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In 1857, Dr. B. J. D. Irwin, United States army, then stationed at Fort Buchanan, south of Tucson, found this meteorite lying in one of the by streets of the village, half buried in the earth. As no one claimed it, he publicly announced his intention to take possession of it and forward it to the Smithsonian Institution, whenever an opportunity offered. Some time after, assisted by Mr. Palatine Robinson, of Tucson, (near to whose house the meteorite lay.) he succeeded in having it sent, by the agency of Mr. Augustine Ainza, to Hermosillo, where it remained for some time at the hacienda of Don Manuel Ynigo, father-in-law of Mr. Ainza. In May, 1863, Mr. Jesus Ainza, brother of Mr. Augustine Ainza, and grandson of Doña Ana Ainza de Iglas, the daughter of Don Juan Bautista Ainza, visited Sonora, and on his return brought the meteorite with him to San Francisco, where it was delivered by his brother, M. Santiago Ainza, to the agent of the Smithsonian Institution, Mr. A. B. Forbