weber, Dinkel, and Burckhardt — followed 
him to this new residence, where they lalwred in the execution of hia 
designs ; one of them, a citizen of, H. Nicolet, opened at bia 
instigation a vast lithographic establishment, where all the plates of bis 
memoirs were executed. The modest chair he occupied became soon the 
most distinguished of the gymnasium; the collections increased rapidly; 
the public became interested ; a few young men entered into these re- 
searches; and thus was founded, in 1S33, under the presidency of L. 
Coulon, the Society of Natural History, of which Agassiz was the secre- 
tary and the soul for many years. iN^euchfltel became an important sci- 
entific centre; thence proceeded successively and at short intervals 
voluminous scientific publications of the first order. 

In 1839 he published the commencement of his Histotre naturelle des 
Poiasans ^eau douce de FEurope centrale, which contains the embryology 
of the Salmonides by G. Yogt. This work, undertaken on a very exten- 
sive plan, was never completed. 

The history of fossil fishes, begun at Paris, was terminated at thia 
period. The first part appeared in 1833, at his own expense, but his 


modest reeonrccs were not sufBcieot to coDtinne the wJLrit, as it vas ac- 
companied by expensive plates." Tbe Geological 8o<^^ of London, 
aided by Lord EnnisMllen and Sir Francis Egerton, fiimildied the means 
he lacked. A drafteman, Denkel, worked for him constabtly for sev- 
eral years. This publication, which may be regarded as aVontinuation 
of Cuvier's Besearches nx**"! fossil bones, was not finished nnlal 1S43. 
It is the most original work of Agassiz, and one of the principal mona- 
ments of his greatness. 

There is no class of animals that can liiniish elements more important 
for the history of the development of the organic kingdom, the law of 
the succession of beings, and the relations of the fossil fauna than the 
fishes. They alone of the vertebrates appeared in the first ages of the 
world, and passed through all the phases of creation up to the present 

An osteology of fishes, a rational classification, the description of a 
multitude of new species, and theoretic consequences of great import- 
ance were the results of the wise researches of Agassiz. 

One of the distinctive characteristics of this class of animals is a skin 
covered with scales of peculiar form and structure; noW the nature of 
this euveloi)e is in direct accordance with the interior organization. 
The scales, therefore, from this point of view, are of great importance, 
and may serve as a basis of classification. The author subdivides them 
into four orders, as follows : 

Cycloid. — Scales imbricated, corneous, and without enamel, the pos- 
terior edge simple. Skeleton bony. 

Ctenoida. — Scales imbricated, corneous, without enamel, the posterior 
edge indented. Skeleton bony. 

Qanoida. — Scales angular, and covered witii a layer of enamel, l^eir 
edges uniting regularly. Skeleton less bony than the preceding, some- 
times cartilaginous. 

Flacoi&s. — Osseous plates, disposed irregnlarly, terminated on the 
npper side by points or hooks. Skeleton cartilaginous. 

The last two orders have existed fixrai the first appearance of life upon 
the surface of the globe. The others commenced with the Cretaceous 
period, and include most of the fishes of the present time. This classifi- 
cation has since undergone important modifications; it however assisted 
very considerably progress in the knowledge of this class. The hand 
of geuius, said Pictet, is everywhere manifest tlu«ughout this beautiful 

The monograph of the fishes of the old red sandstone, undertaken at 
the request of the British Association for the Advancement of Science, 
and completed in 1S44, supplemented the preceding work.t The author 

*Eaclterckc**UTle»Poiga<m9fotaila; 6 volnmes qnarto, witb an atlas of 384 pUtes, in 
folio, moat of the figures being colored. i 

i SuppUment aux recha :lie» lur les PoiMon% fo»Hle>. lionognipiie det poSstont fottiUt 
du vUux grh rouge oh suttMe dAwnJen dei (Ut Britanni^uM et de Buitie. 4to, 41 pL 


was obliged to describe a very namerous and entirely new fauna. When 
he commenced his investigation of fishes, he was not acquainted mth 
any species older than those of the coal strata; the number of these 
fossils has immeasurably increased since then, and is now counted by 
thousands. Agassiz recognized that among tlie living species a small 
number only have a heterocercal tail ; that is to say, one in which the 
upper lobe is foimed by the prolongation of the vertebral column. These 
animals are the last representetives of a type largely diffused in the 
Devonian and Carboniferous seas. All the other fishes, on the contrary, 
have a homocercal or symmetrical tail, at the base of which the vertebral 
column stops, and does not penetrate either of the lobes. He observed 
that in the embryo of certain fishes the tail is at first heterocercal, as 
that of the paleozic fishes, and afterward becomes homocercal. This 
important discovery, in connectiou with others of a hke nature, per- 
mitted him to establish the law that the " embryo of the fish during its 
development, the present class of fishes with its numerous families, 
and the type offish in its geological history, undergo strictly analogona 
phases," and in a more general way he applies this law to vertebrates ; 
*' The successive creations have undergone phases of development anal- 
ogous to those the embryo passes throngh dimng its growth, and simi- 
lar to the gradations the present creation shows us in its ascending 
series, considered as a whole." Then rising &om the consideration of the 
fishes to more general views of the phases of creation, he writes : " The 
most incontestable result of modem paleontological research, in the ex- 
amination of the question which at present occupies us, is the fact, now 
beyond controversy, of the simultaneous appearance of particular types 
of all classes of invertebrate animals from the earliest development of life 
upon the sorfoce of the globe." The history of this successive develop- 
ment " shows conclusively the impossibility of referring the first inhabi- 
tants of the earth to a small number of branches, differentiated from 
one parent stock by the inflnence of the modifications of exterior cou- 
ditious of existence."* 

It was in 1844 that Agassiz wrote these lines, and h© all his life re- 
mained Mthfiil to this opinion. The future will decide whether he was 
right or wrong ; it is true that for the moment the balance does not seem 
to lie in his favor. It is difficult, indeed, to comprehend why the results 
of these admirable researches, and of tiiose he made later, did not lead 
him to sustain the theory of transformation of which they seem to be the 
nature consequence. Still it is impossible to consider his opposition to 
this theory as resulting ftom prejudice, or asresting upon other grounds 
than pure scientific reason. 

. Agassizhada mindtoocomprehen8ive,hewaBtoo enterprising, to con- 
fine his attention to a single class of the animal kingdom, and we find 
him soon producing a series of works upon a.variety of subjects. Thus 
he ttuderiook, with M. Desor, the study of the Echinodenns ; ^id their 

* Introdnctioo to a monograph of the foa^ flsbea of the old red Bondstone, ^. 4, 13. 
S. Mis. 59 16 .-. , 

, „..|l.;,C-.00'^[C 

242 Lonrs kOA' 

reaearclies formed the basis of the r' 
Mr. Desor soon made a specialty of ■ . 
pnblicatiou of several worka in t>i ; / 
only hiR collaborator. Aga«siz 
as they* were original, on livinr 

A large number of articleE< 
memoirs containing more g' > . 
idly during these years. ' '.i 
scientific genius of their 
vast eruditiOD, formed :- 

One of the princip"^- > 
animals, a work to -"*■'■ 
of that period OOD' ' il-i 
of a zoiilogieal r 

" We have n . 
"Gresslyis ' ■ -i 
nately, with '■ . 

. ivestigati' 
' ■ jpct, and t' 
/■i.-ation of -■■ '■ 
iNuedsomeinv -■ 
'sil moUnsca.' 
.■licial points •:;' I'lt 
uclusions, 8u< : 
■' 'iiii' f.liese origina. .. 
■ : .^1. bis numerous '■■ * 
... I' canoe of vari'^i- 

i^^e is a catalog! '■< 

(■everal of the •■■•■■• ■\< 
At the same ■ 

lis class. 
; owe the 

. .ons, as new 

'it;al history and 

i each other rap- 

..< iL>irs exhibited the 

*:,■., the fruits of his 

: i- works. 

" genera of all known 

vdnguisbed geologists 

collected the elements 

■ "I'gical dictionan i "i '.ed later in London, t 

T- jrking force,")' ;.' . to a friend inOeneva; 

' ;8or is studying the < i.terites. I am busy, alter- 

and the freshwater fishes. Vogt with anatomy. 

Thus the * "3 agreeably and osefhlly." 

Tlie er ' . '■• ->layed during these years was something astonish- 

ing; tV- •' v science presents no other example like it. One of 

Ms cf' ■ ■ ^;ivesus a vivid pietureof the activity which reigned in 

the 1 ■ ofNencbatel. " It might be supposed," said Mr, Vogt, 

"t'j;' ' i jomplicated machinery the wheels would sometimes have 

i ■■ " .th each other. The printing-office constantly demanded 

' I'lhographic establishment designs, and yet the work of his 
* ill searches never ceased ; hardly had we the time necessary to 

:■: one set of labors before Agassiz had new plans and assumed 
< i-sks. Every thought that passed through his head was converted 
:;.■" a great work, with hundreds of folio plates, hundreds of pages 
■ 'I'st; in all this he was the acknowledged master, as well as in the 
' ilection of new material for his work. He knew how to draw all En- 
.■ope into contribution. Often boxes which had been sent for and awaited 
with feverish impatience remained weeks and even months unopened, 
because in the meanwhile another subject occupied attention, and the 
objects they contained had lost their interest." 
Order did not prevail either in the abode or in the laboratory of Agas- 
z. "In my house everything is astray but nothing is lost," he would 
say to those who came to consult specimens or books he could not 
The repntation of the yonng savant extended rapidly. In 1S39, at the 

'.Wnioirpstii' let moulet del Mailiuquei vivaat* et fosaiht. M^m. 8oc. NeuchAtol ; II. — 
£tud(a critique! sur Ua Uolltuquet fosHhs. iiiiaoire aurlti Trigoniet ; t'iiO. — Monographic 
rfes M<jts; 1342-1845.— Icon ojropftie de« Coquillea tertiairea r/pul&t identiquea arec lea 
Hvanlct; 184S. 

\ BibUogrepbia ZBologiae el Oeologiae. A genetnl catalogue of all books, tracts, and 
mcmnlni on zoulogj, bj Prof. L. Agaesis, corrected, enlarged, and edited by Strickland. 
London, 1843. 


age of 32, the Academy of Sciences made him a correspouding member. 
Large ia atature, ■well formed, endowed with excellent health, with an 
amiable face, and au eje which beamed with unnsiial intelligence, Agas- 
siz gained the sympathy of all who approached him. His countenance 
was frank and open, his manner winning ; he animated the reunionR of 
the naturalist and the work of the laboratories by his vivacity and good 

" He was," said one of his scientific adversaries (formerly among his 
devoted friends), "a man full of kindness, of enthusiasm for science, 
and easily moved by all that is beautiful and good." A warmth which 
nothing could repress was with him united with facibty and charm of 
expression. Always ready to frame theories, to discuss them, and to 
advance new ideas, he captivated his auditors by the vigor and clear- 
ness of his exposition. His public and class lectures, too, were always 
extraordinarily successful. Even when he discussed the most abstruse 
subject his auditors hung upon his hps. The talent for speaking, which 
he possessed to a high degree, was one of his most valuable means of 
influence, and contributed greatly to his celebrity. 

He was prominently a zoologist ;-he distinguished himself particularly 
by the justness and promptitude of his perceptions. He knew by the 
first inspection all a collection contained, the new specimens, the tyi>es 
already described, and he remembered admirably what he had seen. 
He has been aecused of being too ready to form new species. The 
learned geologist of Berlin, Leopold von Buch, whose peculiar face and 
eccentric costume often excited curiosity, said one day, " When I am at 
Neuchatel, and I knock at the door of Agassiz, I am always afraid." 
"Why?" asked some one. "I dread lest he will take me for a new 
species." Science has, however, ratified most of the distinctions he es- 
ta,bli8hed. His just regard tbr the value of charaeteristics led him to 
circumscribe species within narrower limits, and in this respect he had 
a happy influence upon paleontology. 

His zoological works, which were numerous enough to have absorbed 
several ordinary lives, still did not occupy all his time, and a new field 
of research was opened to him. Let us then, for a moment, leave the 
museums and laboratories, and transport ourselves to the foot of the 
glaciers of the Alps, where we will soon see him arrive with his com- 

For some time the attention of naturalists had be«u drawn to the 
presence throughout a large part of Switzerland of blocks of various 
dimensions, composed of rock diflerent in nature from the soil upon 
which they rest. How did these rocks, to which has been given the 
name of erratic blocks, and which are of Alpine origin, come to be dis- 
persed over the Swiss plain and upon the Jura? Two theories are given ; 
Leopold von Buch, Elie von Beaumont, and others, maintain that they 
were transpoi'ted by water. But their size, sometimes enormous, and 
the height at which they are found upon the sides of the Jura, render 

244 LOUIS Ar ■ - 

this hypotfaesis inadmissible. To ;i -' ■ ■• aoantainet.. !■■ . mi, 
belongs the hoDor of sohing the in"ti-(i: . i ■,8er\'ingtbal ■!■ -' ' ■», 
at the present time, carry blocks ..'lu h i'> >\ '.hrowofifatth' >!:*■<■ " y, 
he explained the diflseminati^ti .■* r. . .'jwldere in qa&tiM i . ■ ..e 
hypothesis that the glaciers -■■■ ■: ; 1.- . ■• extended in time,' t'- ■^t "-b. 
beyond their present limilr'. <.i-l ''f.,ht with them, on th > "■■i ■ •, 
material which they left ' tii ■: i..- ■ jtreated. Hecommr".' it'O il s 

idea to Charpentier, wh<> :■ s'l, c with him, and ended ' , .i, ipi .'^ 

it. The dispersion of ii ,■ ■■! K.-^ is connect«d with other ■ -i.,i 

which confirm this •■•:■_■'■•; ri.- polished and rounded t'. ■ • 'J-a 
aocomalation of ar - '.i-- !>ii>.:.d, the hillocks, which have .-.•■' ■ > 
form of moraines 'i-'r-t '■..;fled deposits, in which are fo;iu i>cuole8 
covered with scii!^ ii-- ;i'l these i^ts,which^are repeated to-day in the 
immediate ric': i \ .ti' . •• y:lacier8 which prodnce them, also show that 
these same r' iM "s > :. , -covered the larger part of Switzerland, leaving 
the traces ^- > '^■■- •■ ;■ 'Seated. If Perrandin was the inventor of the 
theory (I'l ■■ it *' ■■ - tz contribnted to its development (1833), it was 
Charpei . ■! - ' < v.tmiued it, studied it, perfected it> made it known 
(1S35V.'; r .1 r :TUseminated it in the world of science with the aathority 

his *i-: •..: : .le him (184]). "To this ingenioos and persevering 

nat ■ : .." - ■■ ; Alphonse Favre, "should be given the greater part of 
tl ■ ■■',•■•}: . I' I ,hed to the discovery of this great scientific truth." 

,..:^h^' I .„ving heard of this discovery made a visit to Gharpentier 
' ■' < .■■rpose of combating it. He remained several months with 
'■■■I' i left well convinced of the truth of the theory, and fhU of eager- 
I v: ■•■ verify the proofs already advanced in its f^vor, to find new ones, 
■i 11, '•. short, to study the subject with the activity he carried into everj*- 
:) . ,. The question had been under discussion for some time when tbe 
' I vetic Society of Natural Science met at Nencb4tel, under his presi- 
' -ncy, on the 24th of July, 1837. The opening discourse turned npoii 
this question, and fell like a bomb in the midst of the most positive 
adversaries of the glacial theory who happened to be present at the 

Leopold von Buch, who was not famous for sweetness of temper, was 
very angry, and would examine nothing, hear nothing in regard to the 
matter. Agassiz, who had foreseen his opposition, bad prepared the 
following paragraph for the close of his speech to mollify him ; " When 
Mr. de Buch affirmed for the first time, in the face of the formidable 
school of Werner, that granite is of plntonic origin, and that the moun- 
tidns were raised, what said the Ifeptnnistst He was at first alone in 
his support of the theory, and it was only by defending it with the con- 
viction of geninsthathe made it prevail. Happily, in scientific matters, 
numerical m^orities have never at first decided any question," j 

Notwithstanding the opposition of these great men, who had them- 
selves contributed so much to the progress of science, the theory gain^ 
ground, and is to-day generally admitted. | 

Ly.rzedbyGoOgIC j 


The basis of these researches was necessarily the study of existing 
glaciers. Their coustitation, their increase, their motion, the influence 
Of temperature, the transportation of blocks, the formation of moraines, 
were all so many questions to be elucidated. Agassiz threw himself 
with ardor into this new pursuit, and established himself with Desor, 
Vogt, and others, upon the glacier of the Aar. They constructed 
a lodging-place under the shelter of a large block of ice upou the 
centre morain, and went to work. The following year, the block hav- 
ing melted, they formed a cabin of wood and tent-cloth. It was di- 
vided Into three chambers ; the first was both laboratory and parlor, 
whei"e they received the savans who flocked &om all parts of the country 
to the Hotel des Xeuchdtelcis, a name the modest abode has retained in 
the history of science ; the second and third, fiimished only with straw, 
served as bedchambers, one tor the uaturalists, the other for the guides. 
It may be imagined that the establishment was not comfortable, and 
it required au unusual amount of energy to lead such a life during sev- 
eral weeks every year. A letter of Mr. Desor gives some idea ot the 
difficulties encountered: "You are much mistaken," he writes to one 
of his friends, " if you suppose that all is pleasure, satisfaction, and in- 
tellectual enjoyment at the Hotel Neucltdtclois. We have been shut up 
for three days in our tent unable to venture out, the gua^ is so furious. 
Do you know what a gux isl I think not, and you are happy in your 
ignorance. I can only say in regard to it that if the founders of the va- 
rious religions had known of tkegux they would not have imagined a hell 
for lost souls, but would simply have sent them to the Fimteraarhom, 
and secured for them a perpetual i/iw. .... It takes hold of the limbs, 
dries the skin, renders the imagination heavy and obtuse, prevents the 
exercise of the culinary art. In the night of the 21st to 22d it over- 
turned our cabin, and we were obliged to work until morning to restore 
it again. Imagine how delightful it must have been to work in the 
open air at a temperature two degrees below zero, while a tempest was 
conBta,ntly blowing clouds of pulverized ice in our faces."t But every 
day and night was not hke this. Gayety and intellectual eiijojt ^nt 
often reigned under the tent on the glacier of the Aar. These expedi- 
tions jrere continued until 1845. 

The greatest success crowned these persevering efforts. The ascents 
made by the Neuch&tel naturalists and their establishment upon the 
glacier were widely known. Kothing similar had been undertaken since 
the explorations of de Sanssnre on Mont Blanc. The Genevese savant 
was too early in his efforts to have many imitators. But an excursion 
to Zermat, the ascent of the Jung&au and of the Schreckhorn gave 
an unpetus to mountain excursions, which began firom that time to be 
popular. In the mean time onr natnrahsts were studying seriously the 
constitution of tiie glaciers and the phenomena connected with them. 

*A wbirlvind of snow, called so in the Oberland. 
} Letter to M. A. Favre, August 1, 1842. 




and QOtwithstaDding tbeir want of 
tlie snbject was so new that they- 

On Lis return &om each exjie''' ' 
bis i-esearcbes. His object wn* ■> .. 
8e^vations, bntto disseminat' >. ' . 
defender and promoter. Nm •;. i 
glaciers of Switzerland, ut > U ■ ,;! 
of tbe Jura, bear the da* i' ■ liow 
later at Neuch&tel and 

These works revealr i 
made tbe knowledgf' <■: 
gave a decisive iiD'> i • 

Many years la*- ^ . 
the following illi' 'la.i 
"There is a p' iio'i'c'ii' 
which may If "■ • im ;o r 
a Septembi 
which, w'' 
surnmit:^^ ' 
descepi 1" 
wbil'' ■' ■ • 

I! ;4-edvaIr' 

I .1 > -i - z public: ■ 
.. ..■ . ■ f ■ give an '■ 
.1 I ; jf which ' •■ I 
;-.i , .oira upon i )■ - 
:;;iif ;il theory, ti,^'.!- >: 
>- yi-ars. Larg<' '.\o:' ■■ 
* I'.rh 'uatained the ij's. i.- 
■; .^'i-,--; [phenomena iii"ii '■''• ; 
!>', ':l:: lers popalar 1 
> I : ' - kind of stad . 
•-'■. while naviga'iTr' 
■■'. the aspect ppf--i 
:iot nncommon '. 
■oDstructtbisw 1. 

■ v^iics, 

•: lotion. 

• i '. , alts of 

■ ■ '■ bis ob- 

li;i ■ ■ome tbe 
.. d ancient 
. Viatic blocks 
. i..i,b appeared 
'■■' nis studies.* 
I i-tely unknown, 
t the world, and 

,' :•: rM«r Amazon, gave 
it d I" t he glacial period : 

'' ' ,' umn in Switzerland 

.! p "Cure. Sometimes in 

■/':i- "d is filled with vapor, 

■!■ i - seen from the higher 
I'l' sea o^ tee, appearing to 

'' tiding toward the Jura, 
• J8 ix>ur down to meet it."t 
■ seek there for traces of 
.ng them both in England 

tiiiil";; 'fie whole plain 0' S' 

i-'uif. white undulatini: ■^'i; 

i> .1 •■ . <i, looks like a sn - 'i 
r'"' ;»eaks of the Alp .'■ 

hi-tributaryvalleyssi!! ' i i, 
fi 1 'I Al; ,-.siz went to Great i.i;.i 
a'i. ■ ' ,,;.. iis. He had DO trouble iu ...i 
.i: ■■■■ :~M.l.>nd. His journey throngb tlie country was a veritable tri- 
'1 .■■: '■. :■■ -> :ie8 of ovations. 

".' ■•• ii'.iod of incessant activity, daring which the scientific corps of 
?■ . ■. !el became so honorably distingnished, was not, however, for 
^ : <- -tz a period of undisturbed happiness. 

I'r meet the expenses of his extensive publications, his travels, his 
' \i'v;dition9 to the glaciers, a large fortune was necessary, and this 
A^assiz did not possess. The sums he owed to the generosity of the 
LvUig of Prussia, and which at that time had taken the form of a regular 
pension, were not at all sufficient for his needs, and rapidly disappeared 
in the gulf of his expenses. Still the fire of his activity his labors, 
his expeditions, continued; bat the situation at last became so critical 
that he was forced to bring order into his affairs. Some letters of this 
time show the serious embarrassment these difBculties occasioned him. 
" I am fright«ued at the approach of a new year, the time for the settle- 
ment of accounts in Neuchatel, and I work like a madman to be able to 
meet my indebtedness. If God preserves my health I hope, after one 
OF two years of continued labor, if I moderate my expenses, and particn- 
larly if I abstain from publishing anything more on my own account, to 

*Aj;as3i2, £lHiie» «ur le$ glaciers, arec un atl/u de 32 pL Neiicb&t«l, 1840. .Vuurel/et 
rVidlc" rl eipeiieiicei lur lee glacien acluelg. Paris, 1847. 

I A Joitruuy in Dmzil, bj' Proft'ssor and Mrs. Louis Agassiz, Boatoo, 18G8, cli&pter 
ill, i>. IIG. 


settle my affairs completely, but for the time I am horribly cramped, I 
mast say almost paralyzed; but it is my own fault, and I must bear pa- 
tiently the consei]ueDce8 until I can succeed in getting myself aSoat 
again." " My great regret in the present condition of my affairs is that 
I am obliged to employ a portion of my time with matters I ought not 
to have neglected, and which occupy me now much more than if I had 
always attended to them, and then I am obliged to retard some of the 
poblications I greatly desired to make next, but which it would be im- 
prudent for me to undertake at present, for I should reproduce the em- 
barrassment from which I only just commeDce to be relieved if I did not 
conduct all my enterprises witi the utmost circumspection." " My life," 
he writes again, " is now a vortex, in which the beat part of my nature 
is hardly conscious of its existence, so numerous and pressing are the 
exterior exigencies from which I suffer." 

But how many grand ideas, how many admirable works, would have 
been lost to science if the young savant had not been willing in bis pub- 
lications to dispense with the economy he would have been obliged to 
exercise to keep within his moderate pay as a professor. 

Aga«siz was devoted above all things to science ; devoted without re- 
serve ; and he bad always great talent in making others share his enthusi- 
asm. Bringing into contribution the talents of some, the purses of others, 
adding all his own resources, modest it is true, but also all his time and 
his genius, he attained a result evident now to every one. A letter he 
wrote to Professor Silliman, when about to embark for America, shows 
how entirely he gave himself to science. " In order to provide for the 
extra expense, I shall be obliged to live very economically and in a man- 
ner httle in accordance with the royal munificence which has furnished 
the means of making this journey." And, again, " My sphere is entirely 
circumscribed by the scientific world, and all ijjy ambition is limited to 
being useful to the branch of science I particulaj'ly cultivate. With all 
this I am no misanthrope; but I learned early tliat where one has no 
fortune, one cannot serve science and at the same time live in the world. 
If I have been able to produce numerous expensive pubUcations, it has 
been only by following this system of ecouomy and voluntary seclusion ; 
and the results which I have obtained thus far have rewarded me so 
well for the privations which I have suffered, that I have no temptation 
to adopt another style of life, even should I hereafter, and especially in 
your country, suffer more trouble than I have had to sustain in my own." • 

Discord, however, had penetrated the scientific coterie of Neuchatel. 
Enthusiastic over new ideas, Agassiz entered into them with ardor ; 
when he found them just he developed them and diffused them. Older 
than his colleagues, more enterprising, already well known in the sci- 
entific world, ho published under his own name the work done in his 

•Letter to ProfeaBor Sillimftn, October 80, 1845. American Joumnl of Science: 
1874. Vol. vii, pp. 7a, 79. 

.y Google 

248 LOUIS 

laboratories, giviag to the oames 
It was he who inspired the work 
the exi)etise of the publication. ' 
they considered their due; heiir< .:i 
which eontiuoed to increase .' Hi 
was the first to leave the as'^-o ■.-..■i 
continued to labor on Agii •-.; - ■' 
latter for America. He !:■:■■ .i.t.i 
returned to Europe. Oi ■ .,• <'■•• 
tions should have int 
that time. 

Agassiz passed t'n 
public aud priva* ■. i' 
and enabled bin :<i mi 

. la.K^.-^torsaw . 
..."-ad the mat. ■ 

Lii •ill :■ ' d soon demaii 
)"'~. 'is jLisfactioQand.. 
i ['" II ion was dissol' ' 
:. ;i ., irder to go to P;i^. 
K'l--; oven after the dii. 
I - ' '.he savant there, b^ . ; 

I at regret that thest' 
^»on with the happy si - 

of Deshayes. 
Terneuil wr: 
tainingtli' '' 
and bithi i- ■■ 

ing Eclii . ''<! 
ploraf ■ . « ,1. 
throti; 'i "!'N 

.. ( eon- 
i ubiic, 
(•< mtain- 

.i.dc ex- 

stl also- 
1 leroidB 
' ds, ra- 

II. ar and 

. ',; 1845-'46 at Paris. The .:■- 
• ■ .y were generously placed ■ * 
' u, with the valuable assistaur 
ii].iin ! IV Echinoderms. Those of A'"l' 
i ,^!. ' ii ill, of Graves, of Alexander }■'■■[ 
;:. iMM examined. The gallery of t 'j i 
.'mM-:! was reserved for him and clos i 
I' i.nrght in saceession all the cases aoi' ii.n 

< ' usideiable material, derived from i' - 
;•' din, of Freycinet, of Captain Dap ■■ 
'•.da. All these documents were ase<! m 
tiff' 1 '■ f ■• tlogue raUonn4. According to the clasi- ■ .'■ 
tl Kill (...'rms are subdivided into three orders; ".. 
•:.-',■■■. .^1. i ide the Asteroids, the Ophiuroids and ''■ 
(ii; -I i! ,". uals, either free or fixed, and of which the lii'.;i 
.t ' ' J . ' i. The Echtnoids, or sea-nrohins, with a budy ; 

I .' with regular plates, and the Holothurioids, of which the body 

h (""-aceous, or leathe^-, and elongated. He divided the Echinoids 
■■•■'' loor families: Cidaiida, 01ypeastroide.i, Cassidolidea, and Spatan- 
: ia. In his preceding works he deduced from the structure of these 
:i:iimals and tbeir successive appearance important consequences for the 
general history of creation. 

He sought at the same time to propagate the glacial theory, which 
still encountered in' the ranks of French science a lively opposition ; 
but he discussed it only in private conversation. This subject did not 
excite much interest in the scientific public, who knew Uttle of the 
mountains, and the heads of science entertained contrary ideas. ' 

This same year Agassiz, whose reputation was already far extended, 
was called to Boston, in America, by Mr, Lowell, director of the Lowell 
Institute, to give some leotnres. He was also, thanks to Humboldt, 
charged by the King of Prussia with a scientific commission in that 
coantry. He went to England in tbe summer of 1346, and sailed for 
Boston in the month of September. 

.y Google 



Arrived in America, where bis reputation had preceded him, he did 
not lack encouragement and support in that country, where .great ideas 
so easily find an enthusiastic public and generous protectors. The first 
of the le^itures he gave in Boston was repeated eight times to an audi- 
ence always new and always eager to hear. The success of the sub- 
sequent lectures was equal to that of the first. From the very outset 
the learned naturalist acquired great popularity. He was surrounded, 
fSted, made much of, and was charmed by the zeal manifested on all 
sides for natural history. The first part of his sojourn was passed in 
giving single and conrses of lectures. Embryology and the glaciers 
were his most frequent subjects. 

After his debut at Boston he lectured successively at New York, 
Albany, New Haven, and Charleston, where he passed the winter of 
1847-'i8. Ho at the same time determined to profit by the resources 
which surrounded him, aud immediately commenced to malie collections. 
Everything about him was new, and he had only to stretch out his hands 
in order to fill them. A generous American, Mr. Abbott Lawrence, 
convinced of the importance of retaining a mau of such value in the 
country, offered in 1847 to create a chair for him of zoology and geology 
in Harvard College, Cambridge,. if ho would remain. Agassiz, who had 
come to the United States with very favorable anticipations, far sur- 
passed by the welcome he had received, did not hesitate to accept the 
proposition. He comprehended that his reputation would give him 
promptly a power and means of action which he could never acquire in 
Europe. Establishment in this country would also put an end to the 
rivalries, the cares of all sorts, to which he was a prey in Neuchatel. 
He would Ve able to consecrate to science his time and his strength 
without being obliged for want of money to restrict or retard his pubM- 
cations. He abandoned, then, without regret the modest theater where 
he had first distinguished himself, and commenced an entirely new 
cai«er, in which he was to find resources even beyond his brightest 

He took possession, upon his return from Charleston, of the chair of 
natural history, which had been offered to him. His dwelling was at Cam- 
bridge, in Oxford street. Count Frank de Ponrtales, Protfessors Desor, 
Marcon, Guyot, Lesquereux, and his draughtsman, Burckardt, who 
since his sojourn at Munich had always worked for him, now joined him. 
Several of these naturalists lived for some time with him. He received 
them bounteously, and aided them with his influence and his parse, at 
that time better filled than when he was in Neuch&tel. Soon he sent 
for his SOD Alexander, whose taste for natural history was a great joy 
to him. He passed the first four months of the year 1849 at Philadel- 
phia, where he gave cottrses of lectures, and in the winter of 1849-'60 


250 LOmS A0AS812. 

he married Miss Elizabeth Cary, of Boston, a lady of great i. 

who became the ioBeparable companion of his tra^'els and o ■■ '■ - 

The exploration of America was a vast field opened to ' . , i 

devoted to this work a very important part of his time. Id " . >- 
dertook the charge of a scientific expedition to Lake Super . - • .- 
teen persons started on this exploration in a country th.' '■■• j 

and natural history of which were still very little known, i i. 7, 

the botany, the general character of the country and the i- ■ . ■ _ ■ . 1 n- 
habitants, the influence even of the progress of civilizat :. :.M' ■ '.iie 
aspect of the country, upou the character of the fauna an ' ■■■ '.'■.■ .^M.-a, 
all were obser\'ed, recM>rded, discussed ; nothing of impor i '.ii'ed 

the eager and masteily eye of the chief of the expedition. 

The historyof the journey was madeby Mr. Cabot} thc; •■cAs, 

and birds collected were studied by various coUaborator. * ■ 'de- 
voted especial attention to the general characteristics of : < ^ . < lion, 
in order that he might compare it with that of the Jura and ;; Alps; 
to the fishes, the study of which wherever he went always captivated 
him; to some new reptiles, and finally to the phenomena of erratic 
bowlders in this region, which his knowledge of the glacial district of 
Europe . ■'.'■-.■ -i 'lim to x>i'ove belonged to a remarkable extcnsiou of 
the sf.!' ■- ~\' ..:i. 

Tl.- ^ i.;i -■ ■-, have devoted for a long time especial attention to the 
stni,. ■•! -l"' > ires of their continent. The department of the govem- 
ir. ••; ■■:] !■ il with what is called the United States Coast Survey is 
',, .. .1 u all over the world on account of the great importance of 
t ■ I jc has accomplished. It united to a geographical knowl- 
r : >ri :te coast a scientific study of the neighboring region, often 
ii.i .^ under great difficulties. Agassiz from the first was interested 

■ ;ii si>ecies of investigation. In 1850 he was commissiqned by Dr. 
J ..' ■ ■;, director of the survey, to study the coral reefs of Florida., He 
■ ' jined upon the spot the development of the Polyp, which had ere- 
iv.'. d around this peninsula four concentric banks, the formation of* 
^' uich he found had been successive. According to the mode of increase 
of these animals, he could calculate safely within the hmits of traHi 
that these reefe had been at least thirty thousand years •■■ " ■■ {. 
The outer reef, still in process of development, is constitut'- . .■ 1 r- 

uig coral. The animals belong to various types, each of wh ' . . :' d 
to a certain depth beyond which it cannot exist. The da ," ■' ■■•<.- ilie 
Astneans, next the Meandrincs; at the surface are the Ma : lOt 

more than two or three yards below the surface of the watf . . it- 
iug vast spaces with their beautiful growth. Other aniui:; '■■■■■■ le 
attracted to the coral branches. The sea breaks off the eor^i! :i ' : ' 1 iFs 
the fragments upon the reef, which is Uttle by little cove;> ■! • il, 

* Louis Agasaiz. "Lake Superior, its pliysical cliarocter, vegetation . .'ii< „ii In, 
compared with those of other autl aimilar regions. 1850." 



and rises at last above the water. The winds tlien bring to it seeds, 
and plants aredeveloped. Thusappeare an island separated bya small 
lagoon from the mainland, to which it will soon be united. Florida has 
been entirely formed in this way by successive creations. The time 
required to produce this peninsula, according to Agassiz, moat have 
beeu more than two hundred thousand years. 

At the same time that Agassiz undertook t« direct these expeditions 
be desired to make known the results of Ms researches, and the labors 
undertaken in his laboratories. The great collections he amassed at- 
tracted his attention to all branches of the animal kingdom. The Ver- 
tebrates, the MoUusks, the Articulates, the Radiates, the relations of 
these branches to each other, their mode of appearance and develop- 
ment, were for him an incessant source of new observations, published 
in numerous articles and memoirs. 

In 1857, he gave to the public the plan of a work to be called Con- 
iributitma to the Watural Hittory of the United States. The popularity of 
the professor was at that time so great that he immediately obtained 
more than 2,500 subscribers. Four volumes of this work appeared in 

The first monograph comprehended a complete study of the Chelo- 
nians, their anatomy, their distribution in the actual world and in geo- 
logical history, the description of American genera and species, and the 
embryology of the turtle. The second, in the preparation of which Mr. 
Clark rendered active assistance, is upon the Acalephs, which form with 
the Polyps and the Echinoderms the class Eadiata; they are divided 
into Ctenophores, Discophores, and Siphonophores. Mr. Sonrel was the 
artist of the magnificent plat«e which accompanied these two volumes. , 
A complete rSsumi of the ideas and the principles of Agassiz relative to 
the classification of the animal kingdom, serves as an introduction to 
these monographs. 

'• In the beginning of this chapter," he writes, " I have already stated 
that classification seems to me to rest upon too narrow a foundation 
when it is chiefly based upon structure. Animals are linked together 
as closely by their mode of development, by their relative standing in 
their respective classes, by the order in which they have made their 
appearance upon earth, by their geograpliical distribution, and gener- 
ally by their connection with the world in which they live, as by their 
anatomy. All these relations should, therefore, be fully expressed in a 
natural classification ; and though structure famishes the most direct 
indication of some of these relations, always appreciable under every 

'ContributiouH to tho Natural History of the Uoited States; in quarto volumea, 
with uuuicrouH platva. Volume I, Esaay on Claaetfi cation ; North American Teatndi- 
uata. 1857. Volume 11, Embryology of the Turtle. 1857. Volumoa III and IV, 
Acaleplia in general, Ctenoptaone, Diacopliors, Hydniidn, Homologies of Uie Badiata. 
18G0-ldo2. The introdnotion to the flret volume, "An Esaay on ClaBsification," was 
TepubliKlied under the author's direction, at London, in 1859, in 1 vol. Svo., pp. 381. 




circamatonce, other consideratmi 
complete oar insight into the ;;<.>< 

In this point of view Agassi/ J', 
of fossil fishes the unportan<r< < ■! • 
I>ropou]ided the theory ttuLl lit- 
onic condition resembk- '>'■ :'■ •■ 
^ho Uved in anterior n'^fh j>: ..i . 

OLisBification, based 
system invented by sin- 
facts observed in \,:\'v-' 
ia various degrcoi'' <il 
variouaoloesesor'.li- ': 
character of a p-iii 1 i 
sis. "When w .''i! - 
we have a s'.'.nl) . n.tit 
rank of the " .-W-i :■ 

.':■ 1 not be neglectei ■■ 
;.i .u of creation."* 
i.'.jdy pei-eeived thron,. ■ 
I vology. He had for t'u' 
iials of our period in t. 
representatives of the - 

that thp 
ticulati -^ 

!^ lO considerations, Till nolc .. i 
i< '. anatnralistjbutwillreaDltstii - 
uiU be proved, for example, tha> :i'i 

111 .: . 'I '\elopment resembles successivel :. 

I- ^ir-S" :iesof tbeArticnlata,andthatita»"-i:': 
1 iii' lit only alter it has achieved its mci m 

■'■]- I ' -e graduot development of the insect ' 

h'it.ial scale by which to estimate the cot i>^j 
Smce we cannot snppose that there i« ii 

I Uie development of any animal, we most ' 

is highest (compared with cmstacea and c. 

classiilcation in this instance is dictated bi 

" I' I .!v liii mtoTB be considered as ageneral feet, very likely to be 
mov ji !;.. iiii''.trated as investigations cover a wider ground, that the 
p!. 'M.X "I >'ii'iiiyonic development of all Uving animals correspond to the 
(jTiL; ,1' siKcession of their extinct representatives iupast geological 
iii'it'.'. As far as this goes the oldest representatives of every class may 
1 ,.f' '<)(■ c'jusidered as embryonic types of their respective orders or fami- 
;j' Mii.iug the iiving."t 

1 .11' class of hichinoderms furnishes a remarkable example. Itisthns 
h .:i the embryonic phases of the Eoropean Comatula correspond with 
'I'l.' principal forms of the (Jrinoids which characterize the successive 
;v:jlogical i>eriods; Oistoidsof paleozoicrocks; Piatycrinoids of the car- 
ii-jDilerons period ; Fentacrinoids of the treestoue and the oolite. Anal- 
ogOQS facts are found in the families of the Asteroids and the Echinoids. 
The Trilobites are the embryonic type of the Entomostracans } the Deca- 
l>ods of the oolite that of our crabs j the heterocercal tianoids that of 
the Lepidistes. 

By the side of these embryonic types Agassiz recognized prophetic 
tyi>e8. "Embryonic types exemplify only the peculiarities of develop- 
ment of the higher representatives of their own types j while prophetic 
tyi)e8 exemplify structural combinations observed at a later period in 
two or several distinct ty|>es." One of the most striking examples he 
cites is that of the sauroid fishes. "These fishes, which have preceded 
the appearance of reptiles, present a, combiuatioD of ichthyic and reptilian 

'AuEBBay ou Classillcstiou. «vo., London., IBTi!). 
tAJoorney in Brazil. Boston, ltJG8, chap, i, p. 21. 
t Eea&S OB ClOMilioatton, chap, i, sec 35, p. 174. 

3. 32, pp. 205, 300. 

^d by Google 

Loms AOASSiz. 253 

characters not to be foiuid in the trae members of tliis class, wliich form 
its bulk at preseut." 

The succesaion of organizeil beings in tlie course of time should also 
serve as a principle of classifleutiou. Thas in arrauging, as many bota- 
nists do, the tiynmo8i>enns among the Dicotyledons, we find no relation 
between the hierarchical series of the living plants and their mode of 
appearance. If we make of the Gyinnosperms an isolated group, inter- 
mediate between the Cryptogams and the Angiosperms, a classification 
which corresponds with tlieir principal characteristics, we find immedi- 
ately an intimate correlation between the hierarclial series of these 
plants, which commeDce with the Cryptogams and coutinne with the 
Uymnosperms, the Monocotyledons, and Dicotyledons,, and their suc- 
cessive appearance. 

" I. confess," said Agasaiz, "that this question as to the nature and 
tbnndation of our seientiflc classifications appears to me to have the 
deepest importance ; an importance far greater, indeed, than is usually 
attached to it. If it can be proved that man has not invented bnt only 
traced this systematic arrangement in nature ; that these relations and 
proportions which exist throughout the animal and vegetable world have 
an intellectnal, an ideal, connection in the mind of the Creator ; that this 
plan of creation, which so commends itself to our highest wisdom, has 
not grown out of the necessary action of physical laws, but was the free 
conception of the Almighty Intellect, matnred in His thought before it 
was manifested in tangible external forms ; if, in short, we can prove 
preynerlitation prior to the act of creation, we have done once and forever 
with the desolate theory which refers us to the laws of matter as account- 
ing tbr all the wonders of the universe, and leaves us with no God but 
the monotonous unvarying action of physical forces, binding all things 
to their inevitable destiny. • • • 

" To me it appears iadispntable that this order and arrangement of 
our studies are based apou the natural primitive relations of animal 
life; those systems to which we have given the names of the great lead- 
ers of our science who first proposed them, being in truth but transla- 
tions into human language of the thoughts of the Creator. And if this 
is indeed so, do we not find in this adaptability of the human intellect to 
the facts of creation, by which we become instinctively and — as I have 
said— nnconsciously the translators of the thoughts of God, the most 
condnsive proof of our afflnity with the Divine mind t And is not this 
intellectnal and spiritual connection with the Almighty worthy of our 
deepest consideration t If there is any truth in the belief that man is 
made in the image of God, it is snrely not amiss for the philosopher to 
endeavor by the study of his own mental operations to compr^end the 
workings of the Divine Reason, learning from the natnre of his own mind 
better to understand the Infinite Intellect from which it is derived,''f 

'Essay on clnsaiBcntioa, Chnp. 1, seo. 96, p. 177. 
fEaM^r on ClaaeiAoatiiM), ohftp. i, aeo. 1, pp. 10 and 9. 

.1, Google 


I have given this long qaotatioii, because it shows clear -"!<-,. led 

philosophical and religious point of view from which Aga -ut^ed 

the history of creation. 

It is seen by tbe examples given what importance he ai' lo^ '. .<' .la- 
leontology. He endeavored to show that from the ancii 'C , .i ) i. ..^al 
periods the number and diversity of animated beings was s -■■ ;.. -• it 
is to-day. Certain rocks are formed entirely of the debris . '■..■ id 

beings. The coral reefs of the tertiary, secondary, and t ,; . ■.cy 
periods are iu no wise inferior to the present leefs.^ Tht ■ : h. .jf 
the carboniferous period exhibit a vegetation richer than ■ i ; ■■; ■ il 
flora. These myriads of beings which have ceased to exist ■ . u ■ . i<- d 
as the manifestation of the divine thought, which regulate<l ::. -: ' '■'•■.a 
of appearance and succession. "There were atvarionsinteMi!- iImhi^ 
the successive geological ages periods of creation, all the sj t-c ; ..i i'-'i- 
mals and of plants created at each period having lasted for a ^- .-f-u.; 
in order to be replaced successively by others." Tlie preseni creation is, 
according to his view, one of these phases, and he believed that alt the 
animals in it appeared simultaneously. 

Agasfii ■' i.i; ft ^nained faithfiil to this theory, which had many ad- 
bcrentf ■■■ ■ ; ii he advocated it. Science has made great advances 
since !;,.■ ■•■::.,:, The progress of paleontology, to which he contrib- 
utexT ■ ■ ' ■' •:'■ ■'S well as that of zoological and botanical geography, 
doi' ■): . .^' > f>y the fullest evidence that the animated world which 
li'< ..I" urface of the globe could not have issued complete and 

-1-11 I. -taly from the hands of the Creator, for in the midst of new 
'■, I ■•- i : • exist offshoots from numerous groups, whose great develop- 
mt-i i ' -i place in the anterior geological periods, while other tjTWS 
Im. !■• .: -iuired in the present epoch a force and extension they never had 
In'f.n-: , although their successive increase was indicated iu the later 
■ '^gical periods. The present ferns are only the representatives, 
.tly diminished in size, of that large group of Cryptogams which at 
..:: carboniferous period clothed the entire world with their colossal veg- 
: uation, and which since then have been constantly diminishing. 

The traveler who encounters isolated in the mountains of China the 
singular conifer caUed the Ginho biloba will not hesitate to consider this 
typo, unique in the present creation, as the last descendant of the '"'fiifio 
which, at the secondary period, covered with a great number ol <■■ cii,- 
all the ancient continent. The zoologist who finds in the i't\ ■■.:■' i .' 
Australia the Lepidoateus osseus, the last representative not oit.v ni' :i 
genus bat of an entire order of fishes, that of the Gianoids, canu". '.>i' r 
recognize in this type the remains of an extinct race. TheMsi ni ;.'•• 
of the same country, the Edentates of South America, and a Imi:i1i( 1 
other examples furnish us today-ivitli the proof that the actii.<i vu>. i 
is only the regular normal continuation of anterior periods. Iii .!■•■.•. 
the embrj'ological theories of which Agassiz was the author, and >' liiili i 

■American Journal of Science, 1854, vol. xvil, pp. 309-334. 

Lonrs AGASSiz. 255 

would seem mast necessarily have led him to the idea of evolution, lie 
always remained an absolute partisan of the hypothesis of successive 
creations, and he may be regarded as the chief of the opposition to the 
theory of development. 

The fact that the most distinct types exist simultaneoasly in identical 
circumstances, and that we find identical types in the most different cir- 
cnmstances, the entire development of the animal kingdom, the harmony 
in its most diverse parts, its present and past distribution upon the con- 
tinents and in the sea, furnished him uoceasingly with new arguments to 
combat this theory and to defend that of the iudividuality and the con- 
stancy of species. 

If it is evident that the flora and fauna are renewed a great number of 
times on the surface of the globe, it has never been proved, according 
to him, that the species were changed duriog one of those periods. 
The observations made of the times in which we live, indicate that they 
remained invariable during each period. This is demonstrated by the 
plants and animals foupd in the tombs of Egypt and the fauna of the 
coral reefs of Florida, Daily discoveries contradict strongly the opinion 
that inferior beings first appeared upon the earth, and that types more 
and more elevated were manifested until the advent of man. On the 
contrary, representatives of numerous families of the four great branches 
of theauJQial kingdom, Radiates, MoUusks, Articulates, and Vertebrates, 
lived simultaneously ftom the most ancient periods. The Vejt«brates 
alone have not yet been found in the first deposits, but they appeared 
in immense numbers before the end of the first period. These branches, 
which manifest in their structure a complete independence, have tra- 
versed side by side all the aeries of geological ages up to the present 
time. The first three are even represented from the beginning by na- 
merous types of their different classes, and the character (if the branches 
of the classes of the families have always been as distinct as to-day. 
"Until the facts of nature are shown to have been mistaken by those 
who have collected them," said Agassiz, " and that they have a different 
meaniug from that now generally assigned to them, I shall consider the 
transmutatiOTi theory as a scientific mistake, untrue in its fects, unsci- 
entific in its method, and mischievous in its tendency.''^ 

Agassiz preferred greatly direct observation of nature to theoretic 
research, and he found more than any other naturalist opportunities for 
this study in his numerous voyages and in the immense material he 
collected. In a country so rich, so varied in climate and conditions, and 
also so new, his collections rapidly accumulated ; he sold them in 1852 
to Harvard College. A building which had been put up to receive them 
proved to be too small. The TTniversity of Cambridge, aided by a pnb- 
lio subscription and by the State of Massachusetts, caused to be erected 
the first wing of a large edifice, which was to bear the name of the Mu- 
seum of Comparative Zoology. Mr. Fr. C. Gray bequeathed $50,000 to 

* On the Origin of Speciea. Am. Journal of Science. 1860. Vol, xxx, p. 154. 



found tbis establislinient The 6 
1859, and in December of the ' 
advanced to commence the inf. '. 
From that time Agaasie hr ' ' < 
tion of tliia moseom. "Hi<. .' > 
wrote to us one of his frf ■' v 
prodigious. He spared •.■■'■ '■' ■ .i ' 
pubUc lectures, resorte' . ' 
he pat under contribD !'■■'■ -■ 
t.i>:: ■ - -r-" "on>iTj . ,ii. 

besides ita r- 

ble gaief' . 
tribut- . 1 

. ■-•■! on tt.i 
■• . , - iilding ■ 
t. ue increase 
' 'Ti,heB, diploD.: 
IJm at vork, ' 
. :i '.;■'■. '[ .'liimnseomwas 
. ;.' ^:<<i ' .ii' devices to prom' I 
' u n<!:jand acqnatntaii 
tii.-^' vm; it became his 
^' i. ' ponrediufiromalls' ' 
:,,]•- tch other in generous s - • 
h- . jucceeded iu making v, <. 
) I M'iiiuy subsidies amount* ■< 
. - 1.872 and 1873 alone the tu^ 
. ifls equal to about $170,000. 
■■ ■ i .-^ < . .\'^ lasiz, his amiability,, hia benevolence, his affa- 
. •■•.- .!>■.■.- ,m for everything relating to science, and his 
■.■!<■ ■.■■■'■<■ ds, everywhere created for him friends who con- 
< i .<!' '' .se of his museum. Xever had any one so many. 
" .1 ' 'gandoftenrisingeveninEhiglishtotraeeloquence, 
',i]- ■ fences and attracted the crowds be loved to t»acb. 
■ <■! ■ • uicatioQ with all the sea-captains, who made collections 
!. . >.i8tant expeditions. When he was on a voy^e every- 
' I disposal, and more thfm once the inhabitants of the dis- 
he visited madejoomeysofconsiderable extent in order to 
" -i rare animals for him only for the pleasnre of seeing his 
jnishment, and his gratitude, which were always very warmly 

. ' une, 

.im of 

isl . 

/ ; ) ' stR of America were explored. The Emperor of Brazil, whose 
■V'^'Oin science has never flagged, sent him rich collections. The 
. 'lings made along the coast of America by the United States Coast 
wey, under the direction of Mr. dePourtal^s, and especii! . .;■ i-t-- 
; .;etothevtdleyof the Amazon and the expedition of theHa-.' :.:i ■ l 
greatly to these zoological ti«asures. In 1863, that is to say. : . 
expedition to Brazil, the museum already contained 6,000 apt"' - ■ 
represented by 100,000 specuncns. It is not, like most coll. . ( • 
natural history, a mass of material disposed in a purely zoolo^; . ■ ■ ; 
Its organization is based upon the principles of classiflcatiou ■.. .. 
described; and we find in it several distinct series. In ft.' '.- 
animals are classed in saoh a manner that one can study tbi-ii' i: ' < . ! 
associations, their zoological relations, the general characterinti.'--, . . .' 
genera and of the classes, then: skeletons, and other anaton < ' ; •'- ' 

iarities. A second series represents the fanna of each regio ■ ■ 

graphical dwtributionofliviuebeinpHnponthesnrfiiceof the ■.' ■ 1 
. . ■ i ntinent. The fossil a^' 

LGC18 AGA88IZ. 257 

arranged so as to show at the same time their order of succession in the 
(iiffereut epochs and their relation with the existing animals. This 
plan is completed by a third series devoted to the study of the varions 
phases of development of animals from the embryonic to the adult con- 
dition. This museum, then, is destined to be an exposition of the history 
of creation, as complete as it is jiossible for it to be under the present sUite 
of our knowledge. Its organization absorbed more and more the time 
and energy of Agassiz. No other scientific establishment has aspired 
to a similar nndertaking. 

When it came to the recent creation, it increased so rapidly that in 
1872, in his last report of the progress of the establishment, Agassiz 
could say that he was "in possession of the most beautiful collections 
In the world, not exceptiug the oldest and largest museums of Europe." 
What increased still more their value, was the zoological and paleon- 
tological labors to which these collections gave rise. NaturaUsts of great 
distinction, Mr. Alexander Agassiz, our compatriots Messrs. Alexander 
do Fourtal^s, Lesquereux, and some American scientists, Messrs. Lymau, 
Hyatt, &c., described these treasures in works illustrated with magnifi- 
cent plates. 

A voyage which Agassiz made to Europe in 1859 interrupted for 
some time his incessant occupations. He wajS not forgotten in the Old 
World, the scene of his first successes. The most brilliant offers were in 
several instances made to him to induce bim to remain, but he had in 
America too many resources of all kinds to make him able or willing to 
abandon his adopted country; his only ambition was for science, and 
he always continued faithful to the direction of his museum. He was 
naturahzed as an American citizen in 1862. 

The numerous labors be directed at last affected his robust health. 
During the winter of 186t-'65 the physicians ordered absolute repose 
and a change of climate. But this rest proved to be as profitable to 
science as the continuations of the works he had undertaken. After 
some hesitation Brazil was selected as the destination of his voyage. 
He had been for a long time attracted toward this country, to which 
his first zoological researches had turned his attention. " Toward Brazil 
I was drawn by a life-long desire. After the death of Spix, when a 
student of twenty years of age, I had been employed by Martins to 
describe the fishes they had brought back with them from their celebrated 
Brazilian journey. From that time, the wish to study this fauna in the 
regions where it belongs bad been an ever-recurring thought with me; a 
scheme deferred for want of opportunity, but never quite forgotten."* 

In order to render this voyage of real use, in order that he might not 
retom to the United States " rich in pleasant memories but without any 
scientific results," resources were necessary far beyond those required 
for his personal expenses. Here, as on so many other occasions of his 
life, bountiful means were voluntarily provided. Mr. Natlxaniel Thayer 

* A journey in Brazil. (Preface, p. v. ) 
S.Mi8.69 17 ,„„.a»,G00gIe 


258 L0UI8 AGAjfs. 

offered' ■-' ■■ ■ j expenses of tLe ex- ■ 
take V i . . . : (Saistants, six naturf '.! 
the F ■ . tb© Navy of the Uui, ■ ! 

Pat""'' '•'■ i' ■ ■ imship Company, eacb 
thf ,1. , I -. iif :,Li8 expedition, which ! ■' 
giij-li. ! . . L'^alists as volnutary re«r . -. 
.\. ■ '^rdrked, taking withhim Mt . 
li.-i ' > '^I'l commaaicated to her th' -^ 
,■ ■. . .!: 1 thus was composed the I'l'. 
.' ■ .i\ to Brazil." We refer totlr- -■■ 

' . follow tlie American savar- 

i> ■ ■ ,)lore with them the vast bat , . . ■ ■ 
'-■ iHsiz, during this voyage, ma!' [-.■-.v 
■' 'dy heen, in part, studied and ■ ■ ■■ ■< 
.1 ioh will make better known t« ■ i - t 
: m. He observed, also, many g^ ■■■-:• '■ 
ijcount of the expedition tnani: ' ^ \ > 
noting every peculiarity offered ' - ■ 
character of the animals he discr - ■■'■ i ■■ 
Amazon, in the geographical d>- li' 'i 
animals, and in theiihysical aii'l :.■ ■■,.-\ 
valley he traversed. 

One of the points which fixed 
refers in the history of the vo> 
the drift of this region. Th-N 
immense extent, for it is esti . 
and six or seven hundred in - < 
sea, since there were no tract •■ i 
water deposit. If a lake 1'.. 
have been closed; otherwis". ;l 
the sea. Agassiz attribut .' ■'. 

of the glaciers. An imraci 

the Cordilleras, augmentf ■ ii. 
and covered the valley ■ < " 
edge a moraine of coloss. ti' 
ment, which bars the m " . ' >' 

It is true that poUs! '^i ;■■ 
rocks are too soft to h m ■ i 
Agassiz observed in s- ■■ i , ! 
of the deposit in the 1 . i' ''■■ 
of the material accuir l ■ , i - 
npper formation of * > ■ . ■ 
of which seemed to '. ■ . . .. ■■ 
fresh water must hi > I 

ful barrier, appeaw 
encc of this glacial - 

:■ i anthoiized him ■■ 

■■ : Emperor of Braz. 

the president of tl> 

' ...',.1 in large measure, • 

.1 >ined by some distit- 

'>,, he Ist of April, 18G\ 

^ : I , who keptthejonma , 

I '" esnlts as they were ol' 

.' .. :; nnder the name of ". 

..:■! any of our readers wb > 

. t'l' borders of the Amazo'^ 

I I Lertook to study. 
I . ■,' collections. These hav 
i. andwill give rise to work- 
'I'la of the extraoniinary r» 
I ' .1 of natural history. Th 
reat talent he possessed o 
•.ervation in the zoologio 
' e ichthyological fauna of th 
of the terrestrial and aquati 
d characteristics of the greai. 

:.. on and to which he constantly 
' nature and the distribution of 
" hich is of great thiclcness and 
' some thousand miles in length 
;M not have beeu formed by the 
larine shells. It is, then, a fresli- 
■ 1 this vast space the I'-'^i- ' 
.;[:■■■ ' jialwould h^ve been ea. •■ ■■ '■ 

',f )ii.'nomenon to the ancient .■. 
■•■'.' I. acconling tohim, desceii' !■! 1 ■■■ 
I. ■ '..I ' tries flrom Guiana and fro i 
'< \' i.izoa. It accumulated at i: ~ i " i' 
1. .".»8, forming thus a gigantic ■■ ii !■- 
■ '■;' ■ basin. 

■ vatched surfaces are not fou".!; ;'■■ 

Ii 1 snch traces, but the roundi t n»- . ; 

, ! '.''ss, the blocks of the Erer^, tin iif im 

I ■ haracterof which is analogous i> t' .1 

jr the glaciers; the resemblancv <' ; .■ 

■ - to the drift of Eio, the glacial >:• ■■.' 

.'"id a doubt; the fact that the I in < : 

I sed on the side of the ocean by a > ht 

ifiicient arguments to establish thi ■ .'-•!- 

: ater there watt a rui>ture in the e^ "H 


embankmeat ; the lake waa emptied, ■while the moraine, beaten by the 
sea and carried away by the flowing waters, disappeared, as was also 
the case in great part with the ground upon which it rested; for the 
\'ioience and the rapidity with which tlie sea eats into the shores of this 
region is extreme, and a strip of hundreds of miles in width has already 
been carried away, • 

Such is, in a few words, the theory of Agassiz of the ancient glaciers 
of Brazil. This is not the place to discuss its claims ; it was attached 
on all sides, and has now few defenders. 

In his latter years Agassiz, overburdened with his occnpations, aban- 
doned special research; the organization of his museum, his public 
courses of lectures, his immense correspondence, wore too much for his 
strength, and his health gradually failed. In 1869 he became seriously 
ill. He had hardly recovered before he was at work again. He accom- 
panied Count Pourtal^s on one of the expeditions this zoologist made 
in the year 1807, to study the submarine relief, the currents, and the 
marine fanna of the coasts of America. These explorations, in which 
each sounding gave rise, so to speak, to a discovery, captivated him ex- 
tremely, and he soon conceived the idea of extending this kind of re- 
search. In 1871 he joined an expedition organized by the Government 
of the United States for the exploration of the shores of America, the 
study of the Gulf Stream, the temperature of the water, and the marine 
animals. He sailed in the Hassler, and visited in this vessel the sea of 
the Antilles and the shores of America as f^r as San Francisco, doubling 
Cape Horn. A letter he wrote to Professor Pierce before starting, ia 
which he set forth the results he hoped to obtain, drew upon this expe- 
dition the attention of all the scientific world. He hoped to iind living 
at the bottom of the sea a large number of the types known only by fossil 
representatives, and thus connect the actual with anterior creations. 

Soundings were made at first at great depths, but the apparatus was 
in a bad condition, and on the coast of Chili this kind of research had 
to be abandoned. Agassiz contented himself with the coast finimals and 
the fishes, which he collected by thousands. In every port the deck of 
the vessel was covered with animals brought by the natives. The sin- 
gular fauna of the Gallapagos Islands were collected with the greatest 
care, and Agassiz was able, among others, to procure numerous shells 
of two spe:!ies of reptiles of the genus Amblyri/nehus, the structure of 
which recalled that of these animals in the secondary period. Some idea 
may be formed of the coUeetions made in this voyage, by the fact that 
the quantity of alcohol used to preserve the animals was about 3,500 gal- 
lons. He came back to Cambridge by the Pacific Eailroad, 

Immediately on his return he formed the project of establishing on the 
sea-shore a school for zoological research. As soon as the idea was con- 
ceived, an American, Mr. Anderson, gave him in 1871 a small island in 
Buzzard's Bay, the island of Penikese, and a considerable sum to assist 

* Journey in Bia^il, Chap, xiii, pp. 41&-436; Atlantic Monthly, 1B66, pp. 40, 150. 

L-.:,l.. II.;, Google 


in carrying out his design. The illustrious naturalist immediately prof- 
ited by these lesourcea. He constructed large laboratories provided 
with aquaria and other arrangements necessary for this kind of research. 
The upper story of the building contained fifty-eight rooms for the lodg- 
ing of the naturalists. Every effort was made to hasten the execution 
of the plan. The consequent increase of fatigue exhausted him. On 
the 2d of December, 1873, he gave a public address to the Agricultural 
Association of Massachusetts. He was in his laboratory for several 
days after, bat was attacked on tiie 6th of December by weakness, which 
forced him to return home. He went to his bed, which he never left 
again, and expired on the 14th of December of a paralysis of the organs 
of respiration. 

The Academy of Sciences, of Paris, had a few months before nomi- 
nated him foreign associate member. 

" For a long time," wrote Professor SiUiman, who had been one of his 
best friends since his arrival in the country, "have we dreaded the sad 
event which we now record. For many years the splendid physique of 
Agassiz manifested signs that his prodigious labors were overcoming 
his elasticity. His herculean strength, which made fatigue of body 
or mind nnknown to him, yielded to the severer tax of the American 
climate and the incessant growing demands upon him from every source. 
His life and strength were renewed by liis long voyage to San Francisco 
in the Hassler; but both he and his friends recognized the fiict that to 
labor with his former activity was impossible and forbidden. Yet to live, 
was for him unavoidably to labor ; and to die in the harness rather than 
to live after the power to serve his fellow-mra was passed — his aspira- 

The death of the great naturalist, to whom this noble sentiment could 
be justly attributed, was a national calamity. An immense cortege 
formed by deputations fi'om several cities, the Vice-President of the 
United States, the authorities of the State of Massachusetts, delegates 
from universities, academies, and learned societies, his numerous pupils 
and assistants, and a large concourse of citizens accompanied Agassiz 
to his last home. 

A bowlder &om the glacier of the Aar, npon which is engraved his 
name, serves as a monument to him and recalls to those who visit it 
bis native country and one of the great interests of his life. 

The prodigious capacity of Agassiz, his exceptional talent for observa- 
tion, the facility with which he made himself familiar with all questions 
and with which he attacked the most diverse subjects, the great intel- 
lectual movement he developed wherever he lived, the value of his own 
researches, have made his name one of the greatest in contemporary 
science. He has been the object, both while living and even after his 
death, of violent and sometimes coarse attacks f calumny has not spared 
him. But in every case it is not he who has been most injured. Un- 

•Amer. Jour. Science, 1874, vol, vii, p. 80. 


donbtedly, several of the ideas he put in circulation have been dropped, 
several of his theories have been abandoned^ but the discussions they 
prodaced have been a fruitful source of progress. The temple of jknowl- 
edge is not raised by a single effort, and it is the clashing of ideas wliich 
produces light. The work be executed in the field of zoology and of paleon- 
tology is of very high importance. He possessed the double merit of > 
accomplishing great things himself, and of knowiug how to make science ^ 
popular without diminishing its prestige. Everj'where he found friends , 
and supporters. In Switzerland, in Germany, in England, in America, ' 
in every country where he took up his abode he made himself the center 
of the scientific movement and 8ucceede<l in interesting the public. His 
sojourn iu Neuoh^tel excited in that city an impulse the happy indu- 
ence of which is felt even to this day. Althongh when he first went 
to the United States tliere existed scientific culture in that country, and 
man; distinguished observers, to Agassiz moat be attributed (;he diffu- 
sion of a new enthusiasm for the sciences and much of the success with 
which they are now cultivated. This result is not due to chance, but to 
the noble and legitimate infiuence exercised by the superior intelligence 
of the savant, and the amiable qualities of the man. 

.y Google 


By William B. Tatlob. 

"Tet though thy purer spirit did not need 
The vulgar gu<irdon of a brief renown. 

Some little meed at least — some little meed 
Oar age may yield to thy more lasting cro' 

In the impnlsire tide of popular applause which follows the consatn- 
matdoii of great euterprises, or the material advancement from new con- 
quests of natm-al law, the labors and merits of those who patiently laid 
the deep and broad foundations of these successes, or who with rarest 
diligence, sagacity, and skill, made such successes practicable, are usu- 
ally whelmed ; and — save by the scientific student, are mostly forgotten 
and ignored. And this result is the more assured by reason of the en- 
tire self-uD consciousness and devotion with which the higher work of 
original research is conducted, with no disturbing thought on the part 
of the investigator, of reaping immediate advantage or reward from the 
bestowal of the new discovery. 

" For praise is his who bnOda for his own age ; 
Bat he who builds for time, must look to time for wage."* 

That the award of time respecting Henry's true relation to the tele- 
graph will be discriminating and just, may be confidently anticipated, 
since the materials and data for an accurate judgment are already matter 
of enduring record, t In attempting here to briefly review this record, 
justice will best be done to Henry's fame by rendering full justice to 
Henry's predecessors. 

The Qrowth of the Electric Telegraph. — " The electric telegraph had 
properly speaking, no inventor. It grew up little by little, each inventor 
adding his little to advance it toward perfection. "J These words of 
soberness and truth are Httle apprehended by the multitude; who blind 
alike to the beginnings and to the growths of great ideas, contemn the 
•Prof. Grant AJlen. ~~ ~~' "^ ~ ~ " 

iln the spirit pf Kepler (though with l^ss of self-assertion), Henry, with a modest esti- 
mate of his own contributions to science, while evincing a remarkable indifference to 
popularity, yet with the quiet couHdeute of a clear and impartial judgment, declared 
'' 1 was content that my pablished researches should remain as material for the his- 
tory of science, aiid be prononnoed upon according to their true value by the scii^tiho 
world." — (Smithmtnian Report for 1857, p. 87.) 

1 The Electric Telegraph. By Robert Sabine. 8vo. London, 1867, part i, chap, iv, 
sect. 39, p. 40. 


discoverer while they deify the artisan. When Galvani about a cen- 
tury ago (1786) first opened slightly the door to oue of nature's mar- 
vels, that large community ever distinguished by the vigor of its com- 
mon sense and the practical solidity of its judgment, asked with ready 
insliuct the wise and ancient question, "What istheiweof itl!" And a 
majority of those who recognized the experimenter's appearance on the 
streets of Bologna, pointed him out as the "fix)g philosopher." Their 
descendants and representatives at the present day have neitlier lost — 
nor gained in wit.* 

It is proposed to notice the development of the electric telegraph 
somewhat at length, in order to exhibit more clearly the precise nature 
and value of Henry's contribution to its practical establishment and 
success. This survey naturally divides itself into a chronological re- 
view of the successive though overlapping applications — of ftictional or 
mechanical electricity (first suggested by Franklini or byLesageT about 
the middle of the last centnry);t of galvanism or chemical electricity 
(first suggested by Soemmering in 1808); and of gatvano-magnetism 
(first suggested by Ampere in 1820). J 

Among the numerous flights of imagination by which genius has fre- 
quently anticipated the acliievements of her more deliberate and cautious 
sister — eartli-walliing reason, none is perhaps more striking than the ro- 
mantic conception by Famianus Strada, of Borne, in the early part of the 
seventeenth century, of an intercourse maintained between separated 
friends by means of two sympathetic magnetic compasses, whereby tho 
indications on the dial given by one, were instantly made visible to the 
other. § 

•On theralue of abstract science, see "Supplement," Notb A. 

tMr. Stephen Gray, in a letter to Dr. C^mwell Mortimer, eeeretary of tho Royal Soci- 
ety of London, datedFebruaryS, 1731, recited among numerous electrical expcrimeuta, 
the passage of Bparks and the excitation of an eliictroscope, effected through 393 feet of 
■wire HUEpended hv silk, in 1729 ; through 666 feet on July 3 of that year ; a week or 
two later, through 765 feet; and iu August, 1730, through 886 feet of wire. (Fhil. 
Trans. It. S. 1731, vol. xxsvii, Ko. 417, pp. 29, 31, anil 440 These experiments were 
made however for the purpose of detennining condnctive capacity, without any view 
of employing the indications for signals. 

A letter was pnblishe^l in the Scot^ Magaiinf, dated Reaitew, February 1, 1753, and 
signed " C. M.,'' which, under the title " An expeditious method of convoying intelli- 
gence," proposed the suspension between two distAiit points of a number of insulated 
wires (equal to the number of letters in the alpliabet), through wliicti electrical dis- 
charges should separately exhibit themselves by the di veiling balls of an electroscope, 
or the striking of a bell by the attraction of a charged ball. The author of the com- 
ninnicatiou waa supposed by Sir David Brewster to be a Charles Marshall, of Paisley. 
iTh-e Engineer, London, Dec. 24, 1858, vol. vi., p. 484.) It is probable that G. L. Le- 
sage, of Geneva, entertained the pnijeot of an electric tele^aph as early as the middle 
of the last century. It was ther^ore rather the impulse of an age, thaji the inspira- 
tion of an individual. 

t The application of magneto-eleotricitj', presenting no essential differences from the 
nse of gaU'auo- electricity, (tbr which it is sometinies substituted,) reqiiii'es uo special 
notice. Still less noteworthy is the project of thermo-electricity as the motor. 

^ Frotaaioiiet Acadeiaias: by F. Strada, quarto. Home, 1617, lib. ii, prolusio 6. A 
century later, (but still a third of acentnrybafore man dreamed of electric telegraphs,) 
Joseph Addison presented tho following version of this fairy tale: "Strnda, in one . 
of his Prolusions, gives an account of a chimerical correspondence between two 
friends by the help of a certain loadstone which had snch a virtue iu it that if it 


" Two faiUifnl need les — from the informing tonch 
Of the aame parent atone, together drew 

Its mystic virtno ; 

And though dittjoined by kingdoms, — thongh the main 
Boiled its broad sorge betwixt, — and different stani 
Behold their wakeful motions,— yet preserved 
Tbeir former friendship and remembered still 
The alliance of their birth." * 

It needed but the later discovery of the galvanic wire for connecting 
the two needles, to realize completely this vision of an " oriental" fancy, 
and to render it the sober es:perience of our present everyday life. 


If the earlier attempts commencing in the last century to apply so-called 
"static" electricity to the purpose of telegraphy may to some appear 
to possess only an antiqnariaa interest, it will be seen that they form 
the necessary, and by no means insignificant, childhood of our modem 
systems. Neglecting generally mere specnlationa, as well as initial con- 
ceptions of executed schemes, the following comprise the more import- 
ant experimental devices, in the order of their approximate realization. 

1774. The first electric telegraph of which there is record, is that es- 
tablished at Geneva by Greorges-Louis Lesage. The line consisted of 
24 insulated wires for the alphabet, each terminating in a pith-ball elec- 
troscope duly lettered, for indicating by its excitement the saccession 
forming the words and sentences given by the operator, who employed 
at the transmitting station a manual conductor &om an electrical ma- 
chine, t 

1787. M. Lomond, at Paris, had a single brass wire extended from one 
closed apartment to another at some distance from it, in connection with 
a pith-ball electroscope at each end, by which arrangement he was able 
to communicate sentences in either direction. Arthur Young, the dili- 
gent writer on natural and industrial resources, has thus described the 
apparatus in his journal: October 16, 1787, — " In the evening, to Mous. 

touched two several needles, ivlicn one of the ueedlee so toached began to move, the 
other though at never so gi'Cat a distauce, moved at the same time and in tho same 
manner. He tells its that the two friends being eachbf them possessed of one of these 
needles, mode a liind of <Uat-platu, insuribiug it with the fonr-aiid-tweQt;r letters, In 
the Bumo mauner aa the houi-s of the day are marked upon the orilinary dial-plate. 
They then tixed one of the needles on each of these plates in such a manner that it 
could move round without irtipediment, so as to touch auy of the four-aud -twenty 
letters. ... By this means tUey talked together across a whole oontiueut, and 
conveyed their thoughts to one another iu an instant over cities or mountains, seas 
or deserts." (The Speetalor, No. '241, Dec. (i, ITll.) A similar idea (probably borrowed 
from Stroda) ts found iu Dauiel Schweuter's Matl^ematieoh-philoaophUelie Erqutekunga- 
tCunden; published at Nuremberg in tC36, pp. ;t4G, 347. 

*Akeuside, Pleatarei of Imagination (1744), book iil. 

tXiesage, iu n letter a<ldres8ed to Prof. Pierre Provost, of Geneva, dat«d Berlin, June 
32, 1782, describing to his friend the details of his telegraph, states that the method of 
corresponding by meauM of electricity had been contemplated by him for thirty or 
thirty-live years. (TraM de K%rapWa £leotriqiiS! par I'AbbS Moigno, 2d edit. 8vo. 
Paris, 1852, part ii, chap. 1, p. 59.) 


Lomond, a very ingenious and inventive mechanic, who has made aa 
improvement of the jenny for spinning cotton. In electricity he has 
made a remarkable discovery. Ton write two or three worda on apaperj 
he takes it with him into a room, and turns a machine inclosed in a cylin- 
drical case, at the top of which is an electrometer, — a small fine pith ball ; 
a wire connects with a similar cylinder and electrometer in a distant 
apartment; and his wife by remarking the corresponding motions of 
the ball, writes down the words they indicate. From which it appears 
that he has formed an alphabet of motions. As the length of the wire 
makes no difference in the effect, a correspondence might be carried on 
at any distance." * 

1794. M. Eeiser, at Geneva, arranged a line of 36 insnlated wires, 
each separately connected at the receiving-station with a small grat- 
ing of narrow tinfoil strips past«d on glass, from which a letter or 
fignre had been cut, so aa to represent the character by the passage of 
the electric spark over the series of narrow spaces. On a square plate 
were fastened 36 of these independent gratings, representing the 26 let- 
ters and 10 numerals. "The inatant the discharge ia made through the 
wire, the spark is seen simultaneously at each of the interruptions or 
breaks of the tin-foil constituting the letter, and the whole letter is 
rendered visible at once." The sparks were transmitted through the 
selected wire and its corresponding symbol from A small electrical ma- 
chine kept in operation at l^e sending station, f 

1795. Tiberius Gavallo, in England, experimented with electric signals > 
of various kinds (explosive and otherwise) through a long and tolerably 
fine copper wire (about the fortieth of an inch In diameter) insulated by 
successive coatings of pitch, linen strips, woolen cloth, and oil-painting. 
He found a Leydfin jar of about one square foot, sufficient for the re- 
quired electric spark, if the length of the wire did not exceed 200 feet. 
He remarks: "By sending a number of sparks at different inter- 
vals of time according to a settled plan, any sort of intelligence might' 
be conveyed instantaneous-y from the place in which the phial in sit- 
uated. With respect to the greatest distance to which such communi- 
cation might be estended, I can only say that I never tried the experi- 
ment with a wireof communication longer than about 250 feet ; but from 
the results of those experiments, and fr«m the analogy of other facts, I 
am led to beUeve that the above-mentioned sort of communication might 
be extended to two or three miles, and probably to a much greater dis- 

■ Travels during the yeare 1787, 1788, and 1789, in the Eingrlom of Fravee. By Arthur 
YonDg. 2 vols. 8vo. Dublin, 1793, vol. i, p. 135. Of the work as ropiiblisbed in Pink- 
erton's Collecticm of Voj/agea and Travels, 4to. London, 1809, vol. iv, p. 139. 

tVoigt'e Maga^n, etc. 1794, vol. is, part 1, p. 183; aJao Moiguo'a T&igrapkie 
SUctriqae, port ii, chap. 1, p. 61. 

)^ Con^Ieie Treatise on Eleciridfy, in 3 vols. 8vo. London, 1795; vol. iii, note No. 
viii, pp. 2te, 29li. The first two volnineB of this work had passed thiougli three earlier 


1798. D. F. Salva, iu Spain, appears to have successfully worked an 
electric telegraph throagh the unprecedented distance of twenty-six 
miles. "The Madrid Oazette of November 25, 1796, states that the 
Prince de la Paix, having heard liiat M. D. F. Salva had read to the 
Academy of Sciences a memoir upon the application of electricity to tele- 
graphing, and presented at the same time an electric telegraph of his 
own invention, desired to examine it; when being delighted with the 
promptness and facility with wbich it worked, he presented it before the 
hing and court, operating it himself. Some useful trials were made and 
published iu Yoigfia Magazine. Two years after, the Infanta Don Anto- 
nio constnicted a telegraph of great extent on a large scale, by which 
the young prince was informed at night of news in which he was much 
interested. He also invited and entertained Salva at court, Accordiog 
to Humboldt, a telegraph of this description was established in 1798, 
ttom Madrid to Aranjuez, a distance of 26 miles."" 

1816. Francis Ronalds constructed at Hammersmith, England, an 
experimental telegraph line of a single wire, operated by an electrical 
machine, or small Leyden jar. "He proved the practicability of such a 
scheme by insulating eight miles of wire on his lawn at Hammersmith. 
In this case the wire was insulated in the air by silt strings. ■ . . 
Mr. Ronalds fixed a circular brass plate upon the seconds arbor of a 
clock which beat dead seconds. Tliis plate was divided into twenty 
equal parts, each division being worked by a figure, a letter, and a pre- 
paratory sign. The figures were divided into two series of the units, 
and the letters were arranged alphabetically, omitting j, q, V, w, X, 
and z. In front of this was fixed another brass plate (which could be 
Occasionally turned round by hand), and which had an aperture that 
would jnst exhibit one of the figures, letters, and preparatory signs. In 
front of this plate was suspended a pith-ball electrometer from a wire 
which was insulated and which commnnicited on one side with a glass 
cylinder machine. At the farther end of the wire was an apparatus 
exactly the same as the one now described, and the clocks were ad- 
justed to as perfect synchronism as possible. Hence it is manifest that 
when the wire was charged by the machine at either end, the electro- 
meters at both ends diverged, and when it was discharged they coUai)sed 
at the same instant; consequently if it was discharged at the moment 
when a given letter, figure, and sign on the plate appeared through 
the aperture, the same letter, figure, and sign would appear also at the 

* The Electro-MagveHc Telegi'oph, by Laurence Tiiruliiill, 8vo. 2il «!. Pliilada. 1653, 
pp. 21, 23. Voigt's Magaiin, etc. vol. xi, part 4. The Mime telejiraphic feat is attrib- 
uted to BStanconrt. "Gauss makes nieiitioii of a eoniimiiiicatioii ftoni Humboldt, 
aceordinf! to wliieli BtStaiicoiirt, in ITilS, eslablislied ti comnniiiE cation between Madria 
and Aranjuez, a diBtance of 2Ginilea, by meannof a wire tlirougli which aLoyrtenjar 
used to b« itiacharKed, wliicli waa intended to be nsed aa a telep-anhie signal." (Stur- 
geon's Aiaiala of EUctrlcltii, etc. March, 18^19, vol. iii, p. 44li.) Thia is probably a mis- 
apiirolienBiou ; a« Augustiue Bfitanconrt (more correctly Betbenconrt), a Spanish engi- 
neer, in ITSiS, dovined and exhibited to the National Inatitute an imllrovenll^nt in tba 
mechanical semaphore. (Brewster's EdiaWrgh Eacgclopadia, 1830, njt. "Telegraph,' 
vol. xviii, p. 535.) 


other clock; 80 that by means of saeh diacharges at one station, and 
hy marking jdown the letters, figures, and signs seen at the other, any 
required words could be spelt."* 

*' He also made the trial with 525 feet of buried wire. With this view he 
dug a trench four tieet deep, in which he laid a trough of wood two inches 
square, well lined both within and without with pitch ; and within thia 
trough were placed thick glass tubes through which the wire ran. The 
junction of the glass tubes was surrounded with short and wider tubea of 
glass, the ends of which were sealed up with soft wax." Thia form of 
conductor was not found to operate very satisfactorily, and the inventor 
on theoretical grounds did not think such an arrangement adapted to 
the instantaneous electrical transmiasion required by his system. 

Mr. Bonalds, in 1S23, published a full account of his telegraph, t In 
1871, very nearly half a century later, as Sir Francis Eonalds, he pub- 
lished a new edition of this interesting work j and a review of it in 
" If atiire " gives this presentation of the scheme: " Sir Francis, before 
1823, sent intelligible messages through more than eight miles of wire 
insulated and suspended in the air. His elementary signal was the di- 
vergence of the pith-balla of a Canton's electrometer, produced by the 
communication of a statical charge to the wire. He used synchronous 
rotation of lettered dials at each end of the line, and charged the wire 
at the sending end whenever the letter to be Indicated passed an open- 
ing providedin a cover; the electrometer at the far end then diverged, 
and thus informed the receiver of the message which letter was desig- 
nated by the sender. The dials never stopped, and any slight want of 
synchronism was corrected by moving the cover."( 

This very ingenions device of synchronous rotation at the opposite 
stations presents the earliest example of a dial telegraph, or of a letter 
indicator employing but a single wire. About forty years later, or in 
1855, this system was successfully applied by Mr. David B, Hughes, of 
Kentucky, to a letter-printing telegraph of remarkable rapidity and ac- 
curacy. § 

1828. " Harrison Gray Dyar, an American, constructed a telegraph 
in 1827-'28, at the race-course on Long Island, and aapported his wires 
by glass insulators fixed on trees and poles. By means of common elec- 
tricity acting upon litmus paper he produced a red mark. The difference 
of time between the sparks indicated different letters arranged in an ar- 

'EimycUyptedia BnUtnnioa, Tth ed, 1W2, vol, viii, p. 669,— 8th ed. 1854, vol. viii, p. 627. 

i Degoriplione of an Electrical TeUigraph; and eame other Ekelneal Apparaliu. By 
Francis RouaklB. 8vo. Londou, 18^. 

tNatuTc. LoniloD, Nov. 23, 1871, vol. v, p. 59. 

JA aecoud type of dial telesrapli was iuvented by Prof. Charles Wheatstone in 
le39, in wliicli the dial (or iurtex) won rotated etep by Btep by loeaDB of ancccBsive 
impulses of the current on au nli^ctro-iiiasuut, which operated a toothed escapemeat 
on the axis of the dial or Index ;— the iudicated letter or fignre being stopped as long 
as desired. In this coso, the character was determined Holelj' by the unmher of 
electric impulses transmitted. This system was in 1346, made the basts of a highly 
original letter-printing telegraph, by Mr. Boyal E. House, of Vermont ; preceding that 
of Ur. Hughes, as will be observed, nearly ten years. 


bitrary alphabet, and the paper was moved by tbe hand."* Mr. Dyar 
is described by Dr. Lather V. Bell aa "a man of the highest invenHve 
skill and scientific attainments." His experimental line (of a single wire) 
was several miles long ; and the chemical record of the signals transmitted 
throngh it, was by the testimony of those who witnessed its operations, 
eminently distinct and satisfactory. The following is the account of his 
enterprise, given by the inventor himself in 1840, some twenty years after- 

" I invented a plan of a telegraph which should be independent of day 
or night or weather, which should extend ftom town to town or city to 
city, without any intermediary agency, by means of an insulated wire 
iu the air, suspended on poles, and through which wire I intended to 
send strokes of electricity in such a manner as that the diverse distances 
of time separating the divers sparks should represent the different letters 
of the alphabet and stops between the words, etc. This absolute or this 
relative difference of time between tbe several sparks I intended to take 
off from an electric machine by a little mechanical contrivance regulated 
by a pendulum, and the sparfes were Intended to be recorded upon a 
movingorarevolvingsheetofmoisteBed litmus paper, which by the forma- 
tion of nitric acid by the spark in the air in its paassage through the 
paper, would leave a red spot for each spark on this blue t«st-p^>er. 
... To carry out my invention I associated myself with a Mr. 
Brown, of Providence, who gave me certain sums of money to become 
associated with me in the invention. We employed a Mr Oonnel, of New 
York, to aid in getting the capital wanted to carry the wires to Phila- 
delphia. This we considered as accomplished : but before beginningupon 
the long wire, it was decided that we should try some miles of it on Long 
Island. Accordingly I obtained some fine card wire, intending to run 
it several times around the race-course on the Island. We put up this 
wire (that is, Mr. Brown and myself) at dtfiferent lengths, in curves and 
straight lines, by suspending it from stake to stake and tree to tree tin- 
tU we concluded that our experiments justified our undertaking to carry 
it from New York to Philadelphia. At this moment our agent brought 
a suit or summons against me for 20,000 dollars for agencieaand services, 
which I found was done to extort a concession of a share of the whole 
project." Failing in this prosecution, the unprincipled agent obtained 
a writ against the two partners on a charge of conspiracy to carry on 
secret communication between the cities! and he thus effectually put an 
end to the enterprise, without the formality of a judicial trial on this 
novel accusation, f 

These practical illustrations of early electric telegraphy, including 
successful workings of both the dial and the chemical forms of the tele- 
graph without the use of galvanism, serve to show that the ageucy is by 

•Turubiill's SleclTO-Magaetio Tctegraph, 8yo. Philadelphia, Isted. 1852, p. G; 'MeO, 
1853, p. 23. 
t Piescott'B SUt. Eledr. Telegraph, 18G0, chap, xxi, pp. 427, d28. 


no means the trivial and inefficient one so often repreaented by modera 
writers. On the contrary, but for the practical difficulty of perfect and 
constant insulation, owing to the intense self repulsion of mechanical 
electricity and the reaction and retardation from induction carrentB in 
long lines of coated wire, this method would really constitute an eco- 
nomical and satisfactory medium of distant communication. 

Steinheil in reference to this subject remarks : "All these experiments 
put it beyond a doubt that Motional electricity may be employed for 
giving signals at any distances, and that when these signals are properly 
contrived they offer convenient means of telegraphic intercourse. Fric- 
tional electricity has besides as Gauss has already observed, the great 
advantage of not losing any of its force by increasing the length of the 
conducting wire, inasmuch as the whole of the electricity of one coating 
of the jar must traverse the entire length of the wire {be it what it may) 
to neutralize that of the other coating." * 

The introduction of the galvanic battery by Yolta at the commence- 
ment of the present centuryt led many to experiment with its peculiar 
current as a means of telegraphing. The only practicable forms of 
simple galvanic telegraphs, are those whose indications are given by 
chemical decompositions, and which thus form theclass commonly known 
as the ' ' electro-chemical " ; and as these chemical indications usually leave 
permanent markings, the class is also one of recording telegraphs. 

1808, Dr. Samuel Thomas von Scemmeriog, of Munich, appears to 
have been the first to apply Volta's invention to this purpose. "As long 
ago as in 1807, SoBmmering erected in the apartments of the Academy 
of Sciences at Munich a galvanic telegraph, of which he has pub- 
lished a detailed description in the Philosophical Transactions of Ba- 
varia. [MUnekner Den^chriften der KSnigliehen Akademie der Wit- 
aenschaftm fUr 1809, 1810. Math. phys. Classe, p. 401.] He em- 
ployed the energy of a powerful voltaic pile to bring about the 
decomposition of water by means of thirty-five gold pins immersed in 
an oblong glass trough.";^ Each of these gilt electrodes was in con- 
nection with one of the thirty-five wires forming the line, and was cov- 
ered with an inverted test-tube filled with water, resting on a submerged 
shelf in the oblong trough, as a gas-receiver. These small receivers 
with their inclosed gilt pins or electrodes arranged in a row, repre- 
sented 25 letters and 10 nnraerals. Such being the disposition at the 
receiving end, the thirty-five line wires at the transmitting end were 
each secured to a separate perforated brass plate. On connecting the 

* sturgeon's AnnaUo/ EUetrinitii, etc. March 1839, vol. iii, p. 446. 

tVoltn'B (leHcription of liis buttery is gii'OH iu a "Letter to Sir Josepb Bants," 
presideutof the Royal Society of Loudou, (Phil. Traru. £. S. read June 26, 1800, vol. 
xc,pp. 403-4:«.) 

t Sturgeon's Annalt of Eleetrleils, etc. Mar. 1839, vol. Hi, p. 447. 



respective poles of the battery Trith any two of the line wirea by means 
of two attached metallic pins held in the bauds and inserted in the 
holes of their terminal plates, the ourrent was established, and bubbles 
of hydrogen and oxygen were at once evolved in the corresponding let- 
tered tubes. A system of syllabic commnnication and reading was pro- 
vided, in which the hydrogen element should be first noted.* 

Very shortly after his first successful working of this telegraph, Seem- 
mering interposed in the galvanic circuit two thousand feet of insulated 
wire, wound around a glass cylinder, without impairiog his decomposi- 
tions. He found no appreciable retardation in the action of the electrodes. 
" The evolution of the gas through this considerable length of wire ap- 
peared to begin as quickly as if the effecthadonly to traverse two feet." t 

In an " Historical account of the introduction of the galvanic and 
electro-magnetic telegraph" presented to the Imperial Academy of 
Sciences at St. Petersburg, by Dr. Hainel, of that city, a very full and 
interesting narrative is given of Soemmeriug's experiments, compiled 
fi«m original documentsjj from which the following extracts are made: 

" On the 22d of July, 1809, his apparatus was already so fer advanced 
that it was fit to work. He however went on making still further im- 
provements, and it was only on the 6th of August that he considered 
the telegraph quite completed. He was much pleased with its perform- 
ance, being able to work tlirongh 724 feet of wire. . . . Two days 
later, he could already telegraph through 1,000 feet, and on the IStli of. 
August through as much as 2,000 feet of wire. On the 29th of August 
he exhibited the telegraph in action before a meeting of the Academy 
of Sciences ni Munich." A year later lie first effected a satisfactory 
arrangement of premonitory alarm or attention caU. " On the 23d of 
August, 1810, S<Emmering succeeded in inventing a contrivance for 
sounding an alarm, which answered i>erfectly well." (p. 590.) 

"In Sei»tember, 1311, Scenimering siinplitied his telegraph considera- 
bly ; he reduced the number of wires in liis conducting cord from 35 to 
27. . . . On the 1st of Fcbmai-j", 1812, Prince Karl Theodor, the 
second son of King Maximilian 1, honored Suemmering with a visit to 
see I he telegraph. On the 4th of February, 1812, Stemmering announced 
that he was able to tclegi-aph through 4,000 feet of wire, and on the 15th 
of March ho telegraplie<l even through 10,000 feet." (p. 597.) This was 
nearly two miles of wiie, liut wound on reels. 

This complex and inconvenient sirrangeuient of signaling by the de- 
composition of water, would hardly seem to offer a practical method of 
telegraphy. Yet the system was earnestly prosecuted by its inventor for 

■ SoljwcigKer'H Joitmal fUr Climk iind Pkysik, 1811, vol. ii, part 2; pp. 317-213; (from 
tlie Memoin of tlie " JiSutjilklte JlMdemie dee il'itieMchafleii," at Miiiiich, 1810.) Also, 
FolgteckiiUdtes Ceutral-Illalt, Jimo, insS, Jalirgiing iv, C. i, pp. 482-484. 

f Miiiicliiier Deiiktcliriftai der ESiiiiflicbttiJkadetnieder rFiesengufta^len fiir 1813. In tWa 
esperinicut, tliu Helf-iuductiou of tlio conducting coil probalily iucreaaed somewhat 
the eO'ect. 

t Jountol of the Soeitig of Arta, Loudon, July 23, and 39, 1659, voL yii, Ko. 348, pp. 
695-5'JO, oudNo. 349, pp. 605-tilO. 

.,,1 zed by Google 


many years, and attracted considerable attention; and had no simpler 
device been discovered it might possibly have won its way into use. It 
is remarkable that some seven or eight years later a Fhiladelphian inde- 
pendently proposed the satiie schetne. 

1816. Dr. John EedmanCoxe, of Philadelphia, professor of chemiatry 
in the University of Pennsylvania, suggested the employment of wires 
for commonieating intelligence by a galvanic current, arranged either to 
decompose water in tubes, (Scemmering's plan, of which he seems to have 
been unaware,) or to decompose metallie salts." As an untried sugges- 
tion, this has been noticed only because the latter project was afterward 
successfully developed and executed by others. 

1828. Victor Triboaillet de Saint Amand proposed to establish a gal- 
vanic telegraph line of a single wire from Paris to Brussels, the con- 
ducting wire to be varnished with shellac, wound with silk, coated with 
resin, inclosed in sections of glass tube carefully luted with a resin, the 
whole substantially wrapped and water-proofed, and finally to be buried 
some feet deep in the earth. The signaling device is somewhat obscure, 
as while a strong battery is the source of the current, the receiving in- 
stromeiit is an electrometer.t This project, also belonging to the purely 
speculative class, scarcely deserves a notice. 

1843. Mr. Robert Smith, of Blackford, Scotland, devised an experi- 
mental galvano-chemical telegraph carrying out practically the sug- 
gestion offered by Dr. Coxe in 1S16. A set of iron type at the receivuig 
station, each connected by separate wires with a corresponding cux;uit- 
key at the transmitting station, was so arranged with reference to a 
clock-moved band of paper wet with a solution of ferro-cyanide of irotas- 
sium, that when the current was passed through any special circuit, it 
impressed a blue letter on the band. "A paper containing an account 
of this t'legraph was rea<l before the Eoyal Scottish Society of Arts on 
the 27th of March, 1843 ; reported on by a committee, and approved 
the 12th of June following. Since that time many trials have been 
made, and various improvements in its construction have also been 
introduced by the inventor.";f 

Two or three years later Mr. Smith reduced his Une to a single circuit 
of two wiies ; and the registering device at the receiving station con- 
sisted of a fillet or ribbon of ])lain calico wound on a roller place<l in a 
trough filled with a solution of ferro-cyanide of potassium containing a 
few drops of nitric acitl, and unrolled by the motion of clock-work over 
a leaden cylinder with which one of the iron wires of the line was iu 
connection, while the end of the other iron wire rested on the wetted 

'ThovasoD'B Annalt of PJiilosoplis, Feb. 181C, vol. vii, p. 102. 

Mleporf of Academy of IndKalrg, Paris. Quoted from A. Vail'e Eledro-Magnelic Tele- 
graph, 1845, p. 135'. Also Tnmbiiira Eleclro-Magaetic telegraph, 2A ed. 18W, p. 56. 

t Practical Mcehaato and Engineer'i Magasiae, Glas^w, Nov. 1345, vol. i, 2d series, 


calico immediately over the cylinder. On every completion of the cir- 
cnit at the transmitting station, a blue mark was thas imprinted on the 
moving cloth by the electrical decompositioii, and the saecession of 
marks of differing lengths and intervals formed the system of signals. 
This telegraph was found to work satisfiictonly through eighteen hun- 
dred yards of wire fence.* 

1846. Mr, Alexander Bain, of Edinburgh, obtained an English patent 
for a gnlvauo-chemieal telegraph, which while exhibiting considerable 
ingenuity id its mechanical devices, imitated very closely in its chemical 
record the previous system of Smith. " The chemical solution preferred 
for the preparation of the paper consists of salphurie acid and a solutioa 
of pruBsiate of potassa."t 

1849. Prof. Samuel F. B. Morse, of New York, obtained an American 
patent for a galvano-chemical telegraph, also very similar to that of 
Smith, employing like him a single circuit, and specifying, among sev- 
eral metalUc salte which might be used, solutions of iodide of potassium, 
of iodide of tin, and of acetate of lead, with jdtrate of potassa. The in- 
ventor added : " I wish it to be understood that I do not confine myself 
to the use of the sabstances I have mentioned, but mean to comprehend 
the nse of any known substance already proved to be easily decomposed 
by the electric current." ( 


Meanwhile the rapid awakening of attention among physicists to the 
magnetic relation of the galvanic current, and the production of the gal- 
vanometer, at once indicated a new and promising method of signaling 
to a distance by galvanic agency. 

The QalvaTwrneter. — In 1820, Hans Christian Oersted, professor of nat- 
ural philosophy at Copenhagen, announced through various European 
journals his discovery that if a straight conjunctive wire through which 
a galvanic current is passing "be placed horizontally above the mag- 
netic needle and parallel to it . . . the needle will be moved, and 
the end nest the negative side of the battery will go westward. . . . 
If the uniting wire be placed in a horizontal plane under the magnetic 
needle all the effecte are the same as when it is above the needle, only 
they are in an opposite direction." § 

Although the directive influence of a galvanic conductor on a m^- 

' J'rdClicilI Mechania and Engiiieer^ Magazine, June, 1646, voL i, 3d BeiieB, pp. 239, 340. 

iEngimpaUntofA. Bain, Dec. 12, 1846, No. 11480. 

t American patent of B. F. B. Morae, May 1, 1849, No. 6420. 

i Thomson's Annah of PkUoaophg, Oct. 1820, vol. ivl, pp. 2M, 27."). (Also, Jom^l 
ie Physique, eto. 1820, vol. sol, pp. 72-76; Annalea de Chimie et (i« Fhyinqae, 1820, vol. 
xiv, pp. 417-425; BihlloOiiqae Univeraelle des Sdenca, et-c. 1820, vol. liv, pp. 274-284; 
Ann^ G4nirale» den Sdmcea FkuHques, 18i0, vol. v, pp. 259-afl4; Gilbert's Anmilen 
do- Phyiik, 1820, vol. Irvi, pp. 295-^4; SohwBigger'B Joamat fiir Chenie »nd Phygiis, 
1820, vol. xxix, pp. 275-281; Oiontale Areadioo di Seieme, eto. 1820, vol. viil, pp. 
174-178; Bragnatelli'B Giomale di lisioa, etc 1820, pp. 335-342.) 


nettc needle, was observed and annoanced b; >: Italian savant, Gian 
Domenico Komagnosi, of Trent, at the beginning of the present cen- 
tury, (shortly after the prodaction of the galvanic battery by Volta,) 
this important phenomenoD attracted no attention, and prodnued no re- 
suite, until it was republished two decades later by the Danish physicist.* 
In the same year — ahnost immediately aften Oersted's announcement, 
Prof. Johann S. C. Schweigger, of Halle, made a great improvement on 
hia galvano- magnetic indicator (of a single wire circuit), by giving the 
insulated wire a number of tnmB around an elongated frame longitadi- 
nally inclosing the compass-needle, and by thus multiplying the effect of 
the galvanic circuits upon the sensibility of the needle converted it into 
a real measuring instrument, — a " galvanometer.''t 

This delicate indicator at once suggested a new mode of galvanic tele- 
graphing. In a memoir read to the " Koyal Academy of Sciences," at 
Paris, October 2, 1820, Andr6 Marie Ampere, affirming " the possibility 
of deflecting a magnetic needle at a great distance &om the pile, through 
a very long conducting wire," remarked : "This experiment, suggested 
to me by the illustrious Laplace, was completely successfuL . . . 
From the success of the experiment " he added, " it is feasible by means 
of as many conducting wires and magnetic needles as there are letters, 
(each letter being assigned to a separate needle,) and by help of a bat- 
tery at a distance, with its poles alternately connected with the extrem- 
ities of each conductor, to establish a kind of telegraph adapted to 
transmit over intervening obstacles, whatever information may be de- 
sired to the person observing the letters of the needles. A set of keys 
near the batter}', bearing corresponding letters and making connection 
by their depression, would offer a facile means of correspondence; re- 

•As early as 1802, t 
-iBt and phyBicist ol .... 

placed near ft parallel condactot of the galvai . _._ .. _. ._ 

covery was published in the Gmx^tta di J^-mto, August 3, lBO-2, See "Supplement," 

t " Additions toOersted'n Electio-iuagDetic Esx)erin)eiite," a memoir reaft at the AoJur- 
fondiendett Gfiellechc/t at Hallo, Septemhcr Ifi and Noveniher 4, 1820. An abstract of 
this paper was pnblislied in the jlHjeme(neZirerahi/-Zrf(Hnj of Halle, (4to,) November, 
1820, No. a9CL vol. iii, col, 621-624. The full memoii appcarecl in the Joamal fUr 
Clrnmis uttd Fky»ih, Iftil, vol. xxxi, pp. 1-17 ; and "Additional Eemarka," etc. by Dr. 
Schweigger, in the same volume, pp. 35-41. 

A galvanometer of somewhat dilterent form, having a vertical helix and employing 
an unmagnetized needle, was very shortly afterward independently devised by Johanu 
Christian Pojjgendorff, of Berlin ; and as ne preceded Schweigger in publirfiing an ae- 
couut of it, ne ia aometimea regarded aathe original inventor. {Edinburgh Philotophi- 
ealJottrnal, Jnly, Viil, vol. v, p. 113.) Schweigger designated hisdevico an " Electro- 
magnetic Multiplicator" ; PoggRudorS' designated his arrangenit.-ut a " Galvano-mag- 
netic Coudunaator." Professor Oersted reniarlw, "Immediately after the discovery of 
etectro-magtietiBm.H. Schweigger, professor at Halle, invouted an apparatus ailmirabty 

adapted for exhibiting by means of the magnetic needle, the feeblest electric 

M. Poggoiidorff, a distinguished young aavant of Berlin, constructed an 
otectro-magbetic multiplier very shortly oiler M. Schweigger, with which he made 
some striking eTLperiments. M. Poggendord^s work having licen cit^l in a book on 
electro-magnetism by the celebrated M. Eman, (published immediately after the dis- 
covery of these pheuomena,) became known to several philosophers before that of U. 
Schveigger." iAnnalei de Chimie tt de PAygigiu', 1823, vol. xsii, pp. 3&8-UI)0.} 
S. Mis. 59 18 


quiring only tbe time to toach each key at tlie one station, and to read 
each letter at tbe other."* 

Ingeniona as this early proposal of an electro-magnetic telegraph ap- 
pears, it really presents essentially bntthe snbstitation of the new-found 
galvanometer for tbe old electrometer at tbe receiving Btation, as first 
employed by Lesage, newly half a eentniy previously. 

1823. The first to develop practically, Ampfere's snggestion of a gal- 
Tanometer telegraph, was tbe Russian Baron Paul Ludovitsch Schilling, 
of Cronstadt. The personal friend of H(Emmering, he became from an 
early date warmly interested in the galvanic telegraph; and not long 
after Schweigger's inventiou of the galvanometer, be appears to have 
commenced his experiments in the direction pointed out by Ampere. 
His countryman, the venerable Dr. Hamel, of St. Petersburg, who en- 
joyed his acquaintance, gave in 1859, in his " Historical account of the 
introduction of tbe galvanic and electro-magnetic Telegraph," the follow- 
ing interesting particulars of Schilling's early associations and pursuits :f 

"At the time when Soemmering became a member of tbe Academy of 
Sciences at Munich, in 1805, there was attached to the Russian embassy 
in that capital, the Baron Pavel Ludovitsch Schilling, of Cronstadt. 
About a year after the invention of the telegraph [by the former] Schil- 
ling saw experiments performed with it. He was so forcibly etrnck with 
the probability of a very great usefulness of the invention that from that 
day galvanism and its appUcations became one of his favorite studies." 

"In the spring of 1812, Baron Schilling was endeavoring to contrive 
a conducting cord sufficiently insulated that it might convey the gal- 
vanic current not only through wet earth, but also through long dis- 
tances of water. The war then impending between Prance and Bussia 
made Baron Schilling desirous of finding a means by which such a con- 
ducting cord should serve for telegraphic correspondence between for- 
tified places and the field, and likewise for exploding iiowder mines 
across rivers. ... In tbe autumu of 1812, be actually exploded 
powder mines across the river Ifeva, near St. Petersburg. . . . 
Baron Schilling has told me that during his stay at Paris, he with his 
subaqueous condnctor, several times (to the astonishment of the lookers- 
on) ignited gunpowder across tbe river Seine." 

"On the 29th of December, 1815, there came to pay his respects to 
Soemmeriug (while Barou Schilling was just with bim) the well-known 
natural philosopher Johann Salomon Cbistian Schweigger, then pro- 
cessor of natural philosophy and chemistry at the Pbysico-technical In- 
stitute at Kuremberg, who was on his way to Paris and London: (in which 

• Anaalea de CMmie et de Pluj»iqae, 1820, vol, xy, pp. 72, 73. 

lial flrieadship betw 

ime iif his ileoeaae i 

e personally » 

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latter place I had afterward the pleasure of making his acquaintance.) 
. . . Baron Schilling having made at Soemmerin^s the acquaint- 
ance of Schweigger, of course could not foresee that one day an invention 
of this gentleman, the 'multiplier,' wonld enahle him to make at St. 
Petersburg, tlie first electro-magnetic telegraph." " 

It is impossible, in the scarcity of docamentaty evidence, to ascer- 
tain at what date Schilling's long contemplated project of a galvan- 
ometer telegraph (designed as an improvement on the galvanic telegraph 
of his friend Soemmering) was first reduced to a practical or ,wor]ting 
form : but it was at least as early as the year 1823, when Schilling con- 
structed at St. Petersburg an electro-magnetic telegraph apparatus whose 
signals were produced by five galvanometer needles, each provided with 
its own independent galvanic circuit Schilling was enabled to efiect 
his great simplification of an original alphabet of circuits, by the inge- 
nions expedient of giving to each needle a positive and negative motion by 
means of reversed currents, and then of combining two or more of these 
signals. Whether this was really Schilling's first form of apparatus is 
very doabtftU; but it is at least eeitain that he exhibited an operative 
instrument before the Emperor Alexander in 1824, or in 1825.f 

Dr. Hamel remarks : " It was reserved for Baron Schilling at St. Peters- 
bnrg to make the first electromagnetic telegraph. Having become (as 
we know) through Scemmering, at Munich, passionately fond of the art 
of telegraphing by means of galvanism, he now used for it the defiection 
of the needle, which he placed within the 'multipher' of Schweigger 
horizontally on a light vertical axle hanging on a silken thread, and bear- 
ing a circular disk of paper colored differently on each side. . . . By 
degrees he simplified the apparatus. For a time he used five needles, and 
at last he was able to signalize even with one single needle and multiplier, 
producing by a combination of movements in the two directions, all the 
Bigns for letters and numbers. Having known S(Bmmering'a alarum, 
Schilling invented one for his telegraph also. His success in bringing 
his instruments to a high state of perfection would have been mnch 
more rapid had his time not been so much occupied with various duties, 
and particularly with the founding and directing of a large lithographic 
establishmentfortheBussiau Government. Baron Schilling's telegraph 
was an object of great curiosity at St. Petersburg; it was frequently 
exhibited by him to individuals and to parties, Alrea^ly the Emperor 
Alexander I, had been pleased to notice it in its earlier stage, and when 
it was reduced to great simplicity, his Miijiesty the Emperor Nicholas 
honored Baron Schilling on the 13th of March, 18.30, with a visit at his 
lodgings iu Opotchinin'a house, in the Rouoosheunaja, to see experiments 
performed with it through a great length of conducting wires. . . . 

" In May of the last-meutioned year (1830) Baron Scliilliug undertook 
ajonrney to China. . . . After Ids retrn-n from the borders of China' to 
'Journal of the SoeieUj of Aria, July 22, 1859, vol. vti, pp. 597, 598. 
tThe Emperor Alexander died in 1625. 



St. Petersbnrg, in Marcb, 1S32, Baron Schilling occupied himself again 
with the telegraph, and in May, 1835, he nndertook a jonioey to the weat 
of Enrope, taking his simplified inatrament with him. In the month of 
September he attended the meeting of the German physicists at Bonn 
on the Rhine, where on the 23d he exhibited hia telegraph before the 
section of natural philosophy and chemistry, over which Professor 
Georg Wilhelm Muneke, of the Unive-raity of Heilddberg, presided. 
Mnncke waa much pleased with Schilling's instrnment, and he determined 
at once t» get one for exhibition at his lectnrea. I have lately found at 
Heidelberg ... in a store-room, the apparatus which Professor 
Muneke got made in Imitation of the one exhibited by Baron Schilling 
at Bonn." • 

The conflicting accounts of Schilling's system given at a later date 
appear to refer to instruments constructed at different periods. Thus it 
is said that in the latter part of 1832 [!] he used a " certain number of 
platinum wirea insulated and united in a cord of silk, which put in action, 
by the aid of a apeciea of key, 36 magnetic needles, each of which was 
placed vertically in the center of a mnltipUer. M. de Schilling was the 
first who adapted to this kind of apparatus an ingenious mechanism 
suitable for sounding an alarm, which when the needle waa turned at 
the beginning of the correspondence, was set in play by the fall of a 
little ball of lead which the magnetic needle caused to fell. This tele- 
graph of M, de Schilling was received with approbation by the Empe- 
ror, who desired it established on a larger scale : but the deat^ of the 
inventor postxwned the enteri»rise indefinitely." f 

It is also stated in another account, that Schilling exhibited his tele- 
graphic instruments before the Emjwror Alexander. "In order to ap- 
prise the attendant before the commencement of a telegraphic dispatch. 
Schilling set oft' an alarm. How mnch of his apparatus belongs prop- 
erly to the Baron Schilling, or whether a part of it was not an imitation 
of that of Gauss and Weber, ia not for the editor to decide; but that 
Schilling had already experimented (probably with a more imperfect ap^ 
paratus) "before the Emperor Alexander, and subsequently before the 
Emi>eror Kieholas, is affirmed by the authorities adduced." The account 
describes the communications as consisting of signs devised from the 
various combinations of the right and left deflections of the single nee- 

iniling one of the tectnreH by ProfeSHOi; Mniicke, at Heidellwrt;, Mttroli t>, 11^6, 
on tho electro-magnetic t«lc^ap1i; lutd wliicU uppuiutiiH lie proceeikd iminecliatuly to 
liave repi-mliiced. Ketoruing to Loudon April S3, of tlie Ranie ^ear, Mr. Cooke, (in con- 
jniictioii witJ] ProfesHor Wbeatstone,) siiccMdeit by Ui« enurgy m intnidiioinK tbo needle 
teleerapli into England: and tliusSdiilliiiK's^rvarinventieti became tranuplauteil from 
St. Petersburg to Ijondon, witLont either of its Enttlisli introUncere baving any idea of 
its tnie origin. AsDr. Hamel reniurlts: "Mr. (joo(cti,ii-liobiul never occnpiod liimtielf 
witli tbo stndy eitEier uf natural |i1i)1osopbv in jreueml, oi of electricity in particular, 
(lid not at all jjet farther acnnaiuteil wil.n l'n)fcssorMniicke. Hodidnoteveiiacqnire 
1)is name properly; liecallahiuiMriucbe. He had no idea tbat the appaiatua he had 
seen had been contrived b; Baron Schilling in Riisaia." 
t Seporl of tlje "Academy of ludustiy," Paris, Febmary, 1839. 

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die.* It must evidently have been at a later date than 18^5 when 
Schilling reduced Ma telegraph line to a single circuit of two wires and 
employed but a single galvanometer. Whether Sehilliag or Gauss was 
the original inventor of that most important improvement In galvanic 
telegraphy, the simplification and reduction of the line of communication 
to a single circuit caunot now perhaps be definitely determined ;t but 
that the credit belongs to Schilling seems highly probabla That Schill- 
ing first invented and constructed a practical and operative electro-mag- 
netic telegraph apimratus is placed beyond dispute; although the his- 
torical evidences of actual date are somewhat obscure. It is remarkable 
that although Schilling's early exiierimental telegraph was widely ex- 
hibited, aud to numbers of distinguished visitors, no oontemiK>rary pub- 
lication of its character or construction was made; aud the invention was 
unknown to Western Europe for a dozen years later-J 

Thns, in 1829, Gustav Theodor Fecbner, of Leipsic, evidently quite un- 
aware of Schilling's labors — years before, wrote in a test-book on Gal- 
vanism : "There is no doubt that if the insulate*l wires of tweuty-four 
multipliers, representing the letters of the alphabet {situated in Leipsic, 
for example), were conducted undergrouud to Dresden, where should 
be placed a battery, we would have thereby a medium of communica- 
tiou. probably not very expensive, through which intelligence could be 
instantaneously transmitted &om one city to another.''^ 

^nd in the year following, 1830, Dr. William Ritchie, at London, in a 
lecture before the Eoyal Institution on the evening of February 12, 
exhibited a working model of a telegraph provided with 26 circuits of 
wire for the several letters of the alphabet, ' ' Mr, Ritchie concluded by ex- 
hibiting the electro-magnetic telegraph proposed by Ampfere, by means 
of which, rapid communication might be carried on between towns iu 
every state of the weather. The lecturer concluded by observing that 
in the present state of the inquiry, we cannot pronounce with absolute 
certainty with regard to the success of this ingenious project-" |1 • 

Tke Mectro-Magiiet. — ^But almost simultaneously with the birth of the 
galvanometer, this fertile agent — electricity — developed anew and no less 

•PoIj/tecATiiftAea Cmtral-BiaU, J^iaa, 1833, Jahrganj; iv. b.i,p. 486. 

I One of the foremost of telegrapbic inventora, and the personal friend of Gansa, 
St«inheil himself, speaks thus uncertainly on tliis subject: "The esperiroeiits ia- 
etitnted by Scbilliii); by tlie dellectiou of a Mingle inasitetio needle, seeni mnch better 
contrived [than Amn^re's plan of an atjihabct of wires, adoptetl by Mr. Davy and 
others] ; lie did not, Iiowever, succeed iu Knrmoniitiu}; the niectianical difHonlties that 
attend the question in this shape . . . Gauss, aud (irubabl v in imitation of liini, 
Sobiiling . . . made use of bnt a single wire rnnniiig tn tbe distant station and 
back." (Sturgeon's J«naJgo/£7eolriti(s,eto,Marcli,l*!a, vol. iii, pp. 448 and 450.) 

(In ISXS, Schilliu)^, assisted by Bnroti Jncfiniu and ProtbSHUr Ettingslianscn, oxperi- 
mented with telegraph wires en tiiuilisd over tlm houwsjuKl Hftoiss the sti'eets of Vicuna, 
preferring air liues to condurtow laid in tbc earth. In IKIT, Bcbilliiig ordered at a 
rope manufactory in St. Petersburg the necessary length of an insulated submarina 
cable, for the purpose of coiinectiug telegraph icnily that capital with Croustadt, 
through a portion of the Gulf of Finland; the distance between the two cities being 
twenty miles. His death which occnrred August 7, 1^, arrested the enterprise. 

j Lehrhuri\ dei GalvaHiantas, oto. by G. F. Fecliner, 8vo. Leipzig, 1829, p. 869. 

1 The QaarUrlji Jourml of the Roy. Inst, of Or. Brit. Mai. 1830, vol. xxix, p. 185. , 


marveloiis progeny. In tiie same year, 1820, Dominique Francois Arago, 
of Paris, announced, "On repeating tlie experiments of the Danish 
pliytjicist, I have ohserved that the same current will develc^ strongly 
lu strips of iron or steel, the magnetic power. . . . The conjunctive 
wire commuaicates to soft iron but a momentary magnetization ; but to 
small pieces of steel it gives frequently a permanent magnetism. I have 
been able thus to completely magnetize sewing-needles."" 

This germ of a new power required, as usual, the successive labors of 
more than one philosophic investigator to develop fhUy its capacities. 
To William Sturgeon, of Woolwich, England, belongs the distinguished 
honor (too little appreciated by his countrymen) of giving to the acien- 
tific toy of Arago a suitable form, and thus of first producing in 1824, the 
true electro-magnet with its intermittent control of an armature. Dis- 
I>ensing with the glass tube of Arago, Sturgeon constructed a horse-shoe 
bar of soft iron (after the form of the usual permanent magnet), which he 
coated with a non-conducting resinous varnish. Then winding a copper 
wire in a loose coil directly about the limbs of the horse-shoe, on bring- 
ing the ends of the wire in coimection with the poles of a single galvanic 
pair of moderate size, he found his temporary magnet capable of sus- 
taining several pounds by its armature; and on breaking the circuit, 
becoming instantly powerless. 

It resulted from the correlative function of the galvanic current in 
directing transversely a permanently magnetized needle (first discovered 
by Komagnosi and Oersted), orin inducing temporary magnetism in iron 
thus transversely placed (first discovered by Arago and Sturgeon), that 
two distmct methods of signaling were offered by this new agency, 
accordingly as a permanent or a temporary magnet were employed. In 
the former case, the determined oscillations of the magnetic bar, by 
means of intermittent currents in a surrounding coil, would form the 
indicating device; and in the latter case, the determined oscillations of 
the armature, by means of lutermittent currents in the coil surrounding 
its associated magnet, would give the indication. Hence the two types 
of electro-magnetic telegraph; the magnetic-needle system, and the 
mii>guetic-ai'maturc system, f 

On experimenting with the galvanometer needle, it was very soon dis- 
covered that it responded only to variations of surface action in a single 
pair of galvanic elements, and that a large number of galvanic cells (as 
in the Cruickshanks battery), having even a greater total surface of oxi- 

* Annalo) dt Clumie et ie Fhymq«e, 1820, vol. kVj pp. 93, 95, Aiagrfs metliod of esperi- 
mcntiitiuD coiisioted in windiug the wire connectiuK the polee of the battery, oround a 
Bines Cube in u loose helix, within which tulie BmallpieceB of iron or stoel were placed. 
Sir Huniplirey Davy, of England, not long afterward, also magnetized steel-neeOleH 
by galvaitisni ; and even elt'euted the result with ordinaiy electricity from a Leyden-jar 
battery. {Annala of rkilotophg, Augnst, 1621, vol. ii, n. s. pp. 81-Ba.) Thia was the 
germ — though Hcaroely more than tUo genn — of the electro-mamet./ For a notice of 
early anticiptitioiie of electro-ni^uetisDi, Boe " Supplement," Note C. 

iA modification of the latter system, by which the oscillations of an annatnre a; 

»il>erseded by the variable attraction between the magnetized core and its boUow 
gaUauic coil, might perhaps be considered as forming a third type— that of IJie 
"axial" magnet. Tliia baa bsen employed in House's printing telegraph. 


datioD, produced but a comparatively small declination of Schweigger's 
needle. In fiiet, no multiplication of galvanic elements was supceesi'ul 
in increasing the deflection of a given galvanometer. On the other hand, 
the same galvauometer was found to have its deflections greatly reduced 
with every increase in the length of the interposed circuit. And here 
again an increase of surfece in the galvanic pair fiuled to overcome the 
increased resistance of a lengthened conductor. There was also an 
early limit found to the namher of turns in the galvanometer coil, which 
could he efficiently employed with any given snr&^e of oxidizable met^ 
in the single galvanic element. 

In 1824, Peter Barlow, the eminent English mathematician and mag- 
netlcian, taking np Amp^'s suggestion, endeavored more fully to test 
its practicability. He has thus stated the result : " In a very early 
stage of electro- magnetic experiments, it had been Suggested that an 
instantaneous telegraph might be established by means of conductiDg 
wires and compasses. The details of this contrivance are so obvious, 
and the principle on which it is founded so well understood, that there 
was only one question which conld render the result doubtful ; and this 
was, is there any dimunition of effect by lengthening the conducting 
wire ! It has been said that the electric fluid from a common [tin-foil] 
electrical battery had been transmitted through a wire four miles in 
length without any sensible diminution of effect, and to every appear- 
ance iustautaneonsly ; and if this should be found to be the case with 
the galvanic circuit, then no questiou could be entertained of the prac- 
ticability and utility of the suggestion above adverted to. I was there- 
fore induced to make the trial ; but I found such a sensible diminution 
with only 200 feet of wire, as at once to convince me of the impractica- 
bility of the scheme. It led me however to an inquiry as to the cause 
of this diminution and the laws by which it is governed." • 

From the rapid reduction of effect observed with increasing lengths of 
conjunctive wire under the conditions tried, Barlow (from a considerable 
. series of experimental results) was led to believe that the resistance of 
the conducting wire is approximately proportional to the square root of 
its length, t 

Notwithstanding therefore Ampfere's "completely successful" experi- 
ment " through a very long conducting wire" and Schilling's later work- 
ing of his telegraph "through a great length of wires," (the precise 
length of the circuit not being stated in either case,) the problem of the 
electro -magnetic telegraph could hardly be considered as satisfactorily 
solved for any practical purposes of communicating to great distances. 
In the deliberate judgment of one of the most eminent of English phya- 

* " On the laws of electro-magnetic action." B^ninrgh Philotophieal Jovrnal, Juii. 
1825, vol. Kii, p. 105. 

tPp. 110, 111 of the Jonmaljoat cited. Lat«T ezperimBota under varied conditions 
have shown that Ohm's law (annonnced three years after Barlow's) of a simple ratio 
of reaiatanoe to length ia apju^simately correct. 

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icists io this special department, careful experiment only tended to sbow 
" the impractlcabilitj of the eoheme." 

' It is at this point that there appears a new explorer in the electro- 
ma^etic field; a field fixHn which apparently all the laarela had been 
alreiidy gathered. Joseph Heoty, elected to the jmifessorship of matlie- 
matics and natural philosophy iu the Albany Academy, of New York, iu 
1826, commenced vety shortly afterward his scientific investigations. 
Sturgeon, in 1824, had pointed out the proper manner of making an 
" electro maguet," and had also greatly improved lecture-room apparatus 
for illustrating the torsional reaction between a permanent magnet and 
a galvanic circuit when either is made movable. By introducing in 
such cases a larger and more powerful magnet l^e had succeeded in ex- 
hibiting the usual phenomena on a larger scale with a considerable re- 
duction of the battery power* 

Henry was enabled by bis skilifnl experimental investigations to ex- 
hibit all the class illusti-ations attempted by Sturgeon, not only on a 
still larger and more conspicuous scale, with the use of feeble magnets 
(where required), but with a still further reduction of the battery power. 
And he moreover carried out the same results to other cases where an 
artificial magnet is inapplicable, as for example, in the illustration of 
Ampfere's fine discovery of the mutual action of two electric currents on 
eaeb other, or of the infiuence of the terrestrial magnetism ob a current, 
as in Ampere's swinging galvanic ring, or the floating ring of De La 
Eive. These very strilcing and unexpected results were obtained by the 
simple expedient of adopting in every case where single circuits had- 
previously been used, the manifold coil of fine wire which Schweigger 
had employed to increase the sensibility of the galvanometer. 

The coils employed by Henry in the various articles of apparatus tbM 
improved, comprised usually about twenty turns of fine copper wire 
wound with silk to prevent metallic contact, the whole being closely 
bound together. To exhibit for instance Amp^re^s ingenious and deli- 
cate experiment showing the directive action of the earth as a magnet 
on a galvanic current when its coudactor is &ee to move, (usually a small 
wire frame or ring, of a few inches in diameter, with its extremities dip- 
ping either into mercury cups or into mercury channels,) the effect was 
strikingly enhanced by Henry's method of suspending by a silk thread 
a large circular cod, 20 inches in diameter, of many wire circuits bound 
together with ribbon, — the extremities of the wire protruding at the 
lower part of the hoop, and soldered to a pair of small galvanic plates; — 
when by simply placing a tumbler of acidulated water beneath, the hoop 

' TranmctiOR* oftheSoektyfortheeiicoaragementti/Art»,etc. 1825, vol. xliii, pp. 3S-S2. 
Sturgfiou's battery (of a eingto element) consittted " oftwofised hollow coacuiitric 
indcTs of tliin copper, having a movable eyliiiiler of ziuc pluced between thetn. lid 
Buperfioial area is oulf IKO eqaare inchca, and it weiglis no more tlian 1 lb. 5 oz." Mr. 
StuTgeou was deservedly awarded the eilver medal of the Society for the Encoura;;e- 
mcnt of Arts, <&c. "for bis improved elect ro-iiia;;netio apparatDs." The aamo is de- 
Bcribod also, iu the Annalt of rhilMaphy, Nov. VtiQ, vol. £ii, n. b. pp. 357~361. 



at once assumed (after a few oscillations) its equatorial position transverse 
to the magnetic meridian. Such was the character of demonstration by 
vhich the new Professor was accustomed to make visible t« his classes 
tbe principles of electro-magnetism. And it is safe to say that in sim- 
plicity, 'efficiency, and conspicuous distinctness, snch apparatus for the 
lecture-room was fer superior to any of the kind then existing. 

The details of this early contribution to electrical science were set 
forth in a communication read by Henry before the Albany Institute 
October 10, 1827, " On some modifications of the electro-maguetie appa- 
ratus." In this paper he remarks : 

" Mr. Sturgeon, of Woolwich, who has been perhaps the most success- 
fill in these improvements, has shown that a strong galvanic power is 
not essentially necessary even to exhibit the experiments on the largest 
scale. . . . Mr. Sturgeon's suite of apparatus, though superior to any 
other as far OS it goes, does not however form a complete set ; as indeed 
it is plain that Ms principle of strong magnets cannot be introduced 
into every article required, and particularly into those intended to ex- 
hibit the action of the earth's magnetism on a galvanic current, or the 
operation of two conjunctive wires on each other. To form therefore a 
set of instruments on a largo scale that will illustrate all the fiicts be- 
longing to this science, with the least expense of galvanism, evidently 
requires some additional modification of the apparatus, and particularly 
in those cases in which powerful magnets cannot be applied. And such 
a modification appears to me to be obviously pointed out in the cou- 
stntctiou of Professor Schweigger's galvanic ' multiplier' ; the principles 
of this instrument being directly applicable to all the experiments in 
which Mr. Sturgeon's improvement fails to be useful."* 

Should any one be disposed to conclude that this simple extension of 
Schweigger's multiple coil was unimportant and unmeritorious, the ready 
answer occurs, that talented and skillfnl electricians, laboring to attain 
the result, had for six years failed to make such an extension. Nor was 
the result by any means made antecedently assured by Schweigger's 
success with the galvanometer. If Sturgeon's improvement of econo- 
mizing the battery size and consumption, by increasing the magnet 
factor{in those few cases where available), was well deserving of reward> 
surely Henry's improvement of a far greater economy, by increasing 
the circuit f^tor (entirely neglected by Sturgeon], deserved a still higher 

In a subsequent communication to Silliman's Journal, Henry remarks 
on the results announced in October, 1827: "Shortly after the publica- 
tion mentioned, several other applications of the coil, besides those de- 
scribed in that paper, were made in order to increase the size of electro- 
magnetic apparatus, and to diminish the necessary galvanic jKiwer. The 
most interesting of these was its application to a development of mag- 
netism in soft iron, much more extensive than to my knowledge had been 
' Tranaaclioiu 0/ the Albani/ laatilute, vol, i, pp. 22,33. 



previously effected by a small galvanic element." And in another later 
paper, he repeated to the same effect: "After reading an account of 
the galvanometer of Schweigger, the idea occurred to me that a much 
nearer approximation to the theory of Ampfere could be attained by in- 
sulating the conducting-wire itself, instead of the rod to be niagn*etized ; 
and by covering the whole surface of the iron with a series of coils in 
close contact." 

The electro-magnet flgored and described by Sturgeon (in his commu- 
nication of November, 1825,) consisted of a small bar or stout iron wire 
bent into a n or horse-shoe form, having a copper wire vronnd loosely 
aroond it in eighteen turns, with the ends of the wire dipping into mer- 
cury-cnps connected with the respective poles of a battery having 130 
square inches of active surface. This was undoubtedly the most effi- 
cient electromagnet then in existence. 

In June of 1828, Henry exhibited to the Albany Institate a small-sized 
electromagnet closely wound with silk-covered copper wire abont one- 
fbirtieth of an inch in diameter. By thus Insillating the conducting 
wire, instead of the magnetic bar or core, he was enabled to employ a 
compact coil in close juxtaposition from one end of the horse-shoe to the 
other, obteining thereby a much larger number of circuits, and with 
each circuit more nearly at right angles with the magnetic axis. The 
lifting power of this magnet is not stated, though it must obviously have 
been mnch more powerflU than the one described by Sturgeon. 

In March of 1820, Henry exhibited to the Institute a somewhat larger 
magnet of the same character. "A round piece of iron about one-quar- 
ter of an inch in diameter was bent into the usual form of a horse-shoe, 
and instead of losely coiling around it a few feet of wire, as is usually 
described, it was tightly wound with 35 feet of wire covered with silk, 
so as to form about 400 turns ; a pair of small galvanic plates which 
could he dipiwd into a tumbler of diluted acid, was soldered to the ends 
of the wire, and the whole mounted on a stand. With these small plates 
the horse-shoe became much more powerfully magnetic than another of 
the same size and wound in the usual manner, by the application of a 
battery comiioaed of 28 plates of copper and zinc each 8 inches square. '* 
In this case the coil was wound upon itself in successive layers. 

To Henry, therefore, belongs the exclusive credit of having first con- 
structed the magnetic "spool" or "bobbin," that form of coil since 
universally employed for every application of electro-magnetism, of in- 
duction, or of magneto-electrics. 

In the latter part of 1823, Henry still fiirther increased the magnetic 
power derived from a single galvanic iiair of small size, by a new arrange- 
ment of the coil. "It consisted in using several strands of wire each 
covereil with sillt, instea*! of one." Emploj-iug a horse-shoe formed 
from a cylindrical bar of iron half an inch in diameter and about ten 
inches long, wound with 30 feet of tolerably fine copper wire, be found 

, Google 


tlLat n'ith a correot &0111 only two and a half square inches of zinc, the 
magnet held 14 pounds.* Winding upon its arms a second wire of the 
same leugth (30 feet) whose ends were similsrly joined to the same gal- 
vaoic pair, the ma.guet lifted 28 pounds. On these results he remarks : 

" These experiments conclusively proved that a great development of 
magnetism could be effected by a very small galvanic element, and also 
that the power of the coil was materially increased by multiplying the 
Divuber of wires, without increasing the length of each. The multi- 
plication of the wires increases the power in two ways : first, by con- 
ducting a greater quantity of galvanism, and secondly, by giving it a 
more proper direction ; for since the action of a galvanic current is di- 
rectly at right angles to the axis of a magnetic needle, by using sev- 
eral shorter wires we can wind one on each inch of the length of the 
bar to be magnetized, so that the magnetism of each inch will be de- 
veloped by a separate wire. In this way the action of each particular 
coil becomes directed very nearly at right angles tfl the axis of the bar, 
and consequently the effect is the greatest possible. This principle is 
of much' greater importance when large bars are used. The advan- 
tage of a greater conducting power from using several wires might in a 
less degree be obtained by substituting for them one large wire of equal 
sectional area ; but in this case the obliquity of the spiral would be much 
greater, and consequently the magnetic action less."t 

But in the following year, 1830, Henry pressed forward his researches 
to still higher results. Assisted by his friend Dr. Philip Ten-Eyck, he 
proceeded to test the power of electro-magnetic attraction on a larger 
Bcale. "A bar of soft iron 2 inches square and 20 inches long was bent 
into the form of a horseshoe 9 J inches high ; (the sharj) etlges of the bar 
were first a bttle rounded by the hammer;) it weighed 21 pounds. A 
piece of iron from the same bar, weighing 7 pounds, was filed perfectly 
flat on one surface for au armature or lifter. The extremities of the 
legs of the horse-shoe were also truly ground to the surface of the arm- 
ature. Around this horse-shoe 540 feet of copper bell-wire were wound 
in nine coils of 60 feet each ; these coils were not continued around the 
whole leugth of the bar, but each strand of wire (according to the prin- 
<aple before mentioned) occupied about two inches and was coiled sev- 
eral times backward and forward over itself. The several ends of the 
wires were left projecting, and all numbered, so that tlie first and the 
last end of each strand might be readily distinguished. In this man- 
ner we formed an experimental magnet on a large scale, with which 
several combinations of wire could be made by merely nniting the dif- 
ferent projecting ends. Thus if the second end of the first wire be 
soldered to the first end of the second wire, aud so on through all the 
series, the whole will form a continued coil of one long wire. By solder- 

*It miiHt. not be forj^otteu that at tlio time wLen lliis ej^perimeutol maguet was 
miulo, the sti'uii(;est elitctro-magiiet in Earope waa that of StiirgiKin, capable of sup- 
porting i> pouuda, nith 130 square inches of zino aar&ce in the battery. 

tSillimaus Am. Journal of Seieiice, Jan. 1831, vol, xix, p. 403. 


iog different ends, tibe whole may be formed iiito a double coil of half 
the length, or into a triple-coil of ooe-third the length, &c. The horse- 
Bhoe was suspended in a strong rectangular woodeu-firame 3 feet 9 
inches liigh and 20 inches wide." 

Two of the wirfes (one fi^m each extremity of the legs) 'being joined 
together by soldering, so as to form a single circuit of 120 feet, with its 
extreme ends connected with the battery, produced a lifting-power of 
60 pounds. (Experiment 19.) The same two wires being separately coa- 
nected with the same battery (forming a doable circoit of 60 feet each}^ 
a lifting-power of 200 ponnds waa obtained, (Exi>eriment 10,) or more 
than three times the power of the former case with the same wire. 
PoHT wires (two from each extremity of the legs) being separately con- 
nected with the battery {forming four eu-eoits) gave a liftingpower of 
500 pounds. (Experiment 12.) Six wires (three from each leg) united in 
three pairs (forming three circuits of 180 feet each) gave a lifting-power 
of 290 pounds. (Esperiment 18.) The same six wires being separately 
connected with the battery in six independent circuits, produced a lift- 
ing-power of STOponnds, (Experiment 13,) or very nearly double that of 
the same wires in double-lengths. When all the nine wires were sepa- 
rately attached to the battery a lifting-power of 650 pounds was evoked. 
(Experiment 14.) In all these experiments " a smaU single battery was 
used, consisting of two concentric wtpper cylinders, with zinc between 
them ; the whole amount of zinc-surface exposed to the acid from both 
sides of the zinc was two-fifths of a square foot ; the battery required 
only half a pint of dilute acid for its submersion." 

, " In order to ascertain the effect of a very small galvanic element on 
this large guantity of nx)n, a pair of plates exactly one inch square waa 
attached to all the wires ; the weight lifted was 85 pounds." (Experi- 
ment 16.) For the purpose of obta>ining tlie maximum attractive power 
of this magnet, with its nine independent coUs, " a small battery formed 
with a plate of zinc 12 inches long and 6 wide, and surrounded by cop- 
per, was substituted for the galvanic element nsed in the former experi- 
ments : the weight lifted in this ease was 750 pounds." (Experiment; 

Although not directly connected with the purpose of this exposition, 

* Sillinmn'B Am. Jour, Set. same vol. pp. 404, 405, The only EnropeBD physicist wbo 
at this period had obtaiued auy maguetic resulta even approaching those effected by 
Henry, was Dr. Gerard Moll (profeasor of natural philosophy in the University of 
Utrecht}, wlio having seen in LnglaDd in 1826 an olectro-niagnet of Btor^^eou's which 
supported nine poniids (the very year in which Henry had exhibited a mtich more 
powerful magnet before the Albany lustittite), "dcliermmed to try the«ffeotof a larger 
i^lvanio apparatus"; and in IKtO remarkud, " I obtained reaul I a which appeur atttonish- 
iiig." Having formed a horeo-shoe about twelve and a half inchfs in height, of a t otind 
bar of iron two and a qnartcr inches in diameter, he uurronnded it with about ae feet 
of insulated copper wire one-eialith of au inch thick, in a tolerably close coil of 44 
turns. The weijght of the whole was about '26 pouuda; and with the cnrrent from a 
galvanic pair otabout 11 square feet of zino anrfaee, the magiiet anstaincil a weight of 
IM ponniis. (Brewater's EdinbNTgk Journal of Soiencf, Oct., 1830, vol. iii, u, a. \i. 214.) 
Heiuy's magnet less in size aud weight, lift«d al>out five times this load, with on^ 
one-eleventh of Moll'a Ijattery suiface. 


it may be added here that in the following year, 1831, Heury oonatmcted 
for the laboratory of Yale College a magnet aboat one foot high fi'om a 
tiiree inch octaigonal bar of iron thirty inches Ipng, which wrapped with 
twenty-six strands of copper wire aod elicited by a battery surface of 
abontflve sqnare feet, supported 2,300 ponnds. Profe^or Sillimaa wrote 
on tliis occasion, " He has the honor of having constructed by far the 
most powerful magnets that have ever been known ; and his last, weigh- 
ing (armature and all) but 82^ pounds, sastains over a ton. It iB eight 
times more powerful than any magnet hitherto known in Europe."* 
And Stnrgeon (if n'ot the real father, at least the true foster-fother, of 
tiie electro-magnet), with a generous enthusiasm, remarked : " Professor 
Henry has been enabled to produce a magnetic force which totaUy edipses 
every other in the whole annals of magnetism ; and no parallel is to be 
found since the miracoloos suspension of the celebrated oriental impostor 
in his iron cofOn.^f 

But to return to his investigations of 1830, Henry, after finding that 
the highest attractive power of the magnet was developed by his novel 
artifice of multiple coils, proceeded to experiment with the simple spool 
magnet of long continuous single coil; and his researches were rewarded 
by a new discovery, namely that though the former method of winding 
the magnet produced the strongest attraction, the latter arrangement 
(trader special conditions) permitted the weaker attractive power to be 
esercised at a far greater distance ; that is through a much greater 
length of conducting wire. 

Employing his earlier and smaller magnet of 1829, formed of a quar- 
ter-inch rod, but wound with about 8 feet of copper wire, he tried the ef- 
fects of different batterj- powers, of different length of circuits, and of dif- 
ferent lengths of coil upon the magnet. Excited with a single pair, " com- 
posed of a piece of zinc plate i inches by 7, surrounded with copper'' 
(about 5G square inches of zinc surface), the magnet sustained four and 
ahalf poimds. (Experiment 4.) With about 600 feet of insulated copper 
wire (.045 of an iiich in diameter) iiiterposed between the battery and 
the magnet, its lifting-power was reduced to two ounces ; (Experiments;) 
or about 30 times. With double this length of wire (or a little over 1,000 
feet) interposed, the lifting-power of the magnet was only half an ounce - 
(Experiment 4;} thus fully confirming the results obtained by Barlow 
with the galvanometer; and showing that the same conditions of en- 
feebled action with increasing length of circuit applied equally to the 
magnet. With a small galvanic pair 2 inches square, acting through 
the same length of wire, (over 1,000 feet,) " the magnetism was scarcely 
observable in the horse-shoe." (Experiment 3.) 

Employing next a trough battery of 25 pairs, having the same zinc 

surface as previously, the magnet in direct connection, (which before had 

supported four and a half pounds,) now lifted but seven ounces; not 

'SiUiman'H Am. Joht. Soi. April, 1831, vol. xx, p. ^1. 

iFhiUMOpkical Magasljie; and Annalt, March, 1S32, toL si, p. 199. 



quite half a poand. But with the 1,060 feet of copper wire (a little more 
than one fifth of a mile) snspended aeveral timea across the large room 
of the academy, and placed in the galvanic circnit, the same magnet sos- 
tained eightounces: (Experiment 7 :) thatis toBay,thecarrentfrom the 
galvanic trough produced greater magnetic effect through this length 
of wire, than it did without it. 

"From this experiment it appears that the carrent from a galvanic 
trough is capable of producing greater magnetic effect on soft iron after 
traversing more than one-fifth of a mile of intervening wire than when 
it passes only throngh the wire surrounding the magnet. It is possible 
that the different states of the trough with respect to dryness may have 
exerted some influence on this remarkable result ; but that the effect of 
a current from a trough if not increased is but slightly diminished in 
passing through a long wire is certain." And after speculating on this 
new and at the time somewhat paradoxical result, Henry concludes : 
'' But be this as it may, the &ct that the magnetic action of a current 
from a trough is at least not sensibly diminished by passing through a 
long wire, is directly applicable to Mr. Barlow's project of forming an 
electro-magnetic telegraph ;• and it is also of matetial consequence m 
the construction of the galvanic coil. From these experiments it is 
evident that in forming the coil we may eldier use one very long wire, 
or sRveral shorter ones, as the circumstances may require: in the first 
cawe, oar galvanic combination must consist of a number of plates so as 
to give 'projectile' force; In the second, it must be formed of a single 

The importance of this discovery can hardly be overestimated. The 
magnetic " spool " of fine wire, of a length — tens and even hundreds of 
times that ever before employed for this purpose, — was in itself a gift to 
science, which really forms an epoch in the historj' of electro-magnetism. 
It is not too much to say that almost every advancement which has been 
made in this fruitful branch of physics since the time of Sturgeon's happy 
improvement, from the earliest researches of Faraday downward, have 
been directly indebted to Henry's magnets4 By means of the Henry 
^'spool" the magnet almost at a bound was developed from a feeble 
childhood to a vigorous manhood. And so rapidly and generally was 
the new form introduced abroad among experimenters, few of whom had 
ever seen the papers of Henry, that probably very few indeed have been 

* Really Amp&re's project, not Barlow's. In a Hubsequent paper Henry corrected 
this allusion by saying, " I called it ' Barlow's project,' when 1 ougbt to have stated 
that Mr. Barlow'a iuvestigatioa merely tended to disprove the poaaibility of a 

tSilliman's Am. Jokt. SoL Jan. 1831, Tol. xii, pp. 403,404. 

t Both forms of the Henry magnet have found valuable applications in science. In 
Faraday's lirat electrical investiga lions, in the latter part of 1831, he acknowledged 
■" it of Henry's magnets, and iu constructing hia duplex helices for observing 

the phenomena of induction, he adopted Henry's method of winding 12 coils of copper 
wire each 27 feet long, one npou the other. {Pkilosophkal Traniactiona of lie Ra}tid 
SociBty, November 24, 1831, vol. cxxii [for 18331, pp. 126 and 138. And Faraday's Ej>- 
periinenlal Eetearcket, etc. vol. i, art. 6, p. 2, and art. 57, p. 15.} 


aware to whom they were really indebted for this fkmjliar and powerful 
instrnmentality. Bat the historic fact remains, that prior to Henry's 
experiments in 1829, no one on either hemisphere had ever thought of 
winding the limbs of an electro-magnet on the principle of the " bobbin," 
and not till after the publication of Henry's method in January of 1831, 
was it ever employed by any European physicist.* 

But in addition to this large gift to science, Henry (as we have seen] 
has the pre-eminent claim to popular gratitude of having first practi- 
cally worked out the differing iiinctions of two entirely different kinds 
of electro-magnet : the one surrounded with numerous coils of no great 
length, designated by bini the "quantity" magnet, the other sur- 
rounded with a continuous coil of very great length, designated by 
him the ''intensity" magnet,t The former and more powerful system, 
least affected by an "intensity" batt«ry of many pairs, was shown to 
be most responsive to a single galvanic element : the latter and feebler 
system, least influenced by a single pair, was shown to be most excited 
by a battery of numerous elements j but at the same time was shown to 
have the singular capability (never before suspected nor imagined) of 
snbtile excitation from a distant source. Here for the first time is ex- 
perimentally estabhshed the important principle that there must be a 
proportion between the aggregate internal resistance of the battery and 
the whole external resistance of the conjunctive wire or conducting 
circuit; with the very important practical consequence, that by com- 
bining with an "intensity" magnet of a single extended flue coil an 
"intensity" battery of many small pairs, its electromotive force enables 
avery long conductor to be employed without sensible diminution of the 
effect.J This was a very important though unconscipns experimental 
oonflrmation of the mathematical theory of Ohm, embodied in his for- 
mula expressing the relation between electric flow and electric resist- 
ance, which though propounded two or three years previously, t^ed 
for a long time to attract any attention irom the scieutiflc world.5 

* Henrj'B "spool" magnet appeara to have befln introdocod into France liy Ponillet 
in 1S3?. See " Sapplement," Note D. 

t "In describing the reanlta of my experiments the terms 'intensity' and 'qnantity' 
magnets we« iutroduced to avoid circnmlocntion, and were intended to be used merely 
in a technical sense. By the intcneilg magnet I designated a piece of soft iron so sur- 
lonnded with wire that its mSignetio power could be called into operation by an ' in- 
tensity' battery ; and by a gaantity mafxnet, apiece of iron so stirronndfid by annmber 
of separate coils that its magnetism conld be fally developed by a 'quantity' battery," 
(Smiihmmian BeooH for 1B57, p. 103. ) These terms thoagh ^aerally aiscarded by recent 
writers, aro still very convenient designationB of the two clasnes of action, bolJi In the 
battery and in the magnet. 

t Beyond a certain masimnm length, thcro is of course a decrease of power for each 
differing coil of the " intensity" magnet, proportiojiod to the increased resistance of 
a long conductor \ but the ma^etizmg eflect has not been found to bo diminished in 
the ratio of its length. In a very long wire, the magnetizing influence (with a snit- 
able "intensity" battery) appears to be inversely proportioned to the sqnaru of thft 
length of the conductor. 

tQeorg Simon Ohm, professor in physics at Mnnich, published at Berlin, In 1827, 
his "GaTvanische Kette, malhematisch beubeitet:" and in the followlitg year.hti 
pnblishod a supplementary paper entitled "Nochtrage zu seiner mathematlsoben 
Bearbeitnng der galvanischen Kette ; " in Kastner's ArcHo fir getamnie .Votw-ItAre ■■ 


ITever let it be forgotten that be who first exalted the " qnaDtity" 
magnet of Storgeon from a power of twenty pounds to a power of twenty 
hnndred pounds, was the abitolate cbbatob of the " intensity " mag- 
net; that magnet which alone is able to act at a great distance ^m its 
exciting battery; — that magnet which by very reason of its lower 
" quantity " is alone applicable to the nses of telegraphy. 

As Professor Daniell has concisely stated the problem: "Electro- 
magnets of the greatest power, even when the most energetic battles 
are employed, utterly cease to aet when they are connected by consider- 
able lengths of wire with the batterj'."* 

Seven years after Henry's first experimental demonstration of this 
nnlooked-for resolt, and his c(Hnplete establishment of the conditions 
required for miignetizing iron at great distances throng very long con- 
dncting wires, Prof, Charles Wheatstone, of King's College, London, 
having found a difficulty in signaling through four miles of wire, was 
enabled to work out the problem for his own telegraph, by help derived 
&om Henry's labors. And yet he permitted his colleague, Prof. John , 
F. Daniell, of King's College, to prefix to the passage above quoted 
from the excellent treatise on "Chemical Philosophy," the remarkable 
statement : " Ingenious as Professor Wheatstone's contrivances are, they 
would have been of no avail for telegraphic pmposes without the in- 
vestigation, which he wias the first to maJce, of the laws of electro-magnets, 
when acted on through great lengths of wire." And this erroneoos 
declaration was published long after Henry's " quantity" and " intensity" 
magnets had been employed in the experiments of European elec- 
tricians ; and years after Professor Wheatstone himself had formed the 
acquaintance of Henry, and in April, 1837, had learned from his own 
lips an account fif his elaborate investigations and successful resnlts-t 

Whether Baron Schilling ever experimented on a sufficient length of 
circuit to encounter the fundamental practical difficulty announced by 
Barlow in 1825 does not appear; but that formidable obstacle to the 
actual extension of his enterprise, certainly existed until the year 1831, 
when Henry announced that the principles demonstrated by his re- 
searches in 1829 and 1830, were "directly applicable to the project of 
forming an electro-magnetic telegraph." And while these principles 

(Svo. NUmberg :) 1BS8, vol. xiv, pp. 470-493. roiirteen jeare ofter the publication of 
-the former iiiumoir, this elaborate discnsdon vas tot the firat time translated into 
EngllHh, l>v Mr. WiUinni Francis. (" Tlio Galvanic Cironit inveHtigat«d matbcmat- 
io«ly." Taylor's Scumtffic Slemoin, etc. Londoii, 1841, vol, ii, pp. 401^-506.) 

* Inlrodaetion to the Stadu of Cheatioal Pkiloaoplig, second edition, 8vo. London, 
1643, chap, xvl, sect. SOU, p. 57t>. 

f SmWiioiilau Etport for IW7, pp. HI, 112. Tho following pertinent extract is 
made fhim nu cscollent and ai<preciativc jnenioirof the "Lite and Work of Joseph 
Hcnrj-," recently rcid at tlio annual sewioii of tlie American Elocti'ical Society, at 
Chicago, III., Uoconibor Vi, 187d, by one of its vice-presidents, Mr, Frank L. Pope : " In 
1856, referring again to these experiments, Wlicutstone ivrites : 'With this law and its 
applieatious, no pertons tit England, who had before occupied tbemselves with experi- 
mealH relating to elccti'io teluernplis, liad been acquainted.' ... It would seem 
from the pecntiar woi-dlng of Wheatstone's statomeut lost quoted, that be must then 
have been aware of Henry'a priority in this resi)ect, and bad his experiments in mind, 
at the time of writing it." (Journal of the Am. Elect^'ioal Society, vol. ii, pp. 135, 136.) 
Tbis snbject is more mlly cousldered in the " Supplement," Kotb F. 


Tiiiderlie all sabaeqnent applications of the intermittent magnet, tbey 
form indeed tlie indispensable basis of every form of the electro-mag- 
netic telegraph since invented. They settled satiB&etorily (in Barlow's 
phrase) the "onlyquestion which could render the result doubtful''; and 
though derived from the magnet, were obviously as applicable to the 
galvanometer needle.* 

It is idle to say in disparagement of these saccesses, that in the 
competitive race of numerous distinguished investigators in the field, 
diligently searching into the conditions of the new-found agency, the 
same results would sooner or later have been reached by others. For 
of what discovery or invention may not the same be eaidt Only those 
who have sought in the twilight of uncertainty, can appreciate the vast 
economy of effort by prompt directions to the path from one who has 
gained an advance. 23'ot for what might be, bat for the actaal bestowal, 
does he who first grasps a valuable truth merit the return of at least a 
grateful recognition. 

1 831. As an experimental demonstration of the telegraph — now made 
possible, Joseph Henry, eaiiy in the year 1831, suspended around the 
walls of one of the upper rooms in the Albany Academy, a mile of cop- 
per bell-wire interposed in a circuit between a small Cmickshauks bat- 
tery and an "intensity" magnet. A narrow steel rod (a permanent 
magnet) pivoted to swing horizontally like the compass needle, was ar- 
ranged so that one end remained in contact with a limb of the soft iron 
core, while near the opposite end of the compass rod a small stationary 
ofBce-bell was placed. At each excitation of the electro-magnet, the 
compass rod or needle was repdled from one Umb (by its similar mag- 
netism) and attracted by the other limb, so that its free end tapped the 
bell. Ou reversing the current, the compass rod moved back to the op- 
posite limb of the electro-magnet. This simple device the Professor was 
accnstomed to exhibit to iiis classes at the academy, during the years 
1831 and 1832, in illustration of the facility of transmitting signals to a 
distance by the prompt action of electro-maguetisra. t 

This memorable experimental telegraphic arrangement involved tbree 
very significant and important novelties. In the first place, it was the 
first electro-magnetic telegraph employing an "intensity" magnet ca- 

'When urged liy a zealous friend, to secure au early pateut on these valualile and 
preguant improveraouts, Henry resolutely witliatood every importunity, seeming to 
feel tliat a discoverer's position and aptitndo Are lowered, hy courting aelf-aggraniHze- 
ment from scieiitiHc truth: aself-douyLii}!R<'"*i^»'t.V'wljicli characterized liim through- 
out hib life. While such disinterest cdiiuss cannot fail to osteite our a<ltni ration, it may 
peihiipa be qucDtioued wliether in thiN casu It ilid not, from a practical point of view, 
luuount to au over- fasti U iousness ; whether such legal cstiililisliinent of onnerahip, 
shielding the possessor ^iii the occasionul dopreeiatioiis of the envious, and securing 
Iiy its more taugihlo rem n Herat ions the leisure and the means for moi'e ei^tcnded re- 
searches, would uot have been to science more than a oonipensatioii for the supposed 
eaerittce of dignity l>y ths philosopher. Since the date of the American patents of 
Wheatstoiie and of Morse (iien years later) several hundred patents have Ijeen granted 
in this country (br ingenious improvements upon or niodilioations of the electi'o-mag- 
netic telegrapli, all or them necessarily dependent on Henry's original iuventiou. 

tFor the testimonials of a few surviving eye-witnesses to the pra'itical working of 
Henry's experimental line iu ltJ31, and 1S32, see "Supplement," Notb E. 

S. Mis. 59 19 


pabte of being excited at very great diHtancea from a suitable " IntenBi^" 
battery. And there can be no doubt that a similar combination of " in- 
tensity" battery, with a very long coil galvanometer (such as had pre- 
viously been found inoperative), was alone wanting to have rendered the 
early telegraph of Schilling a popular and commercial success. 

In the second place, this experimental arrangement of Henry was the - 
first electro- magnetic telegraph employing the armatore as the signaling 
device; or employing the sKra^Mnepowerof tbeiDtermittentmagDet,as 
distinguished from the directive action of the galvanic circait. That is 
to say, it was strictly speaking the first " magnetic telegraph." 

In the third place, it was the first oootwttc electro-magnetic telegraph. 
One practical inconvenience of the " needle " system has been found to 
be the perfect silence of its indications ; and hence in almost every case 
a call-alarm has been required to insure attention to its messages. In 
this respect the intermittent magnet presents the advantage, not merely 
of a greater mechanical power from the same galvanic onrrent, and thus 
of a better adaptation for striking a bell at a distance, but of being in 
itself an audible somider by the mere impacts of its armature.' 

It is suggestive to consider for a moment bow different would have 
been the popular estimate of Henry's labors, (and especially theproefi- 
eal estimation of subsequent patentees), if the modest discoverer and in- 
ventor had been " worldly-wise " enough to secure an early patent on 
these three indisputably original and most pregnant features of teleg- 
raphy : — to contest which no rival has ever appeared.t 

In 1832, Henry was elected to the chair of natural philosophy in the 
college of New Jersey, at Princeton. In 1834, he constructed for the 
laboratory of this college an original and iugenions form of galvanic bat' 
tery, comprising eighty-eight elements, (each having an active zinc sur- 
face of one and a lialf square feet,) of which any number, from a single 
pair upward, could be brought into action ; while by means of adjustable 

• It may be incidentally mentioned that early in 1931, after the Bfttiefectory opera- 
tion of the first telegrapluc magnet, Henry contrived tlie first Electro-magnetic Enftine, 
comprising au oacillatiDg horizontal electro-magnetic bar, juet below each endof -wliich 
'WAS seciire<l an upright permanent magnet, tlie two having similar poles. The polar- 
ity of the oscillating electro-magnet was reversed at the moment of attractive contact, 
by antomatically invertJDg the circuit current, and thus each of its poles was alter- 
nately attracted and repeLfed. by its neighboring magnet, (Sillimau's Am. Journal of 
Sdewx, July, X831, vol. xx, pp. 340-343.) Henry was therefore the original inventor 
of the automatic pole-ehanger or commutator, — a device liavine a very wide range of 
useful application. The iflustrious English physicist, James P. Joule, in his 'Tlia- 
torical Sketch of the rise and progress of Electro-magnetic Engines for propelling 
machinery," remarks; "Tlie improved ijlau by Professor Henry of raising the magnetic 
action of soft iron, developed new and iueshauatible sources of forc« which appeared 
easily and extensively available as a mechanical agent ; and it is to the ingeuions 
American philosopher, that wo are indebted for the first form of a working model of 
an engine upon the principle of reciprocating polarity of soft iron by electro-dynam>a 
agency." (Sturgeon's jlti«tt(»i>/EfceJrici(^, etc. March, 1639, vol. iii,p. 430.) 

t A quarter of a century afterward Henry conld proudly say, "I have sought nopat- 
ent for inventions, and solicite<l no remuneration for my labora, bnt have freely given 
tbeir results to the world ; espectina only in, return to enjoy the couscionsness ol hav- 
ing added by my investigations to the sum of human knowledge, and to receive the 
credit towhich they might justly entitle me," (SniiiAsimian iiejwwl for 1857, p. 86.) 


conductors, all the positive elements coald be associated together, as 
also all the oegative ones, bo as to form virtually a single pair having 132 
square feet of zinc surface, or any smaller area desired. In this manner 
the apparatus could readily be transformed into a "quantity" battery, 
or an "intensity" batter/, at pleasure. In the same year he constmeted 
for the laboratory a powerftil " quantity" magnet, surpassing his Yale 
College magnet; its lifting power, ^ith a battery not exceeding one 
cnbic foot in bulk, being 3,500 pounds. In the following year, 1835, he 
extended wires across the front campus of the college grounds, from the 
upper story of the library building to the philosophical hall on the op- 
posite side, through which magnetic signals were occasionally sent, dis- 
tinguished by the number of taps on the bell, as first exhibited by him 
four or five years earlier in the hall of the Albany Academy. Although 
Henry had established the fiict (contrary to all the antecedent expecta- 
tion of physicists) that the most powerfal form of magnet — the "quan- 
tity" magnet — is not the form best adapted to distant aetion through an 
extended circuit, the ingenious idea occurred to him that he could easily 
combine such a system with the feebler "intensity" system, so as to 
produce powerful mechanical action at almost any required distance. It 
was simply necessary to apply to the oscillating armature of the distant 
"intensity " magnet a suitable jirolougation eo arranged as to open and 
close the short circuit of the adjoining "quantity" magnet of any a\ ail- 
able power. It was with his Princeton telegraph line, and its compar- 
atively feeble magnet, that he undertook the experiment of breaking by 
the mere lift of a small wire from a mercury thimble the "quantity" cir- 
cuit of his monster magnet, and thus causing its heavy load to fall : — a 
force scarcely safe if exerted through any sensible distance. He thus 
fully illustrated the practicability of calling into action at a great 
distance a power capable of producing the most energetic mechanical 

1833. Ten years after the experimental telegraph of Schilling, Pro- 
fessors Carl Friedrich tiauss and Wilbelm Edward Weber constructed 
at Gottingen a galvanometer telegraph of single circuit from the Cabinet 
of Natural Philosophy to the Observatory, a distance of atwut a mile and 
a half. The two naked wires after the method of Weber were carried 
over the houses and steeples of Gottingen, being supported by insula- 
tors. The battery power being small, the receiving apparatus consisted 
of a "multiplier" containing a very great length of flue silvered copi>er 
wire; and the magnetic bar suspended by a silk thread carried on the 
axis of suspenaidn a small mirror, whoso minute deflections were observed 
at the distance of ten or twelve feet through a telescope, t Thetele- 

•SmiOtoniaa Report for 1S07, pp. 106, IVi. 

tThu appean to be one of tlie first employments of a reflocfiiig cAlvaoonietvr, an 
instrnment whicli \a tlis hands at 8ir WUliam ThomaoD has beeu uronght to an e:c- 
treme degree of Henalbility, and has rendered ocean telegraphy possible. Ab early na 
1S26. however, Prof. Christian J. Poggendorff applied the reflector to the magnetic 
needle for occaratelv detemiiaing minate variationa in its horizont-ol declination. 
(Pog|{. AunaUn dtr I'ksa. and Chem. 162C, voL Tii. pp. 121-130.) 


graph was first worked by a galvanic cnrrent from a battery, and after- 
ward for convenience by the secondary current from a magneto-electric 
apparatus; to which Oauss adapted an arrangement of commutator, 
whereby the direction of the induced current could be instantly reversed 
by a touch of the finger. The alphabet of signs waa made up of differ- 
ing combinations of right and left deflections of the needle. Weber ap- 
plied to the signaling device a delicate apparatus for setting off a clock 

1836. Prof. G. A. Steinheil, of Munidi, at the request of Gauss, (who 
was absorbed in more abstract researches on magnetism,) in 1834, under- 
took to develop and improve his arrangement ; and in 1S36 had constmct- 
ed a similar galvauometer telegraph line between Munich and Bogen- 
hausen, a distance of about two miles, t Employing a greater power he 
arranged at the receiving station the magnetic bar or double bars of the 
galvanometer with a larger sweep, so that two bells of differing tones 
should be struck thereby ; and he thus prodnced an acoustic telegraph 
(five years later than Henry's], capable of audible language, and dis- 
pensing with the occasion for any call-alarm. To the adjacent ends of 
the two magnetic bars having opposite polarities, but oscUlating within 
the same coil, he appUed fountain pens or marking-points so as to make 
permanent alternating dots on a fillet of paper carried under them by 
the regular movement of clock-work, in the manner long familiarly em- 
ployed in self-registering meteorological and other instruments. Al- 
though Dyar, on Long Island, had devised a chemical register as early 
as 1828, and had partly executed it by a successfkil trial, this double 
magnet of Steinheil appears to constitute the earliest operative applica- 
tion of an automatic record to the electric, or to the electro-magnetic, 
telegraph. Steinheil also improved somewhat on the alphabet of Gauss, 
though adopting substantially the same system.^ 

In the following year, 1837, he made another most important improve- 
ment in practical telegraphy, by the unexpected discovery that even the 
single circuit of a to and fro line coald be further simpUfied by the 
suppression and economy of one-half of its wire.^ 

• GSUingUdK GeUhrte Jnseiflw, Aug. 9, 1834, part ii, No. 128, pp. 1272, 1273. And 
Polylechnuehet Central^Blatt, Jimo, lS3a, Jahrgang iv, No. 31, pp. 4d7-496. 

t Acoonluig to Dr. Hamel of St. Petersburg, in the early part of July, 1837, " Stein- 
heil, at Mnoich, bad completed tlie connection of his hODsein tlie Lerclieustrasse with 
the hoilding of tlie Academy of Scienceo, and n-ith the Royal Obaervatory at Bogea- 
hausen, by means of 36,000 feet of wire for conducting the current both ways, the 
wires being Buspended in the air." {Journal of Societa of Arts, July 29, 1859, vol. vii, 
.p. 609.) 

t St«lnheil remarks; "As long as the internals between the separate signs remain 
equal, they are to be taken together as a connected group, whether they be pansee be- 
tween the tones, or intervals between the dots marked down. A longer pause separ- 
ates these groups distiuctly from each other. Wo are thus enable f, by appropriately 
selected groups thus comhined,!* form systems repreeeuting the letters of the alpha- 
bet, or stenographic characters, and thereby to repeat and render permanent at all 
Snrts of the chain where an appaTatiis like that above described is inserted, any ii 
irmation that wc transmit. The a'" ■-' -- "--" ' "- ' '- "-- ■■-"-- 

.. __ie alphabet that I have chosen represents the letters 

that occur the ofCenest in German by the simplest signs." (Sturgeon's AnnaU ofBUc- 
triply, etc. April, ISiB, voi. iii, p. 530.) 
$"ln 1837 Professor Steinheil operated a telegraph line between Munich and Bogen- 


" Quite recently I made the discovery that the gronnd may be em- 
ployed as one-half of the connecting chain. Aa in the case of frictional 
electricity, water or the ground may with the galvanic current form a 
iwrtion of the connecting wire. Owing to the low conducting power of 
these bodies compared with metals, it is necessary that at the two places 
where the metal conductor is in connection with the semi-conductor, the 
former should present very large surfaces of contact. Taking water for 
instance to conduct two million times worse than copper, a surface of 
water proportional to this must be brought in contaot with the copper, 
to enable the galvanic current to meet with equal resistance in equal 
distances of water and of metal ; for instance, if the section of a copper 
wire is one- half of a square line, it will require a copper plate of 61 square 
feet of surface in order to conduct the galvanic current through the 
gronnd as the wire in question would conduct it: but as the thickness 
of the metal is quite immaterial in this case, it will be always within 
onr reach to get the requisite surfaces of contact at no great ezpense. 
Not only do we by this means save half the conducting wire, but we can 
even reduse the resistance of the ground below what that of the wire 
would be, as has been fiilly established by experiments made here with 
the exi)erimeutal telegraph."" 

In his account of these valuable contributions to both the science and 
the art of electric telegraphy, Steinheil modestly assigns to his immedi- 
ate predecessors the credit of the most important advancements in the 
system. He says : " To Ganss and Weber is due the merit of having, in 
1833, actually constructed the first simplilied galvano-magnetio telegraph. 
It was Gauss who first employed the excitement of induction [magneto- 
electricity], and who demonstated that the appropriate combination of a 
limited number of signs is all that is required for the transmission of 
communication, t Weber's discovery that a copper wire 7,460 feet long, 
which be had led across the houses and steeples at Gottingcn, from the 
Observatory to the Cabinet of Natural Philosophy, required no siiecial 
insidation, was one of great importance. The principle was thereby at 
once established of bringing the galvanic telegraph to the most conven- 
ient form. In acconlance with the principles we have laid down, all that 
was required in addition to this was to render the signals audible j a task 
that apparently presented no very particular difficulty, inasmuch as in 
the very scheme itself a mechanical motion — namely the deflection of a 

haaseuj in Germany, uaing iron wire conductors, and the earth for a return circuit. 
This discovery was published in 1837, in German, and tranalated into EnRlish by 
Julian Guggaworth, Noven»ber24, 1838." (Preacott's HUt. EUetr. Telegraph. 1860, chap. 
sxi, |). 405.) An account of Steintioil'a telcgrapli was read before the French Academy 
of Sciences, September 10, ia38. { Comjitet fiendiM, vol. vii, pp. 590-593.) 

' Steinlieil'a paper " On Telegraphic Communication : " translated from the German, 
November 24, 1&8, by Julian Gugjjswortli. Sturgeon's AiwaU of ElectricUs. etc. 
April, 18;(9, vol. iii, p. 512. A full description of Steiuheil's telegraph is given iu Di-. 
Julius Dub's Anwendang Ae» EUktrotuagnttiinitis, Berlin, 1863; 2d edition, IWi^ sect, v, 
pp. 339-^7. 

tThese statements do not however do justice to Schilling's much earlier "simpli- 
fied galvano-maguetic telegraph," with which Steinheil waa very imperfectly ae- 

294 HEirar and the telegeaph. 

magnetic bar — ^was given. All that we had to do thei-etore was to 
contrive that this motion should be made available for striking bellti or 
for marking indelible dots. This Mis within the province of mechan- 
ics, and there are therefore more ways than one of solving the prob- 
lem. Hence the alterations that I have made in the telegraph of 
Causa, and by which it has assnmed its present form, may be said to 
be founded on my perception and improvement of Us imperfections, in 
harmony with what I had previously laid down as necessary for perfect 
telegraphic communication. I by no means however look on the arrange- 
ment I have selected as complete; but as it answers the purpose I had 
in view, it may be well to abide by it till some simplei: arrangement is 
contrived."* To Steinheil's lasting honor be it said, that when some 
dozen years later "a simpler arrangement" of the receiving instrument 
wag brought to his attention, he was the first to appreciate it and to 
urge upon the Bavarian Government its adoption, to the abandonment 
of a portion of his own beautiful system. An example of magnanimity, 
or more properly of intellectual and imbiased judgment, much rarer 
with inventors of practical improvements in art, than with discoverers 
of truth in science. 

These later developments of the telegraph, though in public use at 
the dates specified, not having been generally described b,v their authors 
immediately for publication, were from the meager notices of them found 
in the foreign journals, but httle known in this country for several years 
afterward; and hence naturally arose the strong patriotic impression 
with many that the electro-magnetic telegraph was essentially an Amer- 
ican invention. 

About the same time that fiteinheil in Munich was engaged in im- 
proving the needle telegraph, a distinguished chemical philosopher of 
London, was developing the galvanic battery; and he succeeded in 
giving that important apparatus a uniformity and continuity of action 
previously unhoped for. In the adoi)ted forms of the Voltaic battery 
as arranged by Cmickshanks and others, the oxygen liberated by the 
active zinc surface rapidly attacked the plate, forming a coating of oxide 
over it which soou greatly impaii'ed its chemical and galvanic efficiency. 
On the other band, the hydrogen liberated at tlie surface of the copper, 
remained largely adherent to it in the form of minute bubbles, thus in- 
sulating it to a corresponding extent from contact with the liquid ; while 
at the same time dissolved zinc was deposited on its exposed surfiiu^ 

To obviate these impediments, Professor John Frederic Daniell pro- 
vided a porous partition between the two metals, which while permittiDg 
the necessary conductibility from, one side to the other, prevented the 
convective intermixture of the separated portions of liquid, and thus 
also allowed for the first time two difterent liquids to be employed for 
bathing the different metals. The liquid employed on the copper side 

* SbUTgeon's AanaU of Eleotnatj/, etc. Mar. 1839, vol. iii, pp. 448, 449. 


was a saturated solution of the sulphate of copper; — crystals of the 
Bulphate being Bu8x>6Dded in the liquid, for supplying the e^austioD of 
the copper. The liquid on the zinc side was a very diluted sulphuric 
acid. With this arrangement the oxygen evolved at the zinc surface 
forms mainly a zinc oxide, which dissolved hy the liquid into a sulphate 
of zinc, is prevented from passing to the copper side of the partition, 
and the hydrogen evolved at the copper surface combining at once with 
the oxygen of the copper salt, forms water, and aUowa the free copper 
to b© deposited on its own plates : and Professor Daniell was able to 
announce in a paper read before the Eoyal Society of London, February 
11, 1836, "I have been led to the construction of a voltaic arrangement 
which furnishes a constant current of electricity for any length of time 
which may be required."* 

Although it is true that the electric telegraph may be operated by the 
old form of battery — ^frequently renewed, (just as a good steam-engine 
may bo eflSciently worked by an inferior and wasteful boiler,) and also 
that a uniform current well adapted to the telegraph may be obtained 
from the magneto-electric maehine, yet the "constant" battery has 
proved a most valuable boon in promoting the practical economy and 
success of modern telegraphy. 

1837. Mr. William Fothergill Cooke and Prof. Charles Wheatetone 
obtained an English patent June 12, 1837, (No. 7390,} for a galvanometer 
or needle telegraph, very similar to the earlier one of Schilling, employ- 
ing six wires and five indicating needles. At what date Prof. Wheat- 
stone's attention was first directed to electrical signaling cannot now be 
ascertained; but in 1834 he had undertaken by means of his ingenious 
invention of the revolving mirror (capable of measuring the millionth 
of a second), to determine the velocity of ordinary electricity through 
half a mile of copper wire; f and a year or two later, through about four 
miles of the same. Early in 1836, he had contemplated a telegraph which 
with five needles, should give thirty signs. Mr. W. F. Cooke, attending 
a lecture on electro-magnetic commuuieation by Professor Muncke,atHei- 
delberg, March 0, 1836, (as previously mentioned, ) at which the telegraphic 
apparatus of Schilling was exhibited, at once " conceived the idea." In 
his " Statement of facts to the Arbitrators" in December, 1840, Mr. Cooke 
declares: "Mr. Moncke's experiment was at that time the only one upon 
the subject that I had seen or heard of. It showed that electric cur- 
rents being conveyed by wires to a distance, could be there caused to 

•Phil. Trana. S09. Soe. 1836, vol. esxvi,p.l07. In tlie "eravity battei-y" of C»l- 
land, and of Varley, tlio porous diaphragm ie dispensed with by placing the lighter 
liquid {adilnted solution of zinc sulphate) above the heavier liqnid (a saturated solu- 
tion of copper Balphate); the separation being maintained liy their difference of 
specific gravity, In this arraugemont the copperplate rests at the bottomof the cell, 
and the ziuo plate is supported at ite top. 

t Philosoph. Tnaitac. of Ro'j. Soc, (read June 19, 1834), vol. cxsiv pp, J83-5B9. In this 
paper, Wheatst«ne says, that his first ineffectual attempt to discover a velocity of 
electricity was made in 1830. " The method by which 1 then proposed to effect this 
purpose, was announced in a lecture delivered by Dr. Faraday, at the Eoyal Institu- 
tion, in June, 1930." (p. 583.) 


deflect magnetic needles, and thereby to give aignalB. It waa in a \roTd. a 
hint at the application of electricity to telegraphic purposes ; but nothing 
moi-e, ibr it provided no means of applying that power to pra«tical uses. 
p] . . . Within three weeks after the day on which I saw the ex- 
periment, I had made (partly at Heidelberg and partly at Frantfort) 
my first electric telegraph of the galvanometer form." • This apparatus 
comprised three indicating needles in connection with three circuits of 
six wires ; each terminus of the line being provided with both trans- 
mitting keys, and indicating galvanometers. Mr. Cooke also applied 
a call-alarm, differing from Schilling's in having an ordinary clock- 
alarm, (similar to that used by Weber several years previously,) 
checked by an armature detent which was released on the excitement 
of an electro-magnet by the current. Not being skiUed in electrical 
science however, nor aware of Henry's researches, he soon found 
the difficulty of operatingwith a "quantity" battery his galvanometer 
' coils through a long circuit ; and in February, 1837, he was introduced 
to Professor Wheatstone by Dr. P. M. Boget. t On comparing their 
respective projects of a needle telegraph, the two concluded to combine 
their exertions in a partnership ; and in a little more than three months 
they secured ajointpatenton their perfected system.} An experimental 
line between Euston Square and Camden Town Stations (a distance of 
a mile and a quarter), was worked with partial success July 25, 1837 j 
and early in 1838, the patentees established a telegraph line between 
Paddington and West Dayton ; the distance between these two points 
being about thirteen miles. Neither of these "co-inventors" appears 
at this time to have been aware of the early needle telegraph of Baron 
Schilling, whose arrangement had been so closely imitated by Mr. 
Cooke, and whose later simplification and improvement he had failed 
to reach. 

As illustrative of the mistaken and inaccurate manner in which im- 
portant accounts are often transmitted by even Intelligent and honest 
men, — without due investigation and information, a quotation may here 
be made from the "Award " of arbitration between the subsequent conflict- 
ing claims of Cooke and of Wheatstone, rendered 37th April, 1841, by the 
referees, Marc laambord Brunei, the eminent eof^neer, and John Fred- 
erick Daniel], the eminent chemist, meteorologist, and electrician. They 
state: "In March, 1836, Mr. Cooke, while engaged in scientific pursuits 
[!], witnessed for the first time one of those -well-known experiments on 
electricity [!] considered as a possible means of communicating intelli- 
gence [!], which have been tried and exhibited from time to time [!] 
during many years by various philosophers ! "§ And thus, in strange 

* The Blectiic Telegrapli, etc. by William FotlierKill Cooke, 2 parts, 8vo. London, 
1856, 1«)7 ; part ii, "Arbitration Papew," secta. 14, 19, pp. H, 15. 

t For on account of the oiroumstaBceB atteniUng and following this conference, see 
"Supplement," Notk F. 

t Measrs. Cooke & Wheatstoiie's English patent ia dated June 12, 1837, No. 7390 ; and 
their Aruericau patent, June 10, 1840, No. 1622. 

5 Ihe Electric TeUgraph, otc. by William Fothergill Cooke, 2 ports, 8vo., London, 
1856, 1857; parti, p. 14: and part ii, p. 211; also p. 265. 


exaggeration of Cooke's contribation to telegraphy, not only is Schilling's 
fine invention (of which the arbitraiors had probably never heard) 
entirely overlooted, but even Professor Mnncke's intelligent exposition 
of it, (by M-r. Cooke's representation — a "well-known experiment,") is 
dismissed as the recurrent exhibition" by variona philosophers," — ^prob- 
ably as familiar in London as in Heidelberg.* 

1837, Abont the date of the Cooke and Wheatstone patent (or a month 
or two later in the same year), a different form of electro-magnetic tele- 
graph was being slowly developed in the city of New York. In the 
autumn of the year 1835, an American artist of acknowledged merit and 
of liberal education, a griiduate of Yale College, about forty-five years 
of age, was appointed professor of the arts of design in the University 
of the city of New York, then recently e8tablished.f Occupying 
rooms in the unfinished building, he commenced experimenting on an 
electro-magnetic recording telegraph, the idea of which had for several 
years been floating in his mind. An upiight square frame secured to 
the edge of a table, was provided with a transverse strip or shelf about 
midway of its height, on which was arranged a small Sturgeon electro- 
magnet lying upon its side, with its poles directed outward from the 
side of the frame. Directly in front of this, a wooden pendulum sus- 
pended from the top bar of the frame and having at its middle a small 
Iron bar acting as an armature for the magnet, was allowed a small play 
to and from the lower part of the frame. To the lower end of the pen- 
dolum was attached a pencil projecting downward, and made adjustable 
so as to bear lightly against a strip of paper supported by a roller be- 
neath, and slowly moved along near the edge of the table by clock-work, 
after the manner usually employe<l in recording apparatus. A single 
cup formed the galvanic element, and the circuit involving the electro- 
magnet was closed and opened by means of a lever armed with a wire 
fork which dipped into two mercury thimbles connected respectively 

* Two other projeote of needle telegmph on Ampere's mid Schitling'B plan, belong- 
ing to the latter part of 1837, require here only a pausing notice, Tlie first, that of a 
Mr. Alexander, exhibited at the Society of Arts in Ediubiu-gh, uumpriseil thirty trans- 
mitting keys with pina beneath, which on being depressed, cWkI the cironit by dip- 
ping into a transverse mercury trough, aixl tliirty galvitnonieter ueetlles at tlie 
receiving station, each carrying a light paper screen, which Just covered a painted 
letter or mark when at rest, but which by deflection, espose4l the desired letter to 
view. By ingeniously employing bnt a single wire for the retniii path of each circnit, 
the Inventor reqnired hat thirty-one wires. (MeebaHiaf Magatine, London, Nov. 
2.% W^, No. 746, vol. xxviii.pp.r22,12:{.} Tlie second scheme, very siuiilar to the 
preceding, that of a Mr. Davy, exhibited at Eiceler t[all, in London, eiii|)loye<l bnt 
eight transmittinK keys, each oomniunding tiiree letters by dilt'ereiit niovtinoiits, and 
at the receiving desk twentv-foitr letters cm ground gloss, illiiiniiJiitulhyn laiiii>, each 
of which became visible only on the removal of a screen on the needle, placed behind 
t^e glass. An observer remarked that in the desk " there is an aperture abont I? 
inches long and 3 or 4 inches wide, facing the eyes, perfect]^' dark. On tliis the sig- 
nals appear as luminous letters, or combinations of lettera, with a iieatui'Ss and rapid- 
ity abnost magicaL" (»ecA. Mag. Feb. i, 1S38, No. 75G, voL xxviii, pp. 2iK>,2!>6.) 

(This is a difforent institntion ftom the University of New York State, which lias 
mainly a supervisory fuucCioii. 

.y Google 


with the two poles of the cap battery. A series of typee having on their 
nppesiace teeth or cogs varying in number, were set up as desired in 
the groove of a mle or composing-stick, which was caused to pass under 
the free end of the circuit lever ; and in this way the oscillation of the 
said lever over the projecting teeth determined the intervals of trans- 
mission of the magnetizing current according to the combinations pre- 
viously arranged in the composing-stick. The movement of the strip of 
paper beneath the pencil of the pendulum produced a continuous 
straight line so long as the pendulum remained at rest; but at each 
momentary attraction of its armature by the magnet, (induced by the 
completion of the galvanic circuit on the passage of a tooth under the 
circuit lever,) the play of the pendulum caused a lateral deviation of its 
pencil, which thus produced a transverse V-shaped interruption of the 
straight line. 

With this arrangement of apparatus the projector was enabled to 
produce signals through short circuits of wire : but he soon discovered 
to his dismay that on interposing more than a few yards of insulated 
wire, the oracle was dumb. Although the remedy for this defect (first 
discovered and demonstrated by Henry) had been for four or five years 
familiar to the students of scieuce, the reading of the artist had not 
been in the direction of scientific literature ; and he had conducted his 
experiments with a surprising indifference and inattention to the exist- 
ing state of knowledge upon the subject. In this emergency he wisely 
procured the scientific assistance of a colleague, Dr. Leonard D. Gale, 
professor of chemistry in the same university, and the material and 
mechanical assistance of Mr. Alfred Vail, of the Speedwell Iron Works 
near Morristown, N. J. 

The following is the account given by Dr. Gale of the early condition 
of this experimental telegraph, and of his own connection therewith : 
" In the winter of 1836-'37, Samuel F. B. Morse, who as well as myself 
was a professor in the New York University, city of New York, came 
to my lecture-room, aud said he had a machine in bis lecture-room or 
studio which he wished to show me. I accompanied him to his room, 
and there saw resting on a table a single-pair galvanic battery, an elec- 
tro-magnet, an arrangement of i>eneil, a pai>er-covered roller, pinion- 
wheels, levers, &c., for making letters and figures to be used for send- 
ing and receiving words and sentences through long distances. . . . 
At this time as Morse assuret^l ine no man had seen the machine except 
his brother, Sidney E. Morse. . . . Morses machine was com- 
plete in all its parte, and operated perfectly through a circuit of some 
forty feet, but there was not sufficient force to send messages to a dis< 
tance. At this time I was a lecturer on chemistry, and from necessity 
was acquainted with all kinds of galvanic batteries ; and knew that a 
battery of one or a few caps generates a large quantity of electricity, 
capable of producing heat, &c., but not of projecting electricity to a 
great distance ; aud that to accomplish this a battery of many cups is 


necessary. It was therefore evident to me tliat the one large cup-bat- 
tery of Morse should be made into ten or fifteen amaller ones to*make 
it a battery of intensity, so as to project the electric fluid. . . . 
Accordingly I substitated the battery of many cups for the battery of 
one cup. The remaining defect in the Morse machine, as first seen by 
me, was that the coi! of wire around the poles of the electro-magnet 
consisted of but a few turns only, while, to give the greatest projectile 
power, the number of turns should be increased from tens to hundreds, 
as shown by Professor Henry, in his paper published in the American 
Journal of Science, 1831. . . . After substituting the battery of 
twenty cups for that of a single cup, we added some hundred or more 
tnnis to the coil of wire around tbe poles of the magnet, and sent a mes- 
sage through 200 feet of conductors ; then through 1,000 feet ; and then 
through ten miles of wire arranged on reels in my own lecture-room in 
the New Yorfe University, in the presence of friends. All these experi- 
ments were repeated with the original Morae machine, modified as I 
have stated, by increasing the number of battery-cups and the number 
of turns of wire around the magnet."' 

The following account by the author himself, of his first experiments, 
is taken from his own deiHtsitiou in the "Bain " case, in February, 1851 : 
"In the year 1835, 1 was appointed a professor in the New York City 
University, and about the month of November of that year I occupied 
rooms in the university buildings. There I immediately commenced 
with very limited means to experiment upon my invention. My first 
instiHiment was matle up of an old picture or canvas frame fastened to 
a table, the wheels of an old wooden clock moved by a weight to carry 
the paper forward, three wooden drums, ui>on one of which tbe paper 
was wound and passed over the other two, a wooden pendulum suspended 
to the top piece of the picture or stretching frame and vibrating across 
the paper as it passed over the center wooden drum, a pencil at tbe 
lower end of the pendulum in contact with the paper, an electro-magnet 
fastened to a shelf across the picture or stretching frBme opposite to an 
armature made fast to the pendulum, a tj-pe-nale and type, for closing 
and breaking the circuit, resting on an endless band (composed of car- 
pet-binding), which passed over two wooden rollers moved by a wooden 
crank and carried forward by points projecting from the bottom of tbe 
rule downward into the carpet -binding, a lever with a small weight on 

■ Memorial of S. F. B. Morm, 6vo. Wasbingtou. 1875, pp. 15-17, Tlie pmcticftl im- 
provemeotn iuttodnced by Professor Gale iuto tlie arraiigeineut deviBed by Prol'cssor 
Morse appeared to the latter no obviously mere mattoni of decree that he felt coufi- 
dent (auer they rrere ^xoviu) that be would himself bare e&ccted them bj einiple 
trial orexperimeutation; and be does not appear ever to have realized that any scien- 
tific principle was involved in the difference. But bad he iun'euaed separately either 
the number of bis lalvanic clenieiitH or the number of coils upon his magnet, be 
n-onld uqiiolly liave tailed tooccompliab the dee ired result. The chance that howonld 
' »vo rtintfiiwed tl " ' - --'- --■-- ' ' — --^---i — i 

. d these increments may be estimalal as very low indeed, when w . ._ 

aider that much wiser and more scientific heads had failed entirely to attain such pni- 
pose and arrangement. 

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the upper side and a tootli projectisg downward at one end operat«d on 
by the type, and a metallic fork, also projecting dowaword over two mer- 
cury caps, and a short circait of wire embracing the helices of the elec- 
tro-magnet, connected with the positive and negative poles of the bat- 
tery, and terminating in the mercury cups. . . . Early in 1836, 1 
procured forty feet of wire, and, putting it io the circuit, I found that my 
battery of one cup was not snfBcient to work my instrument." . . . 
A practical mode of communicating the impulse of one circuit to an- 
other, such aa that described in my patent of 1840, was matured as 
early as the spring of 1837, and exhibited then to Professor Gale, 
my confidential fiiend. Up to the antumn of 1837 my telegraphic 
apparatus existed in so rode a form that I felt reluctance to have it 

In substantial accord with Professor Morse's deposition is that of his 
colleague and assistant, Professor Gale, taken in a previous case, and 
dated April 1, 1818, in which it is added that " On Saturday, the 2nd 
day of September, 1837, Professor Daubeny,of the English Oxford Uni- 
versity, being on a visit to this country, was invited with a few friends 
to see the operation of the telegraph in its then mde form in the cabinet 
of the New York City University, where it then had been put up with a 
cncuit of 1,700 feet of copper wire stretched back and forth in that long 
room. This exhibition of the telegraph, although of very mde and im- 
perfectly constructed machinery, demonstrated to all present the prac- 
ticability of the invention; and it resulted in enlisting the means, the 
skUl, and the zeal of Mr. Alfred Vail."! 

The record made on the trial exhibited September 2d, appears not to 
have been entirely satisfsictory, for on the following Monday (September 
■ 4th) a still better jjerformance was effected, as announced by a letter of 
that date addressed by Professor Morse to the editor of the New York 
"Journal of Commerce," in which the writer says: "I have the gratifica- 
tion of sending you a specimen of the writing of my telegraph, the actual 
transmission of a communication made this morning, in a more complete 
manner than on Saturday, and through the distance of one-third of a 
mile." This specimen of telegraphic communication, with its accompa- 
nying letter, was reproduced in the "Journal of Commerce" three days 

iDepoailion of Samuel F. H. Mone: Fel>. 6, 7, and 8, 1^1. In the case of "B. B. 
French luul otliora n. H. J. RoKiira and otiiera." Circuit conrt of U. 8. for E. Dist, of 
Pn. April seSMion 1850. No, 104. " ComplaJnaiit'a Eviileucc." Ninth answer, pp. 

t Moden ^. 

Tliia lirst ospcriiiii ,.. _ . ... , _ 

after the dute of Cooke and Wlicnttttono's patent, more than a month aft«r their snC' 
ccaafiil operation through a mile nad a quai't«r, nnd while the English inventors were 
eajifiSefX ia couirtmotinR a working liuo from Paddinf^ton to Wuat Dayt-ou, Mr. A. 
Viiil, a yoiinff man of Hue ubilitiea, was a papil of Dr. Gate's, and wa» liy Itim intio- 
(Inced to Proleseor Morae. 

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later, and forms tbe earliest publicatiOD of the actual operation of the 
"Morse telegrapli,"* The dispatch is as follows; 



112—0 4—01 8 3 7 

This cipher ia thus explained by the writer, reference being had to a 
dictionary suitably prepared with numbered words. "To illustrate by 
the diagram, the word 'soccessfal' is first foond in the dictionary, and 
Its telegraphic number, '215,' is set np in a species of type prepared for 
the purpose; and so of the other words. The type then operate upon 
the machinery and serve to regulate the times and intervals of the pas- 
sage of electricity. Each passage of the fluid causes a pencil at the ex- 
tremity of the wire to mark the points as in the diagram. To read the 
marks, count the points at the bottom of each line. It will be perceived 
that two points come first, separated by a short interval from the next 
point. Set ' 2 ' beneath it. Then comes one point, likewise separated by 
a short intervaL Set 'I' beneath it. Then come five points. Set '6' 
beneath them. But the next interval in this case is a Jong interval ; con- 
sequently the three numbers comprise the whole number '216,' So pro- 
ceed with the rest until the numbers are all set down. Then by referring 
to the telegraphic dictionary, the words corresponding to the numbers 
are found, and the communication read. Thus it will be seen that by 
means of the changes npon ten characters, all words can be transmit- 
ted," t 

In the above line or diagram representing the telegraphic dispatch, 
the symbol "A" {or inverted V), which occurs twice in the lower line, 
represents a cipherer zero; and this character, when preceding a figure 
or group of figures, indicates that the figure or group is to be read as an 
actual number, and notas theindexof aword, ConntlDg thusthenum- 
ber of V points in the above dispateh forming groups separated by a 
line (—), we obtain the following numbers: "215—36—2—58—112—04 
— 01837." And this message when translated by help of the numbered 
dictionary will read " Successful experiment with telegraph September 
4 1837." 

An account of this success, published in Silliman's Journal for Octo- 
ber, added the statement : " Since the 4th of September, one thousand 
feet more of wire No. 23 have been added, making in all two thousand 

"Notwitlista-ndine tlievery cnide condition of thin invention in Septflml>er, 1837, ns 
compared with tbat of Scliilling in 1830 (or probablj' in 1823), and that of Ganss in 
1833, the fact that intelligible aignala were actnslly exhibit«il by it at this date, fnllj 
tustiticB the accept^uco ofthis period as tlie time of its redaction to practical operation. 

tNew York Journal of Cammeroe, Tlinniday, September T, 1837: (on the 



seven hundred feet, more than balf a mile of a reduced size of wire. The 
legister Btill recorded accurately. Arrangements have been made for 
constructing new and accurate machinery. Professor Gale, of the New 
York City University, is engaged with Professor Morse in making some 
interesting experiments connected with this invention, and to test the 
effect of length of wire on the magnetizing influence of voltaic elec- 

Mr. Vail has given the following account of his connection with the 
enterprise: " On the 2d of September, 1837, the author with severe 
others witnessed the first exhibition of this electric telegraph, and soon 
after became a partner with the inventor. Immediate steps were taken 
for constructing an instrument for the purpose of exhibiting its powers 
before the members of Congress. This was done at the Speedwell Iron 
Works, MorristowD, N. J. and exhibited in operation with a circuit of 
two miles. A few days after, it was again exhibited at the University of 
the City of New York, for several days, to a large number of inrited 
ladies and gentlemen," t 

About a month after this " successful experiment," (on the 6th of Octo- 
ber, 1837,) Professor Morse filed in the United States Patent Office a 
"caveat," signed October 3, stating in the petition (dated five days 
earlier) " that the machinery for a full practical display of his new inven- 
tion is not yet completed, and he therefore prays protection of his right 
till he shall have matured the machinery." The specification declares : 
*' I have invented a new method of transmitting and recording intelli- 
gence by means of electro-magnetism : ... for the purpose afore- 
said, I have invented the following apparatus, namely : First, a system 
of signs by which numi)ers, and consequently words and sentences, 
are signified ; second, a set of type adapted to regulate and communi- 
cate the signs, with cases for convenient keeping of the type, and rules 
in which to set up the type ; third, an apparatus called a port-rule, for 
regulating the movement of the type-rules, which rules by means of the 
type in their turn regulate the times and intervals of the passage of 
electricity; fourth, a register which records the signs permanently; fifth, 
a dictionary or vocabulary of words numbered and adapted to this sys- 
tem of telegraph ; sixth, modes of laying the conductors to preserve 
them from injury." These several parts are then more particulary de- 
scribed. " The signs are the representatives of numerals."* The register 
comprises an electro-magnet actuating by its armature a lever or pen- 
dulum carrying a pencil or fouutain pen, or small printing wheel, for 
marking on a strip or sheet of paper as already descril)ed. The modes 
of laying the conductors are by insulating the wires with silk or cotton 
wrapping, and coating with caoutchouc or other non-conductor, and also 
by inclosiug them in iron, lead, or wooden tubes. The document con- 
eludes : " What I claim as my invention, and desire to secure by letters 

'Sillimsii'a Am, Jour. Sci. October, 1837, rot. xxxiii, p. 1B7. 
tA. Vail's ElectTO-Magnetio Telegraph, 8to, 1645, p. 154. 


patent and to protect for one year Ijy a caveat, is a method of record- 
ing permanently electrical signs which by means of metallic wires or 
other good conductors of electricity, convey intelligence between two or 

Of the above described apparatus, the two moat important features 
were those numbered the iirst and the fonrth, — ^the aystem of sificus and 
the recording device ; and though neither of these presented much orig- 
inality, the method of the former being that long estarblished for naval 
signals, u,nd the clock-moved fillet of the latter being essentially the ar- 
rangement long employed for self-registering instruments generally, yet 
the combination of these parts with the others undoubtedly possessed 
great practical merit i and none the less that the several elements were 
endently worked out independently by the inventor. It is not a little 
remarkable however, that of the specified six parts of this earliest in- 
vention of Professor Morse, not one enters into the established " Morse 
telegraph" of to-day. That feature regarded by the inventor as its vital 
and fundamental characteristic (the fourth], the subject of his formal 
" claim," survived the longest; but after undergoing considerable modi- 
fication, it has for more than twenty years been neglected and aban- 

In response to a public eurcnlarwhichhadbeenissnedtiy the Secretary 
of the Treasury, March 10, 1837, "witha viewof obtaininginformation in re- 
gard to the propriety of establisliing a system of telegraphs forthe United 
States,^ Frofesflor Morse addressed a communication to the honorable Sec- 
retary, dated September 27, 1837,pointing out the disadvantages of the old 
mechanical telegraphs as being " useless the greater part of the time:" 
(as in loggy weather and during the night.) He then proceeded : "Hav- 
ing invented an entirely new mode of telegraphic communication, which 
so far as experiments have yet been made with it, promises residts of 
almost marvelous character, I beg leave to present to the department 
a brief account of its chief characteristics." After stating that at the 
time when he first conceived the thought (some five years previously) he 
had " planned a system of signs and an apparatus to carry it into effect," 
he added, " although the rest of the machinery was planned, yet from 
the pressure of unavoidable duties I was compelled to postpone my ex- 
periments, and was not able to test the whole plan until within a few 
weeks. The result has realized my most sanguine expectations." 

The construction of a more complete apparatus was carried on at the 
Speedwell Iron Works of the Messrs. Vail, near Morriatown, while Pro- 
fessor Gale pursued his experiments at the New York City University." 

Having finished his laborious task of numberiug a dictionary, Octo- 
ber 24, 1837, Professor Morse gave more attention to the Vail Works.t 

* Professor Morse, writing to Mr. Altted Vail, October?, 1837, sajs: " Professor Gale's 
services will be iuvaloabla tu ns, and I am glad tLat be is disposed to enter into the 
matter with iseal," 

f" The dictionary is at last done. Ton cannot conceive how much laljor there Iiag 
been in it, bnt It is accomplished ; and we can now talk or writ« anytliiug by iinm- 
bere." Professor Morse to A, Vail, October 34, 1837, (Primed Life of Mont, chap. 


Od his return from a yisit to the works, he wrote back to Mr. Vail, on 
the ISth of November, 1837, " L arrived just in time to see the experi- 
ment Professor Gale was making with the entire ten miles, and yon will 
be gratified and agreeably sorpiised when I inform yon that the result 
now is that with a little addition of wire to the coils of the small mag- 
net which I had all along used, the power was sA great apparently 
throngh ten as tbrongh three miles. This result has surprised ue all 
(yet there is no mistake), and I conc«ve settles the whole matter." 

In a second communication to the Secretary of the Treasury, dated 
Ifovember 28, 1837, Professor Morse uinounced this eucouniiging suc- 
cess : " I intbrmed you that I had succeeded in marking permanently 
and intelligibly at the distance of half a mile. Professor Gale of our uni- 
versity, and Mr. Alfred Vail, of the Speedwell Iron Works, near Mor- 
riRtown, K. J. are now associated with me in the scientiflc and mechan- 
ical parts of the invention." We have procured several miles of wire, 
and I am bappy to announce to yon that our success has tbas far 
been complete. At a distance of five miles, with a common Cruick- 
shanks' battery of eighty-seven plates (four by three and a half inches, 
each plate), the marking was as perfect on the register as in the first 
instance of half a mile. We have recently added five miles more 
(making in all ten miles) with the same result ; and we now have no 
doubt of its effecting a similar result at any distance." 

On tbe completion of the new receiving and recording instruments at 
the Speedwell Iron Works, an experimental exhibition at tbe place, with 
three miles of coated copi>er wire, extended around a large factory-robm, 
was made in the presence of a few iViends, on the 6th of January, 1838 ; 
and on the 11th of Januarj' another exhibition was freely opened to the 
public A report of the trial in a Morristown Journal explains how 
"the words were put up into numbers through the dictionary; the 
numbers were set up in tbe telegraph type in about the same time ordi- 
narily occupied in setting up the same in a printing office ; they were 
then all passed complete by the port-rule ;" and being automatically 
recorded at the extreme end of the wire, " the marks or numbers were 
easily legible, and by means of the dictionary were resolved again into 

Shortly after this, Professor Morse {or bis assistant, Mr. Vail) devised 
for the first time a system of alphabetic symbols for his telegraph. It 
should not be forgotten that the vertical recording-lever of the original 
Morse appararatus was so arranged that it must necessarily mark a con- 
tinuotis line, either straight or zig-zag. It was never devised for an 
" alphabet," and was incapable of an intermittent dot or dash marking. 
Tbe new instrument completed by Mr. Vail, and first operated on the 

" In a letter to the Hon. FtodcIb O. J. Smith, chairman of th<< Coinniitt«e on Com- 
merce, lloime of nnprpseotatives, dated Fobniary 15, 1)^)8, Frofessor Mone wrlt«e : 
" It is propnr that I Hhoiild here state that the pateut-ri^ht is now jointly owned in 
unoqiial bIiiwos 1jy myself, Professor Uale.of New York City University, and Messrs. 
Al&ed anil George Vail." The patent n'aa not actually issued till more than two years 


6th of January, 1838, was differently organized, the recording-lever being 
for the first time arranged horizontally, and having an up and down 
movement, with an upright magnet under one end, and the moving fillet 
of paper above the other.' 

On the 24th of January, 1838, an exhibition of the new apparatus and 
of its improved operation, waa given at the New York City University, 
in the long room of the geological cabinet, through ten miles of wire; 
one of the five-mile reels being placed in the outgoing portion of the cir- 
cuit, and the other five-mile reel on the returning line. On this occasion 
for the first time the words transmitted were entered, and recorded, in 
the new alphabet without the aid of the numbered dictionary.! The 
New York Journal of Commerce in noticing this performance remarked : 
"Professor Morse has recently improved on his mode of marking, by 
which he can dispense altogether with the telegraphic dictionary, using 
letters instead of numbers ; and he can transmit ten woitts per minute, 
which ia more than double the number which can be transmitted by 
means of the dictionary." J 

The instrument thus brought to a satisfactory working condition, was 
designed to be sent to Washington for exhibition to oflScers of the Na- 
tional Government, with a view of obtaining a grant from Congress for 
the construction of an actual line of telegraph between two cities. On 
the way from Kew York, the apparatus with its reels of wire was ex- 
hibited at Fhilatlelphia, before a committee of the Frunklin Institute 
(at its hall), on the 8th of February, 1838. The committee (whose chair- 
man was Prof. Robert M. Patterson, then Director of the United States 
Mint at Philadelphia), after a careful examination, reported : 

"The operation of the telegraph as exhibited to us was very satis- 
fivctory. The power given to the magnet at the register through a length 
of wire of ten miles, was abundantly sufBeient for the movements re- 
quired to mark the signals. The communication of this power was in- 
stantaneous." Referring then to the probable difficulties of efBcient in- 
sulation, the committee proceeded : "Mr. Morse has proposed several 
plans ; the last being to cover the wires with cotton thread, then varnish 
them thickly with gum-elastic, and inclose the whole in leaden tubes. 
More practical and economical means will probably be devised j but the 
fact is not to be concealed that any effectual plan must be very expen- 
Bive.5 Doubts have been raised as to the distance to which the electri- 

•On the qUBsliou of the ort);iu ami inveutLou of the " Moree-Alphahet," see "Snp- 
plemeut," Note G. 

tThe message sent through the wire on tins ocfiiwion (Wednesday, January 24, 
1838,) is spoken of as " the nrat senterute that was ever recoriiect hy the telegraph." 
(Prime's Xi/« 0/ Morse, evo. N. Y. 1875, p. 331.) It waa the fiiat employment of th© 
lectiltnear dot a»<l dash symbols. 

tNew York Jounrato/Cifmiiierce of January 29, IKW. 

f [It is f« be remembeTed that Gaiiss and Weber, as also Steinheil, at thia date had 
in actnal and successful operation telegraph lines several miles in length, whoso naked 
wires throngh the air were insulated only at their points of snpport. Although tbis 
important discovery of Weber bad been in practical and public operation for abont five 
years, no particular account of it seems to have been at that time published in this 
conn try. 1 

S. Mis. 59 20 


city of an ordiuary battery can be made efficient; but yonr committee 
think tliat no serious difficulty ia anticipated aa to this point. The ex- 
periment with the wire wound in a coil may not indeed be deemed con- 
clusive. ... It may be proper to state that the idea of using elec- 
tricity for telegraphic purposes ha=i presented itself to several individu- 
als, and that it may be difficaltto settle among them the question of orig- 
inality. The celebrated Gauss has a telegraph of this kind in actual 
operation, for communicating signals between the University of Got- 
tingen and his magnetic observatory in its vicinity. ... In con- 
clusion, the committee beg leave to state their high gratification with 
the exhibition of Professor Morse's telegraph, and their hope that means 
may be given to him to subject it to the test of an actual experiment 
made between stations at a considerable distance from each other. " * 

About the middle of February, { 1838, ) Professor Morse arrived in Wash- 
ington with his instrument and his reels of wire, and exhibited the ope- 
ration of the telegraph to many dignitaries of the executive and legisla 
tive branches of government. A memorial was presented to Congress 
by the inventor, asking an appropriation to'defray the expense of an 
experimental line between two cities ; which being referred to the Com- 
mittee on Commerce by the House of Eepreaentatives, waa favorably 
reported by that committee April 6, through its chairman, Hon. Francis 
O. J. Smith. " The committee agree unanimously that it is worthy to 
engross the attention and means of the Federal Goveniment to the fidl 
extent that may be necessary to put the invention to the most decisive 
test that can be desirable ; " and in accordance with this opinion, " the 
committee recommend an appropriation of thirty thousand dollars, to be 
expended under the direction of the Secretary of the Treasury; and to 
this end submit herewith a bilL" This bill however &iled to receive 
the support of the majority, and a favorable action on this measure was 
not obtained for several years. 

Meanwhile Professor Mors© had been engaged with a killful attorney 
in preparing papers with a view to obtaining a patent. The specifica- 
tion (signed Aj)ril 7, 1838) includes, in addition to the several parts de- 
scribed in the earlier caveat of October 3, 1837, the recently-devised 
system of alphabetic signs, a rotary port-rule for continuous action 
and a combination of circuits or electromagnetic "relays." The inven- 
tion is described as " an application of electro-magnetism in producing 
sounds and signs, or either, and ajso for recording permanently by the 
samemeans . . . any signs thus produced." " It consists of the fol- 
lowing parts: First, a circuit of electric or galvanic conductors," etc. 
" Second, a system of signs by which numerals and words represented by 
numerals, and thereby sentences of words, as well as of numerals, and let- 
ters of any extent and combination of each, are communicated." "Third, 
a set of tj'pe adapted to regulate the communication of the above-men- 
tioned signs." " Fourth, an apparatus called the port-rule fstraight or 
• Journal of FranliUn IniUtiite, Felimary, IStS, vol. xxi, n. a. pp. lOG-108, 


circular] which regulates the movement of the type," " Fifth, a Bignal- 
lever which breaks and connects the circuit of conduotorB."* " Sixth, » 
register which records permanently the signs communicated." " Sev- 
enth, a dictionary, or vocabulary of words, to which are prefixed nu- 
merals." " Eighth, modes of laying the circuit of conductors," 

After filing his application in the Patent Office, in order not to be 
forestalled in his intended efforts to obtain patents in Europe, by his 
own patent being sent and published abroad, Professor Morse filed a 
request that its issue might be suspended till his return. 

Although the favorable report on the Morse memorial to Congress, 
made to the House of Representatives by ita committee, failed to secure 
the appropriation recommended, Mr, Francis O. J. Smith, the chairmau, 
was so well satisfied of the merits of the new telegraph, that on leaving 
Congress he at once became a partner in the enterprise, and aecompanied 
Professor Morse in his departure for Loudon, May 16, 1838. t 

In consequence of the opposition of Wheatstone and Cooke, who had 
obtained an English patent June 12, 1837, Professor Morse's applieatioii 
for a patent in Great Britain was refused by the attorney-general, Sir 
John Campbell, July 12, 1838, (after the exaction of heavy fees,) on an 
unquestionable judicial quibble. The ostensible ground of rejection was 
clearly not warranted by the spirit or intent of the English patent law, 
as the details of the patent sought, had n^ver been published either In 
this country or abroad.} 

The success of the American inventor iu France was practically no 
greater; for although a nominal patent for that country was obtained 
on Angast 18, 1S3S, it was rendered nugatory by the ingenious legal 

'Allbmigli the "signal-lever" is here specially indicated, it differs widely in con- 
Btractinn, airanpiement, and operation, ftom tbe modem signal-levsr or transmitting 
key ; bavio^ only the functioa in common with it of a circuit-breaker. la hie pam- 
phlet, publiabed at Farie iu 1B87, giving an account of hin invention, Professor Morse 
eaya: ''At tbe time of the construction of tbis first telegraphic instrnment, I had not 

conceived the idea of the present key nuinipulalor dependent on the skill of the opera- 
' nt I presumed that the accuracy of the imprinting of signs could only bo secured 
echanical mathematical nrrangemonta and uy automatic process. " (Modem Tela- 

grapky, etc. p. 25.) In bis argnment presented to Sir John Campbell,, the attorney- 
general of England, July 12, 1838, he urges as an evidence of characteristic novelty, 
"These types form snchan essentialpart of my invention, that withont them the prac- 
tical utility and value of my invention is for the moat part destroyed, and full one- 
half of the mechanism is discnnni'ctwl from it, and is of no use in it." The Morse lever 
ranst not therefore be oonfoundnd with the existing finger-key. "The spring-lever 
key, as at present used in the Morse office, was suggestetlby Mi. Thomas C. Avery, of 
New York, bnt has received various modifications." (TumbuU's Etectro-MagneUe 
TtlegTapb, 1852, pp. 49, 50.) 

f'Witb this nndeistanding a partnership was formed between Professor MoiM, 
Frofeaaor Gale, Ui. Alfre<l Vail, and Hon. F. O. J. Smith, by tbe terms of which it was 
stipulated that Mr. Smith should go to Europe with Professor Morsii, and encure 
patents for the telegraph in such countries as it sboald be practicable for bim to do 
80." (Prime's Lifeof Moree, chap, viii, p. 344.) 

t Notwithstanding their illiberal iulerfereuce with Moreo's application in 1838, 
HessTfl. William P. Cooke and Charles Wheatstone had the " self-possession " eighteen 
months later each to write a letter to Professor Morse, (dated January IT, 1340,) beg- 
ging him to Join them iu tbcir eftbrts to obtaiu au American patent ! As a cbaruoter- 
istic illustration of offlcial contrast, Messrs. Cooke and Wheatstone (contrary to theli 
expectations), on their own application, secured an American patent without oppo«- 
tion oi obstruction June 10, IMO, ten days before the issue of Horse's patent, applied 
for more than two years earlier. 


conditions, llrst, that to prevent forfeiture the patented iaveotion most 
be carried into successful operation in Fiance wjtliin two yt^aa; and 
secondly, that all private persons, companies, or corporations, were pro- 
Mbitedfrom putting a telegraph into operation in France. Disappointed 
in various promising expectationa, and discoursed by repeated failures. 
Professor Morse returned to New York, April 16, 1839. - 

In May, 1839, he visited Princeton, for the purpose of seeing Professor 
Henry and obtaining from him the solution of certain doubts; — ^his col- 
league, Dr. Gale, being then absent on business. During this his first 
interview with Henry, occupying an afternoon and evening, he received 
from the full and frank expositions of his host every satisfaction he de- 
sired; and he had the great enconragement of hearing &om the lips of 
that cautious investigator, that he foresaw no diiBculty in magnetizing 
soft iron through a wire " at the distance of a hundred miles or more."* 

The application filed by Professor Morse in the United States Patent 
Office, before he visited Europe, was allowed, and issued as a patent 
June 20, 1840. {Wo. 1647.) This patent comprised nine claims : 1, the 
combination of type, rule, lever, &c. ; 2, the recording cylinder, &c. ; 3j 
the types, signs, &c. ; 4, the making and breaking of the circuit by 
mechanism, &c. ; 5, the combination of successive circnits ; 6, the appli- 
cation of electro -magnets to several levers, &c. ; 7, the mode and process 
of recording by the use of electro magnetism ; 8, the combination and 
arrangement of electro-magnets in one or more circuits, with armatures 
for transmitting signs ; and 9, the combination of the mechanism de- 
scribed, with a dictionary of numbered words. 

The appropriation asked for from Congress, though earnestly pressed 
at successive sessions, failed to obtain the sanction of the House of 
Representatives; until after a wearisome delay of five years, a bill was 
finally carried through Congress, March 3, 1843, authorizing an expendi- 
ture of " the sum of thirty thousand dollars, ... for testing the 
capacity and usefulness of the system of electro-magnetic telegrapha 
invented by Samuel F. B. Morse, of New York." 

The stations selected for connection by the new telegraph were Wash- 
ington and Baltimore, about forty miles apart. In order to form two 
complete circuits for this distance, one hundred and sixty miles of cop- 
per wire, covered with cotton, were ordered and delivered at New York 
City. Before inclosing the four lines in pii>es, as contemplated. Professor 
Morse prudently determined to experiment on the magnetizing effect 
through this continuous length of insulated wire. . The result of this 
experiment, which fully justified the expectation of Henry expressed to 
him four years before, is thus stated in a letter addressed to the See- 
retary of the Treasury, August 10, 1843 : 

* Prime'B £i/e o/ Morie, chap, i, pp. 431, i23. Dr. Prime says of this Tisit, "A few 
days ofte; receiving Professor Henry's kin<l invitation, Professor Morae ireut to Prince- 
ton, Mid passing the afternoon and ereniug with the gxeat philosopher, retumed th.« 
nest momiiig to New Yotk." 


" The experiments alluded to were tried on Tuesday, and with per- 
fect success. I had prepared a galvanic battery of three hundred pairs, 
in order to have ample power at command ; but to my great gratifica- 
tion, I found that one hundred pairs were sufficient to produce all the 
effects I desired through the whole distance of one hundred and sixty 
miles. It may be well to observe that the hundred and sixty miles (rf 
wire are to be divided into four lengths of forty miles each, forming a four- 
fold cord from Washington to Baltimore. Two wires form a cireuit; the 
electricity therefore in producing its effects at Washington from Balti- 
more, passes from Baltimore to Washington and back again to Baltimore, 
of course travelling eighty miles to produce its result. One hundred 
and sixty miles therefore gives me an actual distance of eighty miles ; 
double the distance from Washington to Baltimore. The result then of 
my experiments on Tuesday, is that a battery of only a hundred pairs at 
Waahington, will operate a telegraph on my plan eighty miles distant 
with certainty, and without requiring any intermediate station," 

As it was part of the original plan {as set forth in the caveat of 1837) 
to lay the conducting wires underground, Professor Morse, in 18i3, de- 
vised a method of forming a lead pipe around the group of prepared and 
insulated wires, that is of introducing the compound cord into the pipe 
in the process of its construction. He obtained a patent for this project 
October 25, 1843, (So. 3316,) claiming " the method of introducing wires 
into hollow pipes whilst making the same, by introducing the wires 
through a hollow mandrel on which the pipe is made." This process 
was practically carried out, though with the extreme risk of constantly 
impairing the insulation of the wires by the operation. 

Professor Gale has given the following account of the method of lay- 
ing the telegraph line and of the result. "A plow was used, with a share 
ranning two and a half feet deep, and carryiug a coil of insulated wire 
inclosed in a coil of lead pipe which the plow deposited in the ground 
and covered as the plow progressed. Porty miles of lead pipe were made 
in New York in the autumn of 18i3, and shipped to Baltimore in the end 
of November. Up to this date I had been engaged in New Tork inspecting 
the manufacture of the lead pipe and charging the same with the insulated 
wire fed into the pipe by machinery while the pipe was drawn. I reached 
Baltimore in the early part of December, and learned that the party had 
nearly reached the Belay House. Nine miles had been laid ; on iuspectioo. 
of which, not one mile of wire was found to be sufficiently insulated to 
carry the electric current from end to end of the reach."' 

The plan was finally abandoned early iu 184i, after more than half of 

"ifor»«J/emoriaf,WttBlliugtoii, lB76,pp.l9, 19. Steiuheil, in 1837, remarked: "Nnmer- 
ons trials to inHulatonirea aud to conitnct them below the surface of tbu ffroiuiil liava 
led me t« tbe oonvictiou that euch attempts cau never auswer at ffreat dtstances, in- 
aamacli as our most perfect iusulators are at best liut ver; bod condnctors. And since 
iu a wire of very great length tbe surface in cont^ctr with tbe so-called insulator Is 
uncommonl}' large wben c<>Qipared nitb the section of tbe metallic cnnduclor, tbere 
necesBarily arises a gradual lUmiuutiou of force." (Sturgeon's AanaU of EletXricitg, 
etc. April, 1839, toL lii, p. 510.) 


the appropriatiott had been expended." In March, 1844, it waa decided 
to put the wires on poles, after the maaner sacceaafully adopted by 
Weber at Gottingen eleven years before. The different plans of insulat- 
ing support proposed, were submitted by Professor Morse to Henry for 
his opinion, and he decided in favor of Mr. Ezra Cornell's plan of sepa- 
rating the wires as far apart as convenient, and attaching each wire to 
an independent glass insulator, t The line was accordingly erected on 
this plan ; and by the middle or latter part of May, 1844, was completed 
ftom Washington to Baltimore. On the 24th of that month, the first 
formal message was transmitted through it between the two cities, and 
recorded by the electro-magnet in the dot-and-dash alphabet4 From 
this time the success of the electric telegraph In the United States waa 
assured, and its extension over oar broad domain was comparatiTely 

This prolonged review of the history of the "Morse tel^jraph" has 
been ventured upon in this connection, partly to bring oat into just re- 
lation and relief one or two importaut points, and in part to Ulu^trate 
the gradual progress of development of the system, in the career of a 
single inventor. With that strong "subjectivity" (perhaps essential to 
the success both of the artist and of the artisan) which characterized 
him. Professor Morse always believed his invention to liave been prac- 
tically fuU-fledged at its birth, or rather at its conception; and quite 
unconsciooe of the slow and small advances derived firom gathered ex- 
perience or external suggestion, failed seemingly to realize how com- 
pletely his earlier methods were discarded and displaced by later improve- 
ments. § 

"Frofeasor Morse Bay a: "It was abandoned, among other reosonB, in coDseqneDce of 
ascertaining that in the procesB of inserting the wire into the leaden tubea (wltlchwas 
at the moment of forming the tube from the lead at melting heat) the insulated cover- 
ing of the wires had become charred at varions and nDmeruns points of the lioeto Bnch 
an extent that greater delay and expense would he necessary to repair the damage 
than to put the wire on posts." (Prime's Life of Morse, chap, xi, p. 47B.) 

tMi. Cornell afterward distineuished himself by devoting, in 1865, half a nuUioDof 
dollars from the profits of hie telegraphic enterprises, to the founding at Ithaca, N. Y. 
of the university bearing his name. He subsequently contribnt«d nearly as mnch 
more ; making his total endowment in the neighborhood of a million dollars. 

tThe completion of the esperimeotal telegraph authorized by net of Congress was 
thus formally auDomicert by Professor Morse to the Sccrettar of the Treasury, under 
whose direction the appropriation had been placed: "WashiugUin, JuneS, 1844. Sib: 
I have the honor to report that the experimental essay authorized, by the act of Con- 
gress on March it, 184'J, appropriating 30,000 dollars for testing my system of eleetm- 
magnetic telegraph, ' nuU of such length and between such points ns shall test its 
pracf icahility and utility,' has l>een uiudu between Wasbinjjton and Baltimore, a dis- 
tance of forty miles, connecting the Capitol in the former city with the railroad depot 
in Pratt street in the latter city. . . ■" This was six yeai's after the EngtiEsh Imo 
of thirteen miles had been inopcration. While Lomond, in 1787, anil Steiuhcil, In 1837, 
had employcil hut a single wii'e for transmitting measages from either end. Horse, in 
1844, required two circuits of four wires for the sameperftirmance ; one pair of wires for 
the outwant and one pnir for the inward passage. 

f In a letter addressed to Donald Mann, esq., December, 1859, Professor Morse rather 
quaintly remarks: "In elaborating the invention in its earlier ii^aues, niauy modifica- 
tions of its various parts were ti-icd, and many of the supposed inipnivuraeuts then 
deemed necessary to its perfection have since been found uiuiecessoi'y and useless." 
^American Telegraph ilagoiine, December 15, 18^ vol. i, No. 3, p. 130.) 


Morses '^ first conception." — After a three years' sojourn iu Europe, from 
1829 to 1832, spent principally in Italy, devoted exclusively to the study 
and pursuit of bin art as paints, Mr. Morse on his homeward voyage 
from France in the ship Sully, formed the acquaintance of Dr. Charles 
T. Jackson, of Boston, a fellow- passenger. He first "conceived the idea" 
of an electric telegraph on the 19th of October, 1832, from a conversa- 
tion with Dr. Jackson on the subject ; and the suf;gestion impressed him 
with the surprise of a truly new conception. His first thought appears 
to have been the application of electricity or galvanism to a chemically 
recording telegraph ; and this project, laid aside for that of the electro- 
magnet, was alterward revived and cherished, till iu 1849, he procured a 
patfint for it, as already statfid. 

Professor Morse in his letter to Dr. C. T.Jackson, dated September 18, 
1837, controverting the claim of the latter to a share in the invention of 
the electric telegraph, says : " I lose no time in CTMleavoring te disabuse 
yonr mind of an error into which it has Mien in regard to the electro- 
magnetic telegraph. You speak of it as 'our electric telegraph,' and as 
a ' mutual discovery.' . . . I have a distinct recollection of the man- 
ner, the place, and the moment, when the thought of making an electric 
wire the means of communicating intelligence, first came into my mind. 
. . . We were conversing on the recent scientific discoveries in elec- 
tro-magnetism ; . . . I then remarked, this being so, if the presence 
of electricity can be made visible in any desired part of the circuit, I 
see no reason why intelligence might not be transmitted instantaneously 
by electricity. You gave your assent that it was possible. ... I 
asked you if there was not some mode of decomposition which could be 
tnmed to account. You suggested the following experiment, which we 
agreed should be tried together, if we could meet for that purpose. It 
was this: to decompose by electricity glauber salts upon the paper 
which was first to bo colored with turmeric." The writer then argues 
that this plan not having been jointly tried, and an entirely different 
device (the electro-maguet) having been adopted by himself, there was no 
joint invention.* 

In his letter to Dr. C. T. Jackson, dated December 7, 1837, Pi-ofessor 
Morse says : " I consulted you to ascertain if there were not some sub- 
stance easily decomposed by the simple contact of a wire in an electric 
state. It was then, and not till then, that you suggested turmeric paper 
dipped in a solution of sulphate of soda. ... I do not charge you 
with intentional neglect; I readily allow your excuses for not trying the 
experiments; but these excuses do not alter the faet that yonr neglect 
retarded my inveutiou, and compelled me after five years' delay, to con- 
sider the result of that experiment as a failui-e, and consequently to de- 

' Amos KcnilaU'B Full Expo$are of Dr. Cbarltt T. Jackion'g PrelensionB, etc. First edi- 
tion, N. Y. 1850. SocouafflUtion.priiitoa in Paris, lHG7r pp.ri4,«5. Ncitlier Pi-ofcssor 
Morse nor Dr. Jackson wtw dwaro that tho project liafl been BiiggeBted aeventeeu years 
before, by Dr. J. R. Coso, of Fhilatlelnhia ; ami that it bad lieeu auccessfully tried 
four or five ycaia before, by Mi'. H. G. Dyar, of New York. 


vise another mode of applying my apparatus, — a mode entirely original 
with me."* 

In a letter to Mr. Alfred Vail, not long after having formed a partner- 
Bhip with that gentleman, be wrote : '' I claim to be the original 
snggester and inventor of the electnc magnetic telegraph, on the 19th 
of October, 1832, on board the packet-ship Sully, on my voyage from 
France to the United States, and consequently the inventor of the first 
really practicable telegraph on the electric principle." t Some ten years 
later he wrote to Professor Walker : " It is at the date, 1832, of Baron 
Schilling's invention of his needle-telegraph (since abandoned as imprac- 
ticable from various and obvious causes), that I conceived my electro- 
magnetic telegraph, and first devised an apparatus applying magnetism 
produced by electricity or the power of the electro- magnet to imprint 
characters at a distance." } And such was ever his firm conriction. 
Some twenty years later, he wrote at Paris : " If it be asked wliy I have 
assumed the date of the year 1833 an a standpoint, I reply, because at 
tiiat date the idea was first conceived, and the process and means first 
developed." 5 

The invention however as unfolded in his caveat of October 3, 1837, 
is sufiSciently embryonic for physiological study; and though our patent 
law, on grounds of sound policy, excludes all evidence of the inception 
of a foreign competitive invention, admitting only perfected and fully 
published details successfully to interfere (inaquestion of priority) with 
the first suggestions of the American inventor,|[ obviously no such patri- 
otic rule is admissible in any scientific history of the progress of actual 
discovery. Interesting as the earliest gleams of a successful application 
and invention undoubtedly are, they are too little accessible to impar- 
tial investigation to claim the prerogative of a recognized chronology. 

* Thifl letter soems very positively to exclnde the claim to liaviug " ooncoived the 
idea" of the magaetie telegraph iu 1832. 

^Vail'H Electro-JUogHetia Telegraph, 1845, p. 154. 

t Morse's letter t« Professor Sears C. Walker, dated Wnahington, January 31, 1848. 
The writer is exciituible for fuvtiiiuiug ISI^ as the date of Baruu Schilliog's iiiveution, 
(the date of his return from China,) as this is the date iisnally assigned in the popular 
test-bookR. Sohilliug's invention however bo far from being either "impracticable" 
or ''abauiloncd," is the essential basis of the telegraph uon iu use tliruughout Eng- 

{ MoHem Telegrapkn, a pamphlet by 8. F. B, Morse. Paris, 1887, p. 10, In a letter to 
Donald Mann, esq., (editor of the Tolej^rAph Magazine), dated "Poiigbkeepsie, De- 
comber, 1852," Professor Morse slontly uiaintaiiiud liis ulaiui to priority of practical 
development (if not of first coiici'titiou) of an electric recording tolegrupli [ and with 
paternal exaggeratioulio declared, of his iirst cm de experiment at the close of the year 
1S(5, "The triitli is, the child was horn, and brenthud, and spoke, in 1335. It had 
then all the Ciwential cliaraotcristics of the fntnre man." {Amerieaa Tele-graph Maga- 
zine. December 15, lSo2, vol. i, No. "A, p. 1^.) Its Iirst transmission of an intelligible 
message was made September -i, ltj:{T. 

II " Whenever it appears that a patentee at the time of making his applica- 
tion for the patent believed liimsell to bo the original and first inventor or dis- 
coverer of the thing patented, the same shall not be held to bo void on account of the 
invention or discovery, or any part thereof, having been known or used in a foreign 
conntry before his Inveution or discovery therenf, if it had not been patented or 
described iu a printed publication." {Act o/JhIs 4, 1836, section 15, Bevised Statute!, 
appi ved March a, 1877, title Ix, Beo.4M3.) 

i by Google 


Whether judged by tbe standard of origiaal conception, of practieal 
operation, or of actual mtroduction into use, the Morse telegraph must 
be assigned a position tolerably low down in the list." More than six- 
teen years before Professor Morse's first conception of the idea, Dc. J. 
E. Cpxe, professor of chemistry in the University of Pennsylvania, at 
the beginning of 1S16, " conceived the idea" of a practical elcotro-chemi- 
cal telegraph, ■whose signals should be permanently recorded by the de- 
composition of metallic salts ; t the precursor of Dyar's electro- chemical 
telegraph, successfully operated in 1828, {about five years before Morse's 
first conception,) — of Bain's electro-chemical telegraph, (patented De- 
cember 12, 18i6,) — and of Morse's electro-chemical telegraph, (patented 
May 1, 1840,) a third of a century afterward. Schilling's electro-mag- 
netic telegraph developed to a " practiearoperation" in 1823, certainly 
before 1825, preceded that of Morse more than a dozen years. And the 
electro-magnetic telegraph of Gauss and Weber (certainly "conceived" 
before 1832) iras In actual use and employment more tlian ten years 
before the similar establishment by Professor Morse; while that of 
Steinheil, probably conceived as early, was some eight years earlier 
than his in its practical introduction into use. f 

That Professor Morse would greatly have expedited his own improve- 
ments, and have saved himself a large amount of wasted time and labor, 
if he had studied more carefully the state of the art at the commence- 
ment of his experiments in 1835, is sufficiently obvious. But his com- 
plete unconsciousness — ^not only of the earlier successes of others in de- 
veloping the galvanic telegraph, but of even the elementary facts of sci- 
entific history bearing on the problem, as well at the time of his original 
"conception" on board the ship Sully from the fecundating suggestion 
of Dr. Jackson, as during the years follomng, in which the invention 
was being slowly matured, — would bo incredible on any other testimony 
than bis own. In his first letter to the Secretary of the Treasury, dated 
September 27, 1837, he announced "having invented an entirely new 
mode of telegraphic communication." In a letter to Mr. A. Vail, some 
time afterward, he wrote: " I ought perhaps to say that the conception 
of the idea of an electric telegrsiph was original with me at that time, 
and I supposed that I was the first that hart ever associated the two 
words together, nor Was it until my invention was completed and had 
been successfully operated through ten miles, that I for the first time 

" Nenrly two years before Professor Morao IiimI met ivitli Dr. C. T. Jnckson, Heniy had 
"conceived" uudosociitcdaue.-ipci'iniontalcloctro-ninguotictelogropli, of amileciroiiit. 

tTtiomsou's Annalt of PhUoMphy, Fobriiary, ISIO, vol. vii, p. \S.i. 

tin a letter to liis danghter dated July 3C, 1838, (written from H.ivro, Just on hia 
arrival in Franco flrom London, J Pitifussoi* Morso sa.vs somewhat ciii'jaii»ly oCtlietelo- 
gmpli of Wbentstone, "bo Las tuveutoil bis I Lwliove without liuowins that I wua 
enjraged in an invcution to prod nee a similar resnlt; Tor nithuiigli liu dntca back ia 
Vsii, yet ns no piiblicatioD or our tbongbts was lUixla by oitbei', wo nro oviduntly in- 
dcpundentof cub otlior." (Prime's Life of Morie, clinji. ix, p. rtod.) Tbo popiilivi' in- 
fatuation hi Eii);Inndi)s to tlio oi'igimillty and priority, or ttio Cooke and Wliuatstoua 
totograph is pi'ol)ably nnite oqunl to that }iruvalent In America as to tlui superior 
claims of the Morso tufcgrapb. Wbcatstouo's Bcieuiifio diat.iuctiou or liis titio t« on- 
duxiug fame, fortunately does not repose on bia telegraph. 


learDetl that the idea of an electric telegraph had been conceived by 
another." " 

Some time earlier than this, or Ave years after their conversatioDS on 
ship-hoard, Professor Morse wrote to Dr. Jackson, (in a letter dated 
August 27, 1837, seeking his indorsement of the writer's originality in 
electrical telegraphy,)andavowed : "Iclaimformyself, and consequently 
for America, priority over all othw countries in the invention of a iDode 
of communicating intelligence by electricity 1 " In a second letter to the 
same person, dated New York City University, September 18, 1837, 
acknowledging his correspondent's original iutroductory remarks on 
electricity and electro-magnetism during their homeward voyage, bat 
diSering from him as to some of the coosequent circumstances, he 
affirmed: "I then remarked, this being so, if the presence of electricity 
can be made visible in any desired part of the circuit, I see no reason 
why intelligence might not be transmitted instantaneously by elec- 
tricity 1" And in the same letter he contended, "The dtscov^T/ ia the 
original suggestion of conveying intelligence by electricity -t The inven- 
tioH is devising the mode of couveying it. The discovery, so far as we 
alone are concerned, belongs to me : and if by an experiment which we 
proposed to try together we had mutually fixed upon a successful mode 
of couveyiog intelligence, then we might with some propriety be termed 
mutual or joint inventors. But as we have never tried any experiment 
together, nor has the one proposed to be tried by you, been adopted by 
me, I cannot see how we ean be called mutual inventors. Tou are 
aware perhaps that the mode I have carried into effect after many and 
various experiments with the assistance of my colleague. Professor Gale, 
was never mentioned either by you or to you.} ... I have always 
said in giving any account of my telegraph, that it was on board the 
ship during a scientific conversation with yon that I first conceived the 
thought of an electric telegraph. I have acknowledgments of similar 
kinds to make to Professor Silliman and Professor Gale, . . . and 
to the latter I am most of all indebted for substantial and effective 
aid in many of my experiments. If any one has a claim to be mutual 
lu-J^entor on the score of aid by hints, it is Professor Gale ; but he pre- 
fers no claim of thekind."§ In his third letter, dated New York City 

' Vail'B EUxtro-Magnelic Telegraph, p. 154. 

IProfeesor Morse's couception of "discovery" does not appear to have been very pro- 

t [Auother o:([iUcit statement that lie did not "conceive the idea" of the ma^neHo 
telegraph iu I63ii, or on board the ship SuUf. ] 

{Dr. Jackson iu hia reply, dated Buston, November 7, 1837, eaid: "This claim of 
youTa is to me a matter of surprise and rej^t. . . . Yon will not 1 preaume 
venture to maintain that you at that time knew anything about elcctio-ma^uetiaiu 
more tbau wliat yon learned from me. ... 1 am. certainly desirous of doiuj; yon 
Justice to the fullest extent, and have always spoken of your merits as I hope I shall 
always have occasion to do. . . • Honor to whom honor is duo shall be my 
motto, and I must I believe fail in this duty if I should say that the first idea of an 
electro-magnetic telegraph was conceived by an American citizen. . . . The ' di»- 
covery' is not then to he claimed by us. I have iuvented a new instrument: so per- 
haps yon have, for I do not jet know what your now one is, since you say I have not 
»een it nor heora about it beyond your announcement." 


University, December 7, 1837, Professor Morse reiterated : " Your mem- 
ory and mine are at variance iu regard to tlie first suggestion of convey- 
ing intelligence by electricity. I claim to be the one who made it, and 
in the way which I stated in my letter to you. . . . The idea that 
I had made ^ brilliant discovery, that it was original in my mind, was 
the exciting cause and the perpetual stimulus to urge me forward in 
maturing it to a result. Had I supposed at that time, thiit the thought 
had ever oceorred to any other person, I would never have pursued it; 
and it was not till I had completed my present invention, that I was 
aware that the thought of conveyiog intelligence by electricity had 
occurred to scientific men some years before. . . . The single scien- 
tific fact ascertained by Franlilin, that electricity can be made to travel 
auy distance instantaneously, is all that I needed to know, aside from 
mathematical and mechanical science, in order to plan all I invented on 
board the ship."* 

These extracts sufficiently show the distingoished inventor's profound 
incompreheasion, as well of the nature of the problem to be solved, as 
of the scientific principles involved in surmountiug his fundamental 
difBculties. That his colleague, Professor Gale, should by the mere ap- 
plication of existing knowledge and established fUct, make bis magnetic 
signals operative through successively increasing lengths of wire until 
ten miles were included in the circuit, appeared — if remarkable, at least 
quite natural That any special credit should be due to any one but 
himself and his invention, in ike accomphshment of such a result, ap- 
peared no less unnatural and irrational : and Dr. Gale has recorded 
" Professor Morse's great surprise'' when his attention was first called to 
Henry's paper in SUlimaa's Journal of January, 1831, a year or two after 
his magnet and battery had been so modiiled in accordance therewith 
as to correlate them in " intensity." That even then the inventor under- 
stood the real import of the paper is rendered doubtful by subsequent 
developments: his surprise being apparently excited mainly by Henry's 
Buggeation that his researches were " directly applicable to the project 
of forming an electro-magnetic telegraph." 

ProU Sears 0. Walker, the eminent astronomer, in a deposition taken 
in a telegraph suit of *' French vs. Kogers," has thus recorded his recol- 
lection of an interesting interview between Professors Henry, Morse, and 
Gale, in January, 1848, at which he was present : " The result of the in- 
terview was conclusive to my mind that Professor Henry was the sole 
discoverer of the law on which the 'intensity' magnet depends for its 
power of sending the galvanic current through a long circuit. I was 
also led to conclude that Mr. Morse in the course of his own researches 
and* experiments, before he read Professor Henry's article before alluded 
tOjbadencounteredthesamedifflcultyMr. Barlow and those who preceded 
him had encountered ; that is the tmi>ossibility of forcing the galvanic 



current tbrongh a long telegraph line. His own iwraonal researches had 
not overcome this obstacle. I alsoleamedat the same time, by thecon- 
vereations above stated, that he only overcame this obstacle by con- 
strncting a magnet on the principle invented by Professor Henry, and 
described in his article in Silliman's Journal. His attention was directed 
to it by Dr. Gale."* 

In consequEnce of this iWendly interview, Professor Morse, with a 
frankness creditable to the uataral impulses of his character, a short 
time afterward addressed a letter to Professor Walker, from which tbe 
following extracts are made: 

"Washington, January 31, 1848. 

" Dear 8ih : I have perused with much interest that part of your 
manuscript entitled 'ITieory of Morse's Electro-Magnetic Telegraph,' 
which you were so kind as to submit to my examination. The Edlusion 
you make to ' the helix of a soft-iron magnet prepared after the manner 
first pointed out by Professor Henry,' gives me an opportunity of which 
I gladly avail myself, to say that I think justice has not hitherto been 
done to Professor Henry, either in Europe or this country, for the dis- 
covery of a scientific fact which in its bearing on telegraphs, whether 
of the magnetic needle or electro -magnet order, is of the greatest im- 
portance, . . . Thus was opened the way for fresh efforts in devising 
a practicable electric telegraph ; and Baron Schilling, in 1832, and Pro- 
fessors Gauss and Weber, in 1833, had ample opportunity to learn of 
Henry's discovery, and uvail themselves of it, before they constructed 
tbeir needle telegraphs, t ... To Professor Henry is unquestionably 
due the honor of the discovery of a fact in science which proves the 
practicability of exciting magnetism through a long coil or at a distance, 
either to deflect a needle or magnetize soft iron, . . . 
"With great respect, your obedient servant, 

"Samuel F. B. Moese." 

This just and honorable recognition was well calculated to reflect an 
added luster, iu the minds of the intelligent, upon Professor Morse's 
unquestionable achievements. But the writer a few years later, per- 
haps embittered by the sweeping constructions placed by hostile ad- 
vocates niKin the enforced statements of Henry (exacted in strongly- 
contested litigations between rival telegraph inventors or their sustain- 
ing companies), was unfortunately led iu evil hour by flattering partisans 
to undo this gracious work. 

In a pamphlet essay dated locust Grove, New York, December, 1853, 
and published in Januarj', 1855, Professor Morse hazarded the intrepid 

* The ease of French vs. Booert. KEspondent's evidencB, p, 199, Quoted by President 
Fcltou; Smitliionian Re/Mn-t for 18.17, pp. 94, 9G. The atteution of Profraisor Morse was 
in reality not called to Henry's discovery by Dr. Gale, JiU a oouBideralile time after it 
bad been sncceasfully applied to the eiperiQieDtal ciicuite of the infant telegraph. 

trSchilliuc'a telegraphic experimeufa (invoMng no great length of circuit) were 
earlier tbau Henry's discoTcriee ; and the expedient of bo delicate an indicator as the 
leflecting galvanometer employed by Gsubb and Weber aeems to afaow that they had 
not adapted fally the electric outrenl to the "intensity" coil, as lecommended by 


statement : " First. I certainly shall show that I have not only mani' 
feBted every disposition to give due credit to Professor Heory, bat 
under the hasty impression' that he deserved credit for discoveries in 
science beaiing upon the telegraph, I did actually give him a degree of 
credit not only beyond what he had received at that time from the sciea- 
tiflc world, but a degree of credit to which subsequent research has 
proved him not to be entitled. Secondly. I shall show that I am not 
indebted to him for any discovery in science bearing on the telegraph; 
and that aU discoveries of principles having this bearing were made, not 
by Professor Henry, but by others, and prior to any experiments of Pro- 
fessor Henry in the science of electro-magnetism."* 

In the inevitable dilemma thus assumed by the pamphleteer, under 
the clear light of historic record, it is most charitable not to impugn the 
writer's candor. The evidences diligently gathered by him, of eleetrio 
impulse transmitted to great distances, before the date of Henry's iuves- 
tigatioua, certainly seem to show a surprising misconception of the phe- 
nomena and the principles of electro-magnetism. That with such mis- 
conception he should fad to appreciate an iudebtedness to Henry's labors, 
is perhaps not surprising ; but that he should thus ignore the services 
and statements of his faithful friend and colleague — Professor Gale, his 
great obUgations to whom had been constantly admitted, appears less 
amenable to explanation or excuse. 

Professor Morse could say with imdoubted tmth,that not till afterthfl 
successful working of his invention, had he ever heard of Henry's re- 
searches. In his letter to Professor Walker, just above quoted, in refer- 
ring to the time and the nature of his invention, he wrote : " I was utterly 
ignorant that the idea of an electric telegraph of any kind whatevw, 
had been conceived by any other person. I took it for granted that the 
effects I desired conld be produced at a distance ; and accordingly in the 
confldeuce of this persaasiou, I devised and constructed my apparatus 
for the purpose. I bad never even heard or read of Professor Henry's 
experimente, nor did I become acquainted with them until after all my 
appfuatus was constructed and in operation through half a mile of wire, 
at the New York City University, in 1837. I then learned for the first 
time that an electric telegraph of some kind hul been thought of before 
I had thought of it." In his pamphlet of January, 1855, he mentions that 
at the date of Henry's publication in Silliman's Journal, he was sojourn- 
ing in Italy. " From the antuuin of the year 1829 till the autumn of the 
year 1832 I was in Europe, principally in Italy. . . . The fact is, it 
did not come to my knowledge nntilfive years after my return, iu 1837.''f 

*A Defence againat tlie itijurioue deducUcns draien from the depoaition of Prof. Joseph 
Henr^ [m tbe Beveral telezraph Boita] ; by Samuel F. B. Morse, January 1855, p. 6. 
(See " Sapplement," Note H.) 

tMorae'e IJeffmx a^ainit the iiy'uriotM dedactioni, etc, (p. 15, and foot-noto). Thns 
while Morse— -dreaming only of artiatic fftmo, was ftssiduoiwly cultivating Uis art in 
Italy, nearly two yeais before ho met with Dr. Jackson on the homewiiril ship, or bo- 
fore the conception of eleotrio signniinK bod dawned apon bis miud, Henry bad sa 
electro-magnetic ciiouit of a mile, witb Dell signal, in actual openttion at tbe Albany 

L,_, C.t..,,. 


Professor Galfl, when asked in 1856, if he would give a statement for 
pnhlieation, of the Morse apparatus as originally constmcted, and be- 
fore being modified by himself, promptly responded in a letter dated 
Washington, April 7, 1856: "This apparatns was Morse's original in- 
strnment, usually known as the type apparatus, in which the types, set 
np in a composing-stick, were run through a circuit-breakVr, and in 
which the battery was the cylinder battery, with a single pair of plates. 
The sparseness of the wires in the magnet coils, and the use of the single 
cup battery, were to me on the first look at the instrument, obvious 
marks of defect, and I accordingly suggested to the professor, without 
giving my reasons for so doing, that a battery of many pairs should be 
substituted for that of a single pair, and that the coil on each arm of the 
magnet should be increased to many hundred turns each : which experi- 
ment (if I remember aright) was made on the same day, with a battery 
and wire on hand, fumiahed I believe by myself: and it was found that 
while the original arrangement would only send the electric current 
fliroogh a few feet of wire, (say from fifteen to forty,) the modified ar- 
rangement would send it through as many bondred. Although I gave 
no reasons at the time to Professor Morae for the suggestions I had pro- 
posed in modifying the arrangemAot of the machine, I did so afterward; 
and referred in my explanations to the paper of Professor Henry, in the 
nineteenth volume of the American Journal of Science. . . . At the 
time I gave the suggestions above named, Professor Morse was not famil- 
iar with the then existing state of the science of electro-magnetism. Had 
he been so, or had he read and appreciated the paper of Henry, the sug- 
gestions made by me would naturally have occurred to his miud, as 
they did to my owu. . . . Professor Morse expressed great* surprise 
at the contents of the paper when I showed it to him, but especi:ilty 
at the remarks on Dr. Barlow's results respecting telegraphing."" 

In a letter published in the Sunday Chronicle at Washington, in 1872, 
Professor Gale (strongly vindicating the propriety of erecting a monu- 
ment to Professor Morse — not as a Discoverer but as an Inventor,) con- 
ceded that " Jlorse knew nothing of Henry's discovery when he invented 
his machine. Henry's discovery was published in 1831. Five or six years 
later Morse invented his telegraphic machine, without having seen an 
account of Henry's experiments-till shown to bim by myself." t And from 
this consideration he justly exonerates him from the imputiition of 
plagiarism which had been inconsiderately brought against the distin- 
guished inventor. -In a letter addressed to Prof. E. N. Horsford, of 
Cambridge, Mass., dated Washington, May 18, 1872, the same writer 
said : " I adapted to Morse's machine the modification which was taken 
from Henry's experiments of 1831. [Properly of 1829, and 1830.] But 
Morse, not having been accustomed to investigate scientific facts, could 
not appreciate the iuvestigationa of Henry as applicable to the tele- 

'Smiiluioniaa Beport for 1S57, pp. 92, 93. 
iSunday ChronUUe, Wasluogton, March 3, 1872. 



graph ; and I presume that Morse never did fiiUy appreciate the benefit 
Tv-hich his machine derived from Henry's discovery."* 

Professor Morse's real merit (and his real contrihution to telegraphy) 
consists, first, in the adaptation of the armature of a Henry electro-mag- 
net to the purpose of a recording instrument, and secondly, in connec- 
tion therewith, the improvement on the Gauss and Steinheil dual-sign 
alphabets, (made eitlier by himself, or his assistant, Mr, Vail,) of employ- 
ing, instead of alternating or vibratory markings, the simple " dot-and- 
dash" alphabet in a single line. Whatever may have been the indebt- 
edness of Professor Morse to Dr. Jnekson for the suggestion of the first 
idea of an "electric" telegraph, it is quite clear from the incoherent 
claims of Dr. Jackson himself, that these two really important improve- 
ments were original with Morse, and were in no sense derived from 
Jackson, t 

Claims so moderate, though so meritorious, (as might be supposed) 
woold scarcely satisfy the ambition of the patentee and his supporters, 
conscious of the equally meritorious exertion and enterimse by which 
through tedious ordeals of obstruction and difficulty a great practical 
success ha4l been achieved, and before whom — in just reward — ^prophetic 
visions of a grand commercial monopoly loomed in large perspective. 
And thus by ignoring and undervaluing the results accomplished by 
those earlier in the field, the owners of the patent exerted themselves to 
repress competing systems, and to arrogate entire invention and propri- 
etorship of the electro-magnetic telegraph. 

To the vast majority — suddenly da^led by so magnificent a culmina- 
tion of invention, such claims appeared entirely legitimate ; to the studi- 
ous few — prepared to discriminate, they appeared as entirely inadmissible. 
The judicial tribunals — disposed to sustain a vested right with largest and 
moat libera interpretation, yet pronounced in final appeal such claims 
untenable and overstated.^ 

To so eminent a pioneer in telegraphy as Henry, perhaps more than 
to any other, must the overweening pretensions of the "Morse Tele- 
graph'* have been obvious and untenable; and yet with that impar- 
tiality of judgment — that rare independency of personal bias which so 
marvelously distinguished him, he never permitted himself to under- 
estimate Morse's true merits, nor did Le abstain from defending them 
with a heartiness probiibly greater than was accorded by any of his sci- 
entific compeers. Por Professor Morse personally he felt a sympathetic 
regard ; which continued uninterrupted and unabated till the unfortu- 
nate epoch when he was so ungratefully assailed and so wantonly tra- 

"Memorial of SavMelF. B. Mone. (Meeting in Faneuil HalL) Boston, 1872, p. 37. 

I These two featoies bo Lmpresaed tlie candid Steinheil, the foremost of t«le2raphen, 
as to lead htm at once to accept them as great improvemente on his onn lugenions 
method of roconliuK, and to urge at once tlieir salMtitatioo. 

t See " Sapplemont," IfOTK L ( See " Sapploment," NOTE J. 



".Ectoy" and "reoeict«j7" eircutto.— The somewhat controverted qaes- 
tioa as to the true origiD of the relay ayatem of electrical comatonica- 
tioQ haa been purposely reserved for a concluding discaesion. Though 
anqnestiooably a valuable n^jnuct in distant intercourse, the " relay " 
is not here treated as an essential feature of the electric telegraph, since 
land-lines of 600 miles, and by the ocean system cables of ^,000 miles, 
are easily made operative in a single stretch or circnit. 

Henry's original contrivance of a special compound circuit in 1836, 
{aJready noticed,) by no means precluded an equally original invention 
by Professor Morse some years later of a different arrangement of con- 
joined circuits. Nor is it at all surprising that a combination (in itself 
Bofflciently obvious) should spontaneously occur to several minds if so 
circumstanced as to feel a need for it. There is reason to believe that 
Morse, like Wheatstone, independently invented his application of the 
general idea, and probably about tlie same time, iu the spring of 1837.» 

To do justice however to each party, it is all-imi>ortant to discrimi- 
nate carefully between the actual results attained by each. Henry had 
simply the philosophic plan of employing a weak magnetic jiower to act 
as a distant trigger for a great magnetic power, (one therefore of short 
circuit,) — and there stop-t Wheatstone, employing a delicate arrange- 
ment of silent galvanometer needle at the distant station, felt the neces- 
sity of promptly calling attention to the visual signal by an audible 
al^mi ; hence this feeble power was used also as the trigger to bring 
into action a much shorter and more powerful electro-magnetic circuit, 
— but merely as a call, and there stop. Morse, requiring a stronger sig- 
naling duty (in the use of a recording lever) than the length of tlie 
circuit would probably permit, conceived the idea of a diviBion of the 
circuit Into several shorter ones; each successive circuit to he o/ (7te same 
hind as the preceding. He thus Jirgt produced a true "relay," and this 
too without a knowledge of anything similar having been previously 
exhibited by Professor Henry as a lecture-room experiment before bis 
college classes. It may therefore be affirmed that Henry, feeling no 
occasion for extending a telegraphic line, had probably no idea of a 
"relay," properly so called, when he first devised his combination of an 
"intensity" circuit with a "quautity" circuit; that Professor Morse,>by 
his own declaration, had certainly no conception of a local receiving 
"quantity" magnet when subsequently lie first devised his combinatioo. 
of a series of equal "intensity" circuits; and that Wheatstone had as 
little idea of either a "receiving" or a "relay" magnet when (in con- 

graph," ete. part i, p. 55, foot-note.) 

t "My object in the process doacribed b; mo was to l>ring into operation a large 
'qnantity ' magnet connected witli a 'quantity' battery in a local circuit, by moans of 
a small 'iulcusity' magnet, and an 'intensity' battery at a dietauoe." iSmitluonia* 
lUpiyrt for ltt57, p. 112.) 



junction with Cooke) he devised a "qaantity" circuit supplementary to 
his "intensity" circuit for the sole purpose of calling " atteotion." 

Professor Morse in his answer to the ticelfth crosa-mterrogatory (iu liis 
deposition taken Fehnmry 6, 7, and S, 1851), iu the case of " B. B, French 
and others vs. H. J. Rogers and others," has made the following state- 
ment : " If by the question is sought the date of my invention of hreafe- 
Ing and closing one circuit by another, I answer iu 183fi [1], I exhibited 
the same in operation [*] in the spring of 1837. If by the question is 
sought the (late of my iurention of a short circuit to be used at the ex- 
tremities of the line, I answer in May of 1844. If by the question is 
sought the date of a still greater improvement, to wit, that of placing 
short circuits on the margin (so to speak) of the main line, all of them to 
be operated simultaneously, I answer that the idea of such an improve- 
ment first presented itself to my mind in the beginning of the year 
1844." . . . The short circuits at the extremity of the main line were 
first used on the line between Washington and Baltimore, in May, 1844." t 

These deliberate statements of Professor Morse distinguish very explic- 
itly between the "relay" of magnets for "breaking and closing one cir- 
cuit by another," and the "receiving" magnet of "a short circuit at the 
extremities of the line." Ajid as a fact of pubhc record, Morse patented 
the first of these devices June 20,1840; (So. 1647;) while he did not pat- 
ent the latter device (the "receiving" magnet of a local circuit) till about 
sis years later, April 11, 1846 : (No. 4453.) 

On the same subject. Professor Gale has stated in his deposition: 
"The said Morse always expressed his confidence of success in propa- 
gating magnetic power through any distance of electric conductors which 
circumstances might render desirable. His plan was thus often ex- 
plained to me. Suppose (^id Professor Morse) that in experimeutiug 
on twenty miles of Wire we should find that the power of maguetism is 
so feeble that it will but move a lever with certainty but a hair's breadth ; 
that would be insufficient it may be to write or print, yet it would be 
sufficient to close and break another or a second circuit twenty miles 
l^irther ; and this second circuit could in the same manner be made to 
break and close a third circuit twenty miles farther ; and so on around 
the globe." 

This is a very clear presentation of the " relay " of circuits. But with 
a slight confusion of idea Dr. Gale proceeds : " This general statement 
of the means to be resorted to, now embraced in what is called the 're- 
ceiving magnet,' to render practical — writing or printing by telegraph 
through long distances, was shown to me more in detail early in the 
spring of the year 1837." To the same effect, nearly a quarter of a 

' [StoiHhoil, ill 1837 (soveu yoare carlior), lia<t udapted h\a registeriiig gaivanomoter 
" to repeat and reuder permaiiout at all parit of the chain where an npparatiis like that 
above described is iiiaerted," the infumiation transmitted to the tenmnua. (Sturgeon's 
Annalao/ Electricitu, etc. April, 1939, vol. iii, p. 620,)] 

t Deposition of Samuel F. B. Morae, Cironit Court of the Umt«d States for the eastern 
district cf PeousTlvauia, April seaaion, 1850, No. 104, "Comploinant'e Eridence," pp. 

S. Mis. 59 21 


centmy later, Dr. Gale states that " Before lines of telegraph were set 
up, it waa anticipated that in long Unes the ordinary carrent of 
electricity might not be strong enongh to work the magnet at such dis- 
tance, 80 as to writ«, but wonld be no strong as to open and dose a side 
or local circuit, as suggested by Professor Henry. This mode of using 
one eledjic circuit and magnet to open and close another electric circuit 
(either for extending the main circuit to greater distimcea or to operate 
any local circuit), although not in the machine when I first saw it, was 
diseutsed in an early pEU-t of 1837, before any lines had been constructed.™ 

In both these accounts, Professor Gale has inadvertently (though not 
nnnaturally) confounded together two entirely distinct inventions, in- 
volving difi^reut arrangements and purposes^ — ^the "relay" circoit and 
magnet (of the "intensity" order), and the " receiving" circuit and mag- 
net (of the " quantity" order) ; although Professor Morse himself dis- 
tinctly declared he had no conception of the latter {urrangement in 1837, 
having invented it " in May of 1844." 

While the first invention of the special application called the " relay " 
is thus unhesitatingly ascribed to Professor Morse, the practically much 
more important arrangement of the terminal or local short circuit " qnan- 
tity " magnet for reinforcing the power of the " intensity " magnet, must 
as unhesitatingly be claimed for Henry; and as an invention several 
years prior to that of Morse, it wonld by the well-known principles of 
patent-law, have generically subordinated the special application of the 
latter. Although Henry did not technically " perfect the invention," it 
remains none the less true that every " receiving magnet "in use through- 
out our own and other countries is but the obvioua application of Hen- 
ry's experimental junction of the two circuits, exhibited eleven years 
before it entered into Professor Morse's patent of April 11, 1846. 

As indicative of the relative importance of these two inventions, — the 
Henry "receiving" magnet and the Morse " relay" of circuits, it may 
be stated that on the extended lines of the " Western Union Telegraph 
Company," there are now 13,745 of the former in actoal operation, and 
only 228 of the latter ; being 60 of the Henry " receivers " for each of 
the Morse " repeaters." And in remarkable confirmation of Henry's 
early anticipations of the capacity of his " intensity " magnet to be 
operated under judicious conditions directly through a distance of sev- 
eral hundred miles, it is the " accomplished fact " to-day that numerous 
single circuits ranging from 500 to 600 miles in length, are in actual use 
in the United States, operated by his magnet. The telegraph-line from 
3^ew York to New Orleans, (upward of 1,500 miles,) is worked in three 
links or circuits (connected by tivo relays or repeaters) ; the last circuit, 
£rom Chattanooga, Tenn. to Xew Orleans, La. being 638 miles long.f 

*' Meinorial of S. F. B. Mnrse, Waflbington, 1S75, p. 19. On the qnestion of the dat€ 
of ProfeBBor Morse's ''Relay", aee "Supplement," Notk K. 

t These in-teTeetiug facts ai« commnnicated by the accomplished tel^p^pUc expert, 
Mr FrankL. Pope (of the Western UuionTelegraphCompauy), uvioe-preBident of th« 
American Electrical Society ; author of " Modern Practice of Uie Electric Telegraph:" 


Among examples of " magnetic " telegraphs which might properly here 
receive a passing Botice, are the four following : ' 

1837. The so-called " mechanical " or chronometric telegraph of Mr. 
William F. Oooke, of London, comprising two synchronously revolving 
cylinders {or escapements) at the two stations, arrested simultaneously 
by a magnetic armature detent, somewhat after the general principle of 
Bonalds's synchronous dials of 1816, previously mentioned. This form 
of dial telegraph was worked by Mr. Cooke in April, 1837." 

1837. The first letter-printing telegrajih, devised by Mr. Alfred Vail, 
of Ifew Jersey, in September, 1837, comprising a printing-wheel pro- 
vided with spring tyjte for the letters of the alphabet, projecting radi- 
ally from its i)eriphery, and corresponding with the teeth of an escape- 
ment wheel on the same shaft or axis, driven by ordinary clock-work, and 
regulated by a pendulum. The pendulum oscillating as a free armature 
between two electro-magnets, was arrested by one of the magnets when 
the desired letter was reached, and another electro-magnet, with lever 
armature, airanltaneously drew down the spring type of the letter -wheel 
upon the fillet of paper beneath itf This ingenious arrangement like 
the dial telegraph of Ronalds, and that of Cooke (independently con- 
trived bnt a short time previously}, required a synchronous movement 
of the clocks and their pendulums at the two stations. Eighteen years 
later, a printing telegraph on the same principle was very successfully 
worked out and operated by Mr. David E. Hughes, of Kentucky. 

1838. The electro-magnetic chemical telegraph tif Mr. Edward Davy, 
of London, comprising a chemically marking or recording cylinder, op- 
erated by a dock-work escapement and the armature of an electro-mag- 
net. Belays of circuits were also included, operated by a galvanometer 

1839. The dial telegraph of Prof. Charles Wheatstone, of London, 
completed by him in November, 1839, comprising an escapement and 
index operated by the step-motion of an electro-magnetic armature. In 
this arrangement, the synchronous motions and indicating positions 
on the terminal dials were effected entirely by the specific number of 
galvanic impulses given to the transmitting and receiving escapements.§ 
The principle of this transmission was in 1846, skillt^illy and success- 
fully applied by Mr. Royal B. House, of Vermont, to a " printing tele- 

* "Mr. Cooko's Case " before the arbitrators. The Electric TeUgrapi, eto. by W. F. 
Couke, part ii, p. '£i. It appears thth this arraugemeut was devised hy Mr. Cooke in 

f The Amtrican Eleclro-magneHa Telegraph, by Al&ed Vail, 1845, p^. 159-171. 

tTbo Engllth patent of EdvaidBa^-y, July i, 183», No. 7719. 

i " Piofeanor Wheatstolie's Case," before the arbitrators, in 1840. v. 101. 

.y Google 



Prom the foregoing partial history of the origin and development of 
the electro-magnetic telegraph, it is sufficiently demonstrated that ita 
anecessfiil introduction has been effected by a considerable number of 
independent contributions. The leading preparatory investigations and 
discoveries which opened the way for the telegraph, (though with no 
such atilitariao end in view,) may be held to be : 

Ist: The discovery of galvanic electricity by Galvani (1786-1790). 

2d: The galvanic or voltaic battery by Volta (1800). 

3d: The directive influence of the galvanic current on a magnetic 
needle by Itomagnosi (1802), and by Oersted (1820). 

4th : The galvanometer by Schweigger (1820), the parent of the^eedle 

5th : The electro-magnet by Arago and Sturgeon (1820-1825), the par- 
ent of the magnet system. 

Passing these, the next most important series of steps in the evolu- 
tion of our present system of telegraphy, and having a more or less con- 
scions reference thereto, are : 

First, and moat vital : Henry's discovery in 1829, and 1830, of the " in- 
tensity" or spool-wound magnet, and its intimate relation to the "inten- 
sity " batterj' ; whereby its excitation could be effected to a great distance 
through a very long conducting- wire.* 

Second : Gauss's imprpvement in 1833, (or probably Schilling's improve- 
ment considerably etolier,) of j«ducing the electric conductors to a single 
circuit, by the ingenious application of a dual sign so combined as to 
produce a true alphabet, t 

Third: Weber's discovery in 1833, that the conducting wires of an 
electric telegraph could be efficiently carried through the air, without 
any insulation except at their points of support. 

Fourth : As a valuable adjunct to telegraphy, Daniell's invention of a 
"constant" galvanic battery in 183G. 

Fifth : Steinheil's remarkable discovery in 1837, that the earth may 
form the returning half of a closed galvanic circuit, so that a single con- 
ducting-wire is sufBcient for all telegraphic purposes. 

Sixth : Morse's adaptation of the armature of a Henry electro-magnet 
as a recording instrument in 1837,$ and in connection therewith the iin- 

*Sn1jonlinat«d to this important stop, tho nso of the amititure as the signaling de- 
Tice imil the first adoption of au acoustic signal might bo mentioned. If Morae'd 
"relay" bejiidfjed by any as of aofflcient importance to mnk -with the more eBsentiol 
elements, then Henry's earlier aud still nmro important device of the terminal short 
circuit magnet of " ijuautity " mnst not he overlooked. 

tTTie ptobahlc anticipations of this, — by Lomond in 1787, by Cavallo in 1795, and by 
Dyar in 1)^, — are here neglected, as neither snfBciently definite, nor as perhaps prac- 
tically influential on the procresa of telegraphy; though this recurrence of idea should 
certainly not be lost sight oiin any history uf the origins of inventions, 
n as tho earliest date on which an actu 
■ofessor Morse. (New York Journal of Ci , , 

« not alphabetical, hnt tvere zig-zag matkinga lepie- 


provement in 183S, on the Schilling, Ganss, and Steinheil alphabets, of 
employing instead of alternating signs (as in his first register), the simple 
" dotanddaah " alphabet in a single line.* 

As displaying the " movement of an age," it is interesting to observe 
that these six capital steps were all effected within the fruitful iwriod of 
a single decade. If we except the first of these — the inaugurating ad-' 
vanee, without which no electro-magnetic telegraph would have been 
practicable,! It will probably be difficult for the impartial historian to 
award to the succeeding five cootributions their respective value and 
just desert 

The earlier needle type of the electro-magaetic telegraph, as developed 
by SchiUing aud by Gt-aass, has found its special and appropriate appli- 
cation in extended ocean-liaea ; and indeed without such deyelopment, 
it is doubtful whether we could have had a trausatlantic telegraph. 
It is well for the exclusive partisans of the " American system " to 
reflect that in the operation of these submarine cables there enters no 
element of Morse's instrumeut. The receivingand indicating mechanism 
devised by Gauss and Weber, and introduced some ten years earlier, is 
essentially that in use to-day on either shore of the Atlantic Ocean. 
The signals of tl^e earlier invention are equal right and left deflections 
of an exceedingly delicate reflecting galvanometer ; the signals of the 
later invention are the nueqnal contacts of an electro-magnetic arm- 

Many other telegraphic developments — not within the object of this 
summary, snch as the various modiflcations of the galvanometer system, 
the ingenious arrangements of dial indicaters, and above all — as most 
ingenious of all — the printing telegraphs, (originating as we have seen, 
with Alfred Vail,} present what may he called highly organized 
varieties of the art; but varieties which notwithstanding the rare 
order of inventive intelligence expended upon them, and the great 
valne possessed by them in si>ecial applications, do not promise to 
exercise a corresponding influence upon the future of telegraphy. The 
wonders of multiplex telegraphy {the simultaneous transmission of two 
or even four or more communications in either direction over the same 
wire), aud of vocal telegraphy (the transmutation and transmission of 
human speech by electric waves in the telephone), lie still more beyond 
the scope of this review. 

lu conclusion, an early averment in this historic sketch, as to " the 
growth of the electric telegraph," may be repeated in the language of a 
latOT writer. " The history of the subject thus far shows us that no 
single individual can justly claim the distinction of having been the 

• Professor Morse's first use of tho alphabet waa made in Janaary, 1838. (New York 
Journal of Commerce, January 29, 19:18; aUo Prime's Life of Morne, Svo, New York, 
1875, p. 331.) Onthosubject of "Alphabetio notation" see "8npplemeut,"NoTEL. 

tWheatetono himself dnosnotappeartohavefullf realized tho significance and valne 
of Henry's reM^arcbes till 1837. The aimple olectro-oheraical tele^aph might have 
been BDocesafiilly developed without the diMOvery of the "mtensity'' magnet, and 
may yet prove iu practice a formidable oompetitor with it. 

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inventor of the electric telegraph. It was in fact a groictk, rather than 
an ittvenUon, the TTork of many brains, and of many hands." (Pres- 
cott's Electricity and the Electric Telegraph, 1877, chap, xxix, p. 420.) 

But amid the galaxy of brilliant names who prepared the success and 

orgauized the triumph for the ezecntion of skillful artisans, none 

stands higher, or shines with more resplendent luster, than that of 


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NOTE A. (From p. 863.) 

The eminent natnrttl philosopher Dr. Thomas Tonag, haa well remarked ; "No dis- 
covery however remote in its nature from the sabjects of daily observation, can with 
reason be declared wholly inapplicable to the benefit of oiankind. . . . Those 
who posHese the genuine spirit of scientific investigation and who have tasted the pure 
satisfoetiOQ arising from an advancement in intellectual acquirements, are contented 
to proceed in their researches without inquiring at every step what they gain by their 
newly discovered lights, and to what practical pnrposes they are applicable. They 
receive a sufficient gratification from the enlargement of their views of the consai'utioa 
of the aniverHC, and experience in the immediate pursuit of knowledge that pleasure 
which others wish to obtain more cirouitously by its means." * 

In a similar spirit, Oersted espressed his clear perception in an anniversary address 
delivered in 1814, before the University of Copenhagen, that "The real laborer in 
science chooses knowledge as hie highest aim. A love of knowledge, (which some are 
frequently obliged to place secondary to other duties,) with the man of science must 
be the occupation of his life ; he is dedicated to nonrish the holy flame of wisdom 
which shall diffuse its rays amidst the rest of mankind; it is bis nightly lamp which 
shall enlighten the earth." t 

And with no less eameBtnesB and force, our own Henry declared : "While we rejoice 
that in our country above all others so much attention is paid to the diffueitm of 
knowledge, troth compels us to say that comparatively little enoouragement is given 
to its ini^-eaae. ... As soon as any branch of science can be brought to bear on 
the necessities, conveniences, or Inxuries of life, it meets with encouragement and 
reward. Not so with the discovery of the incipient principles of science ; the Investi- 
gations which lead to these receive no fostering care from the government, and are 
considered by the superficial observer as trifles unworthy the attention of those who 
place the supreme good in that which immediately administers to the physical needs 
orlnsories of life. Bnt he who loves truth for its own sake, feels that its highest 
claims are lowered and its moral inflnence marred by bting continually summoned 
to the bar of Immediate and palpable utility." t 

In a plea fbr the endowment of abstract science, William Swainson, the naturalist, 
Justly observes ; " If the depths of science are to be fathomed, and new discoveries 
brought to light, the task can only be achieved by those whose time is at their own 
command, whose attention is not divided or distracted by avocations purely worldly, 
and whose circumstances are such as to make them free from pecuniary cares. Tal- 
ents fitting their posseasota for such speculations must be of a high order, and they 
are consequently rare: i yet still more rare it is to find enperadded to them the gifts 
of fortune. From whom then if abstract science is to be fostered and rewarded, ia 

* Laotureg on Natural PhUoeophy, lect. i, vol. 1, p. S. 

t Th4i Sottl in Nature. Bohu's Scientific Library, 1852, p. 141. 

t Smithgoruan Report for 1853, p. 8. 

[ i Dr. Peter Mark Roget has well observed : " Important discoveries in science seem 
often to arise from accident ; bnt on closer examination it is found that they always 
imply the exercise of profound thought. As the fertility of the soil is essential totha 
gemuQation aud growth of the seed which the wind may have scattered on its surface, 
so i t is principally from the qualities of mind in the obnemer that an observation de- 

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this encouragement to come T Certainly not from tbe pnblio ; for what the mnltJtnde 
cannot appreciate they cannot be expected to reward. If indeed the apecolatiooa of 
the philosopher can be turned into immediate advantage by the manufacturer or th« 
merchant, the hiventor is in a &ir way of dividing profits with the applior ; but we 
are not at prasivnt cooeideriog snch cases. . . , That discorerifB which event- 
ually have proved extensively applicable to oommorce were never so suspected when 
their first rudiments were developed, is too notorious to be disputed; forthe ^acoeeiy 
and the djijificfilton of a new principlexequire very different powers of mind. . . . 
It is a maxim of the vulgar to esteem every requirement of this sort in proportion 
to the direct benefit it confers on their own interests."' 

It is indeed too true that the prosecution of scientific truth for truth's sake only, 
is popularly held in little favor, and instead of receiving assistance, is even unblush- 
ingly decried by the wonld-he leaders of industrial opinion. Taking no lessons from 
the splendid triumphs of the past, which constantly assure us that the discovery of 
one age — naked and unprized, is the necessary foundation for the invention of thfe 
next, intelligent editore still repeat the annual cry in superior judgment on the pro- 
ceedings of learned associations, ' ' Dispense, gentlemen, with these barren and unin- 
teresting papers, and give us something 'practical.'" 

The average citizen, professing a patronizing admiration of "science," is able pec- 
haps to appreciate the physios of machinery, and the chemistry of manufactures.' 
Eager for the rewards which may be won from nature by her students, ho would gladly 
be taught some new m^neto-electrio process for converting cellulose into bread, or 
"oleomargarine" into butter; and yet in ignorant ingratitude, would as gladly mo- 
nopolize the Tery thunderbolt, when Science ODce has forged it for the use of Art.t 

But let those incapable of conceiving a higher utility than the material, at least ex- 
ercise that prudent reason they so much vaunt, and at least endeavor U> secnre for 
that self-interest they so diligently pursue, the character of an enliyJWoierf policy. The 
nnpromising preparation for a possible magnetic telegraph was quietly advanced by a 
fine succession of earnest students (Uttle known or respected by the multitude), who 
never paused to query " the twB of it," and who (it is safe to say) would never have 
accompliahed their beneficent mission had their investigations been directly prompted 
by the inspirations of a mercenary interest. t It maybe confidently proclaimed as a firm 
indnction from all our past knowledge, that so intimately hound t^igether is the entire 
framework and system of the world, that no extension of our observatiou of the phe- 
nomena of nature aud of our insight into the laws of nature (which are the laws of 
God), is not either a direct advancement in physical power and well-being, or a neoes- 
sat7 stepping-stone to other truths which shall prove such. 

" Scientific researches are often supposed by the aninformed to be of little or no real 
importance, and iudeedare frequently ridiculedaa bartenof all practical utility. But 
nothing ismoremistaken than this. The mostvaluahle and productive ofthearts of life, 
the most important and wouder-working inventioos of modem times, owe their being 
and value to scientific investigations. By these have been discovered physical tmtha 
and laws, the intelligent application of which to practical inveutious has given im- 
mense benefits to the world. The germs of these valuable improvements and inventions 
have been found and developed by scientific research, — the original forms of which have 
often seemed to the many to be as idle and useless as they were curious." $ 

* Swainsoii, On the Study of Xatural Halory (Cabinet Cyclopedia), part iv, chap, ii, 
sects. 344, 245, pp. 354-367. 

t " Science has scattered her material benefits so lavishly whenever she has been in 
presence, that no small number of her foBowers and all the multitude have left off 
gazing oa the resplendency of her counf«nance, in their eager scramble for her gifts," 
{Quarterlji SevKic, June, 1S4I, voL lixviii, p. 185.) 

tOf those attempting the interrogation of nature "on account of the advantage and 
benefit to be derived from it," it may be said in Bacon's happy simile: "LikeAtalanta, 
they leave the couise to pick up the golden apple, interrupting their speed and givjne 
np the victory." (Novum Orgataan, book i, aphoriam 70, Bohn's edition, 1858, p. 407.) 
§ Report of special committee of the Board of R^ents, on the distribution of the 
income of the Smithsonian fond. i5ini(A«i»itan Eeporl for 1853, p. 66. 


And to tte same effect let na qnote in conclaeion a few of Henry's urgent utterances. 
"Every well-established truth is an addition to thesnm of human power ; aud though 
it may not find an immeiliate application to the economy of every-day life, we may 
safely commit it to the stream of time, in the confident anticipation that the world 
will not fail to realize its beneficial resnlts.'" 

"Unfortunately there has always been in England and in this country a tendency 
to undervalue tho advantages of profound thought, and to regard with favor only 
those investigations which are immediately applicable to the wants of the present 
hour. But it should be recollected that the scientific principles whicli at one period 
appear of no practical vahie, and are far removed Arom popular appreciation, at another 
time in tbe further development of the subject, become the means of individual pros- 
perity and of national wealth."* 

"The progress of society and the increaseof the comfort and happiness of the human 
family depend as a basis on the degree of onr knowledge of the laws hy which Di- 
vine wisdom conducts the affairs of the universe. He has created us with rational 
SQola, and endowed us with faculties to comprehend in some measure the modes in 
which the operations of nature are effected ; and just in proportion to the advance we 
make by patient and persevering study in the knowledge of those modes or laws, are 
we enabled to apply the forces of nature to our own use and to avert the dangers to 
which we are exposed from our ignorance of their varied influences. Searly all the 
);reat inventions which distinguish the present century, are the results immediately 
or remot«Iy of the application of scientific principles to practical purposes; and id 
most eases these applications have been suggested by the student of nature, whoso 
primary object was the discovery of abstract truth. The statement cannot be too 
often repeated, that each branch of knowledge is connected witli every other, and 
that no light can be gained in regard to one which is not reflected upon all. Thus re- 
searches which at first sight appear the farthest removed ^m useful applicatiou, are 
in time found to have an important bearing on the advancement of art, and conse- 
qnectly on the progress of society .''t 

" The world generally has failed to recognize the importance of abstract scientifio 
tmths. Althongh these truths constitnte the most important elements of modem 
civilization, since they give manpower and control overtheinherentforces of nature, 
and enable him to render these the obedient slaves of his will, — yet there is even at 
this time, no country (however intelligent it may appear in other respects) that has 
made adequate provision for the discovery and development of these important princi- 
ples. "J 

HOTE B. {Prom p. 273.) 


In ISOtJ, Johonn Solomon Christian Schweigger, professor of natural philosophy at 
Nuremberg, and afterward at Halle, published a memoir ' ' On the employment of the 
magnetic force for measuring the electrical." From the somewhat obscnre descrip- 
tion it appears however that the instrument he had devised was simply an " electro- 
eoope" for indicating the static repulsion of ordinary or mechanical electricity; the 
magnetio needle, armed at each end with a brass button, being mounted on an insu- 
lated stand or pivot, andnsedas asnbstitute for the torsion 
This arraagement tlierefore involved no principle of tbe galvanometer. 

In 1811, De la Rive, in a letter to the editors of the " Bibliothfeqno Britannique," 
recounting some experiments, applied the tonn "galvanometer" to an instrnmeut for 

■ Smilhlonian Report for 1856, p. SO. 

t Agricultural Report of Commissioner of Patents for 1657, p. 4SD. 

t SniihuomaK Beporl for 1859, pp. 14, 15. 

t Smithgontan Beport for 1B66, p. 16. 

I Gehlen's Journal fiir die Ckemie und Fkstik, 8vo, Berlin, 1808, vol. vii, pp. 306-^08. 



meaBQiing tlie quantity of the galvacio cmreBt by its deoompoeing energy.* Dr. 
Scliwei^er, in a notice of this paper, remarked that he had previously ineasared 
the battery force by the quantity of gases evolved flxini water in a given interval, t 
Tlieee experlmeii1# likewise, have evidently no lelation to the present uue of the term 
" Galvauometer." 

Nine years earlier than this hoTrever, (or sis years before Schweiggei's needle elec- 
trometer,] the galvanic delieution of the magnetic needle had been distinctly observed 
and accurately recorded. For morethau a century, repeatedendeavora bad been made 
to discover some relation between the magnetic and the electric attractions and repnl- 
sioDS, oi to unite them bya single law. In 1774, a prize was offered by the Academy 
of Savaria for tlie best examination of and diasertation on the queetioD, " Is there a 
real and physical analofry between electric and magnetic forces T" Professor J. H. Van 
Swiudan, of Fianelfer, Holland, one of the successful competitors, supported the con- 
clusion that the similarities were entirely superficial, and that the two powers were 
essentially different in kind. On the other hand, PiofessoTS Steiclehner and Eubuer 
contended that analogies so cnrioua mnst imply a single agent, t 

Bnt the true reaction between these agencies could not well be exhibited until after 
1800, when Yolta devised bis galvanic battery; which for the first tlmeenabledphysi- 
ciste to employ a oonlinuoug electric current. Gian Domenieo Romagnosi, a, native of 
Northern Italy, acelebratedpubliciat and author of several wortis on historical, legal, 
and political philosophy, was led near the close of the last century to occupy himself foi 
several years with scientific investigations. The electrical problem attracted bis at- 
tention, and aft«r varied esperimeuts with the aid of the new galvanic appliance, 
his versatile activity was partly rewarded ; he being first of physical inquirers t« make 
the capital discovery of the singular directive influence exerted by the galvanic cm^ 
rent on a magnetic needle. This new phenomenon — of which he could not anticipate 
the importance or the consequnces, was annonuced in the "Gazz^ttadi Trento"of 
August 3, 1802, an Italian newspaper published at Trent, in which city he bad for 
many years resided.^ If the channel of publication for a contribution to science of 
such value was unfortunate, the account was at least republished in forms better suited 
to arrest attention from the learned. 

In a work of some note and merit, entitled " Essai Thfcretiqne et Experimental sut 
le Oalvanisme," by Prof. Giovanni Aldini (a nephew of Galvani), qnarto, published at 
Paris in 1804, the author, at page 191, aUuding to the supposed magnetic influence of 
a galvauic circuit, states, "This new property of galvanism has been confirmed by M. 
Bomanesi, a physicist of Trent, who has observed that galvanism produces a declina- 
tion of the magnetic needle." This work was republished shortly afterward in two 
volumes octavo. 

In the " Dibliothfeque Universelle" (Sect. &iene<» el Arli), Jannary, 1821, (shortly 
after Oersted's announcement,) at page 75, attention is called to Aldini's Treatise on 
Galvanism, and the passage above given is quoted. The same notice and citation are 
also published in Gilbert's "Annalen der Physik," 1821, vol. Isviii, page 208. 
' Bibliotliiqae Britannigne, for February, 1811, vol. xlvi. 
t"On aGali'anometer." Schweigger's JoumoI/urCft 
J8II, vol. ii, part 4, pp. 424-434, 

{Notwithstanding the planslbillt)' of this supposition, it remains to the present day 
entirely unconfirmed. The conclusion of Van Swinden was correct. The only approach 
to a closer analogy since obtained. Is the remarkable fact discovered by Ampbre 
in 1820, that two insulated wires, free to move, through which electricity w JUmii^ 
in the same direction, attract each other like two dissiniilar magnetic poles ; and that 
they repel each other when their currents are reversed, like two similar magnetic poles. 
But the dilfotences between these forms of attraction are still so radical, as to incline 
some physicists to the opinion that the one (that of magnetism) is inherent and in- 
destructible, and the other (that of electricity) is a merely kinetic or dynamic phe- 
nomenon : while others would regard the two as both kinetic. 

JGoDiagnosi waschief-Justice at Trent, from 1T91 to 1794) and in December of 1802, 
not long after his »cienti£c achievement, he was made professor of law in the Uni- 
versity of Parma. 


In a still more popniar work on galvanism, by Prof. JoaephlzMH, entitled "Manuel 
du Galvonisme," etc. octavo, puliliehed at Paiie, in 1805, in section is, at page 120, it 
is also stated : "Accoiding to tlie observations of Romagnfisi, a physicist of Trent, a ' 
magnetic needle being aabmitted to a galvanic carrent undergoes a declination." This 
work is referred to in a diacussion by Mr, Latimer Clark, of London.* Lastly, in tlio 
memoir of Romagnosi contaiued in the "No'ivoUe Biographie G^nfirale" (edited by 
Hffifer), vol. xlii, pages 574, 575, it is mentioned, " He discovered the deviation of the 
magnetic needle bj galvtmism." 

Altbongh this pregnant discovery of Romagnosi appears to have been known botb 
to Dr. Smmmering and to Baion Schilling in 1915, yet to neither of them did it sug' 
gest any applicability to the parpose of telegraphy. Dr. Homel, of St, Petersburg, in 
hie interesting account of the early historyof the telegraph, informs ns: "I have been 
endeavoring to find out from bhe papers of Smmmering whether he and Baron Schilling 
might have had a knowledge of the Italian Gian-DoiDenico Romaguosi's important dis. 
covery made many years ago, that the mogneticneedle deviates from its normal direc- 
tion when nnder the influence of the galvanic current, and of which he had published 
on account in a newspaper at Trent on the 3d of August, 1S03. ... I found that 
Baron Schilling, immediately after hia return to Munich in 1815, communicated to 
ScMumering the little book, ' Manuel dn Galvanisme,' by Joseph Izam, professor of 
natural philosophy at the Lyc^ Bonaparte, which was printed in Paris in 1805, and 
in which, on page 130, mention is made of Bomagnosi's discovery, I have also seen, a 
n<fte from Sienuuering mentioning that he bad read this treatise with attention, I 
came however to the conclusion tliat neither to SoammeriDg nor to Baron Schilling, bad 
any idea of a practical application of Romt^nosl's observation presented itself."! Nor 
isthisat aUsnrpTising: forthosimilardiscovery andannonncemont by Oeist«dialS20, 
would Just as little have suggested any practical method of communicating intelligeuoe 
to a distance. Andindeedbadthe experiment been attempted, it wonld haverasulted 
in absolnte faOure. It needed the keen brains and active bands of a succession of pro- 
found investigators, — of Schweigger, and Ampere, and Arago, and Sturgeon, and 
Henry, — to develop fnlly the twofold capacity of electro-magnetism. 

To the natural inquiry why the very same announcement which — made at fJie be- 
ginniug of the century — fell aa it were "still-bom," should when again made eighteen 
years later, have sprung into so exuberant awl active a vitality, the answer seems to 
be,— first, the greatercare taken by Oersted, the later husbandman, to scatter the seed 
broadcast over Europe ; i and secondly, the riper condition of the intellectual soil, 
at the later Spring. Romagnosi's work wonld seem to have been prematurely attempt- 
ed ; while Oersted's, no more meritorious, had the good fortune to be taken np and 
fostered by still more scrutinizing ooo^utors: and thus while the early sowing fell 
by the wayside or in stony places, the later sowing fell on good ground, well pre- 
pared ; and there speedily followed at the hands of a diligent band of laborers an 
abundant ^d most precious horvest. 

The question may poesibly arise, could Oersted have probably had any intimation 
of Romagnosi's earlier cultivation of the same field T CoDaidering how little the lat- 
ter name is known among scientific men to-day, the question may be confidently 
answered in the negative. Dr. Hamel however has ventured the severe judgment: 
"I cannot fbrego stating my belief that Oersted knew of Romagnosi's discovery 
announced in 1802, which was eighteen years before the publication of his own obser^ 
vations. It was mentioned in Giovanni Aldini's (the nephew of Galvani's) book. . . 
. Oersted was in Paris in 1802, and 1803, and it appears from the book of Aldlui, 
that at the time he finished It, Oersted was still in communication with him ; for he 

•Journal of the Sociely of Aria, April 23, 1858, vol. vi, p. 356. 

i Journal of lAe Soeiety of Aria, July 29, 1859, voL vii, p. 605. 

t " Hans Christiui Oersted, at Copenhagen, had directed the attention of the soieB- 
tific world much more eflectuaHy than Romasnost of Italy had done, to the fact that 
the magnetic needle deflects when a galvanic current comea near it." Dr. EamoL 
(Jma: Soe. Artt. 1859, voL vii, p. 606.) 


sayB at the end (page 376), he hod not been able to add ttie information received 
from Oeisted, doctor of the University at Copenhagen, abont the galvanio labors of 
aeientiflc men iu that country."* 

All that is known of Oersted's simple, generons, and npright character, ntt«rly re- 
pels any suoh dark snspioion; and the remarkable interval of eighteen years, which 
elapsed between the two dat«s of pnblication, negatives even the probability of pla- 
giarism. It seems only wonderful that no other expenmental physicist happened to 
hit upon the observation in all those years.t 

In Sabine's treatise on the "Electrlo Telegraph," reference is made in a note to 
Izarn'a "Manual of Qalvauism" and tohis statement of RomaKnosi's early discovery ;) 
and in the second oditiou (of iia historical portion), published two years later, Sabine 
remarks: "The discovery of the power of a galvanic cnrrent to deflect a magnet nee- 
dle, OS well OS to polarize an nnniatnietized one, was known to and de«0Tibed as 
early as 1S05 by Professor Izam in his ' Manuel dn Galvanisme.' . . . After ex- 
plaiuiug the way to prepare the apparatus, which consists in putting a freelir^UBp^nded 
magnet needle parallel and olose to a straight metallic conductor through whioh a 
galvanic current is circulating, he describes the effects in the foUowing words: 'Ac- 
cording to theobservationsofBomagn^, aphyslcicrt of Trent, a magnetic needle, being 
submitted to a galvanic current, undergoes a declination ; and according to those of 
J. Mojon, a learned chemist of Genoa, nnmagnetized needles acquire by this means a 
kind of magnetic polarity.' To Bomagn^i, physicist of Trent, therefore^ and not as 
is generally believed, to Oersted, physicist of Copenhagen, (who first observed in 1620 
.the phenomenon of the deflection of a m^net needle by a voltaic current,) is dne tdie 
credit of having made this important discovery."} 

While this is undoubtedly a correct verdict, it remains none the less true that the 
sapid awakening of European physicists to the eigniflcance and importance of the 
principle of the galvanometer, was due entirely to its rediscovery and reonnonuoc- 
ment by Professor Bans Christian Oersted in 1^0. 

NOTE C. (From p. 278.) 

From the Treatises on Galvanism, by O. Aldin), published in 1B04, and by J. Ixam, 
published in 1606, (previously noticed, ) wo learn that Ginseppi Mojou, (Joseph Hoyou 
In the F^nch,) a chemist of Genoa, on placing steel sewing-needles in connection with 
a galvanic battery observed that they became magnetic; (probably with trnnsverM 
polarity.) The description is however very obscure. (Aldini, p. 191; Izam, p, 120.) 
" It deserves to be remembered," says Dr, Hamel, " that from AliiJiii's book it was 
loiown that the chemist Giuseppi Mojon, at Genoa, had before 1804 observed in nn- 
-magnetizedneedleeexi>06edtothe galvanic current, 'a sort of polarity'. Izam repeats 
this also in his 'Mann^ dn Galvanisms;' which book was one of those that by order 
were to be placed in the library of every Lyc6e iu France"-! 

Still a quarter of a century earlier, in 1777, (now a ceufnry ago,) Giovanni BapUsta 
Beccaria, adiBtingaished Italian natural philosopher, ptofessorof experimental science 
lat Turin, and author of several works on Electricity, iu the course of his experimcnta 
'Journal of the SoeUiy <tf Arts, July 29, 1859, vol. vii, p. 606. 
t "The invention all admired; and each how be 
To be the inventor missed ; — so easy seemed 
Once found, which yet unfonnd, moat would have thought 

(Milton's Par. Lost, book vi.) 
1 2h« BUeMc Teltgraph, by Robert Sabine, Svo, Iiondon, 1867, part i, chap. Iv, seo. 
29, p. 33. 

i Bittorgitfths Electria Telegraph, 2d edition (in Weale'sRudimentaty Treatises), 1669, 
'. chap. It, sec. 37, pp. 23, 24. 

y Journal 0/ the Soeietg nf ArU, 1%9, vol. vii, p. 606. 



"found that a, needle through which he had sent an electric shock had in consequence ■ 
acquired a curioua speciesof polarity; for instead of turning asusua] to the north and 
south, it assumed a position at right angles to this, its two ends pointing to the east 
and west."* This enriona phenomenon {wliich if properly investigated might havs 
led to the discovery of eleotio-magnetism) was exhibited by the action of cnminon 
frictjonal or mechanical electricity : galvanism not having been discovered till some ' 
time later. It was probably thi^ same ti'ans voTse polarity that was afterward observed 
by Mojon. , 

NOTED. (From p. 287.) 

AmonK the pbydcists of Enrope who repeated Henry's experiments on a similar ' 
scale, Claude S. M. Fouillet, professor of physics at the EoolePolglechiuque anAiinetot 
of the ConeercaUiire at Paris, made in 1832, a magnet capable of sustaining 900 potinds. 
At the session of the Sodit4 PMUmaligiie of Paris, for June 'J3, 183S, Pouillet gave an ' 
aocount of recent experiments made by him with an electro-magnet of large size, 
having several thousand feet of wire wotmd upon it. The following is the report of 
tills communication published in the "Bulletin" of theSociety for August of that year: 

"M. Pouillet communicated to the Society the results of experiments which he had 
Just made on the magnetization of round bars of iron, (bent In horseshoe form, and 
flononnded on the arms with irou wire of a length of several thousand feet,) by 
means of on eloctric curront established In this iron wire. The magnetism thus ex- 
cited in a magnet one foot in height, formed of a bar of iron two and a half inches in 
diameter, and wrapped with 4,000 feet of wire, is sufQoiently strong to snpport^ a 
weight up to 900 pounds, even when the contact of the armature with the magnet is 
reduced to an ed^: so that the magnetic force is in this case stronger than the moleo- 
aha attraction, t Atteuding such magnetization, on a connection being made be- 
tween the two extremities of the condncting wire, a spark and a strong shock are 
produced. In another experiment, two similar magnets similarly arranged, having 
been placed fiicing each other, and varied in I'istance &om contact up to a separation 
of a foot, the magnetization of the one produced a magnetization of the other by in- 
duction ; BO as to effect an electric current and spark when the two extremities of the 
conducting wire were brought very close together. In the latter case there was felt ' 
also a vivid shock. This shook may be conuuunicated throngh a platinum wire evea 
to the distance of a hundred feet." t 

Thesource of this "intensity "magnetisasnnmistakabie as is that of themagneto-elec- 
trio spark obtained by its means. Had the experimenter however dlvEded his 4,000 feet 
of wire into 50 or 60 separate coils, arranging suitably his galvanic battery in "multi- 
ple arc " as a " quantity " battery, he would certainly have greatly increased the at- 
tractive force of his magnet, and rendered it comparable to Henry's Yale-College mag- 
net in lifting-power. 

Pouillet in the third edition of his EUnrntt de Phifgigae Experimentalt, published in 
1837, gives a drawing of a double "intensity" magnet arranged like Henry's in a sup- 
porting ii»me, of which he says: "Figures 432 and 433 reprosont an electro-magnet 

' P. M. Roget, Treatise on Slectro-taagnetism, 1832, chap, i, art. 6, p. 3. {This treatise 
is included in the "Library of Usefnl Knowledge," voL li.) 

t [Notwithstanding the considerable range of distance throngh which magnetism 
acte, it is not probable that the aggregate magnetic tenacity of iron in any case 
amounts to more than a ve^ small fraction of its cohesive tenacity,] 

t&miccof 23d June, 1832. Nouveau Bulletin det Sdencetj 'e'^hM6 -par la "Socift^Philo- 
matiquede Paris," UvralBon pour Aoflt, 1832, p. 127. This brief notice, republished in, 
Quetelet'a QwreipoBiiiiBce JfalilemaHyu«e(Pft^si^/u^del'ObservaloiredeItruxellea, 183-2, 
liv. V, vol. vii, pp. 317, 318, is the only paper by Pouillet on the subject of magnetdza-. 
tion by electric currents, contained in the Catalogue of the Boyal Society. Bresumably . 
therefore his only contribution on the subject. 


which I coDstracted in 1831 ; and which easily anpports nearly one ton (more than n 
thoosaad kili^rammes) when sabmitt'ed to the coneut of a strong batter; of 24 pairs. 
It consistB of two horse-ahoea opposed to each other, formed of round bars from three 
to foDr inches (8 b> 10 centimetres) iu diameter, and from two to two and a half feet 
(60 to 80 centimetres) in total length. The two arms of each horse-shoe ^re enveloped 
with about 1,100 yards (one thousand metres) of copper wire 26 thousandths <d' an 
inch (two-thirds of a millimetre) in thickness. The same cnrrent traveiees sneces- 
sively the3,200 jatd8(two thousand metres) of wire ; but the helices are bo disposed as to 
bring tbelr opposite poles together." And the author repeats that as soon as the cnr- 
rent is estahlishod, the lower firee magnet is attracted to the npper fixed magnet with 
such force as to lift "an enormous weight, often exceeding a thousand tcilogrammes."* 

The remark just made applies equally to this example of the Henry " intensity" 
magnet, that by the substitution of the multiple coil and the "qnantjt7''hattei7,it 
shonld hove equalled the Henry Yale-College magnet., if not his Princeton magnet. 

.There is however in this latter account, an evident error of dat«, which shonld be 
noted. The differences of detail (in every particular) between the two magnets re- 
ferred to, preclude auy suggestion of the latter being an inaccurately remembered 
account of the former. The systematic excess of the latter magnet in every element 
of construction and performance equally excludes the possibility of its having been 
devised by its author prior to his notice before the "8oci^t6 Philomatique" (ou the 
23d of June, 1833) of his success in developing a magnetic power of 900 pounds. And 
the fiict that Pouillet, iu the second edition of his Elements of Experimental Physics 
publiehed in 1832 ("revue, corrig^ et augment^e"), makes no allusion whatever to 
BQch a magnet, may be token oa conclusive evidence that no such magnet (nor any 
Mher) was constructed by him in 1831.1 

The error of statement, iu his third edition of the Elements of Physics is easUy ex- 
plained as a simple inadvertence in trusting to merooTy for a precise date.t 

It may be accepted with tolerable certainly that Fouillet's later and larger magnet 
eould not have been, made earlier than the lattra' part of 1832. And yet this inadver- 
tent antedating by one year (wholly unimportant though it be) has been very precisely 
leprodnced in the fourth edition of Pouillet's Physics, published in 1844, iu tbe fifth 
edition publiehed in 1847, in the sixth edition published in 1853, in the seventh edi- 
tion published in 1856, and presuroobly in every subsequent edition, as well as in the 
numerous tcauslatious of this popular work. The earliest date of publication of Fou- 
illet's 900-pODnd magnet is August, 1832 ; of his second, or 2200-pound magnet, is 1837. 

KOTEE. (From p. 289.) 


Tb^ following are some of the t«etunoulals of living eye-witnesses to the operation 
of Henry's early electro-magnetic telegraph, diuing the years 1831 and 1832. 

The Hon. Alexander W. Bradford, a former pupil of tbe Albany Academy under 
Henry's professorship in 1831, and who left the academy in 1932, thns recalls his aca- 
demic experiences, a third of a Gentury later: "And there was another professor, whose 
life has been spared, who rose with the sun to instmothispnpil eager after knowledge 
who giving iiis heart and soul to the duties of the school, had yet time for exploring 

tEUmenii de Fkvtigut Experimeatale, etc. par M. Pooillet, second edition, 4 vols. 8vo. 
Paris, 183a. 

t As if to magnify this accidental error. Dr. Lordncr, in a popular t«xt-book ou tbe 
' telegraph, makes ihe off-hand statement: "Ial830,anelectro-magnetof extraordinaij 
power was constructed under the Bnperiutendence of M. PoniUet at Paris, 
with acunent of moderate intensity the apparatus is capable of sapportioga weight 
of $aicral ton*." (Laidnw and Brignt's £to^H« TtUgraph, 12mo., London, 1867, cbw. 
H, •en. 39, p. 22.) 


tbe deep pntba of science ; wlio with Mb -vniea tmA Bilk thread winding miles of ingn- 
latM copper in the commencement hall of the academy, patiently toiled his waj to the 

demonstration of the magnetic power of the galvanic battery ; and years before the 
invention of the telegraph, proclaimed to Ametica and to Europe the means of communi- 
cation hy the electric fluid. I was an eye-witness to those experiments and to their 
eTentnal demonstration and tiinmph. In this commemorative festival, let ns not for- 
get to honor the name of Joseph Henry." ' 

On the same interesting occasion Dr. Orlando Meads thns recounted Henry's early 
trinmph: "The older students of the academy in the years 1930, 1831, and 1832, and 
others who witnessed his experiments, which at that time excited so ranch interest in 
this city, will remember the long coils of wire which ran circuit upon circuit for more 
than a mile in length around one of the npper rooms in the academy, for the pnrposa 
of Ulustrating the fact that a galvanic current could be transmitted through its whole 
length so as to excite a ma^et at the farther end of the line, aud thus more a flteel 
bar which struck a hell. This in a scientific point of view, wm the demonstration and 
accomplishmcDt of all that was required for the magnetic telegraph. The science of 
the telegraph was here complelie. It needed only the inventive geniasof Morse to 
supply the admirable instrument which was to make it available for practical use. 
. . . All honor to the inventor ; but let ns not foi^t that the click of the telegraph 
which is heard from every Joint of those mystic wires which now link together every 
city, and villj^, and post, and camp, and station, all over this continent, is bnt the 
echo of that little bell which first sounded in that upper room of the academy. These 
foots are a part of the history of the academy; and it is fitting that on an occasion 
like this, so important a discovery made by one of her own sons, in her service, and 
nnder her own roof, should not be passed over in silence." t 

Professor James Hall (in the same year in which he was president of the American 
Association, at its Albany meeting) addteseed a letter to Professor Henry, dated Jan- 
uary 19, 1856, reciting the foUoVing reminiscence : 

" While a student of the Rensselaer School tn Troy (New York), in Angnst, 1832, 1 
visited Albany with a Mend, having a letter of introduction to yon from Professor 
Eaton. Our principal object wfts to see your electro-magnetic apparatus, of which we 
had heard much, and at the same time the library and collections of the Albany In- 
stitate. Tou showed us yonr laboratory in a lower story or basement of the building, 
and in a larger room in an upper story, some electric and galvanic apparatus, with 
various philosophical instruments. In this room and extending around the same, was 
a circuit of wire stretched along the wall, and at one termination of this in the recess 
of a window a beil wae fixed, while the other extremity was connected with a gal- 
vanic apparatus. You showed us the manner in which the bell could be made to ring 
by a current of electricity transmitted through this wire ; and yon remarked that this 
method might be adopted for giving signals by the ringing of a l>ell at the distance 
of many mUes &om the point of its connection with the galvanic apparatus. All the 
circnmstoncea attending this visit to Albany are fresh in my recollection ; and during 
the past years while so much has been said respecting the invention of electric tele- 
graphs, I have often had occasion to mention the exhibition of yonr electric telegraph 
in the Albany Academy in 18^." t 

On the occasion of a visit by Henry to the Albany Institute, about two years later 
than the date of the above letter. Professor Hall made public reference to the same 
vivid recollections. At a meeting of the Albany Institute, held Jannay 13, 1858, in 
a hall of the Albany Academy building, "Professor Hall called attention to the fact, 
in connection with the visit of Professor Henry, that in 1S32 he had witnessed in this 

""Commemorative Address," on the celebration of the semi-centennial anniversary 
of the Albany Academy, June 23, 1863. Froceedinge, etc. p. 48. 

f" Historical Discourse", at semi-centennial anniversary of Alhimy Academy, 
June 23, 1S63, Proceedinge, etc. pp. 25, 26. 

t Published in the Snttfhsonian Report for ^857, p. 96. 

^d by Google 


bnildiug Uloatratloiis bj- Profesaor Henry of hie resnltB in eleotro-mftgnetiam. He saw 
here a nire of great length, tbrongh wbich Professor Heniy traiiHmitted a onrrent of 
galvonic electricity, and made the cmrent to exert its power in riuging a bell at the 
extrmmitf of the wire. This was certaiuly tho first establisbment of tbe practicability 
of the magnetic telegraph." 

" Professor Henry stated that he felt gratified at this public recognition of his early 
labora and discoveries in reference to the electric telegraph."* 

Henry's primitive eleotm-magnctic telegraph (as already statedj was properly on 
oeouslifi telegraph. Morse's subsequent electro-magnetic telugraphwas a reeoniinif tel- 
egraph, and it was this feature of antomatie register which was always regarded by 
its inventor as the most characteristic and important element of his invention. " It 
was soon discovered, after the Jatroduction of the Moise system of telegraph, that worda 
conhlbe read by the chck of the magnet ; but paper was nsed upon which the arbitrary 
alphabet of dots and lines was indented by the instroments, for all matters of bosiness 
np to 1853, and by many lines even later ; but at the present time there is scarcely an 
office of any importance in the United States where the paper is used to receive the 
record. Ten years ago the practice was almost invariable in the principal offices to 
employ an operator to read the dispatch from the long strips of paper aa it came from 
the instrument ; and a copyist who stood by bis side took it down. Now the system is 
entirely changed. The operator reads by the click, and copies the message himsel£ 
By this means the expense is lessened nearly one-half, and the risk of errors in a far 
greater ratio."t To which it may be added, that the diminished dntyof the armatnie 
enables a single circuit to be operated through double the distance piaoticable with 
the Morse tcc older. 

And thus it has come to pass that the Morse telegrapb to-day, is (by reversion to a 
more piimitlTe type) essentially an acotuiie telegraph.t So that "the click of the 
telegraph heard all over thie continent," is in Dr. Meade's expressive phrase, /uncditnt- 
allg and in •truth " bnt the echo of that little bell which fint sounded in that npper 
room of the Albany Academy." 

BOTE F. (From p. 896.) 
hhnby's relation to tbe engush telbgraph. 

In couseqaence of the repeated disagre«ments between tbe English patentees, Messrs. 
Cooke and Wheatstone, (not long after their procurement of a Joint patent in Jnne, 
1837,) as to their respective shares of originality and cr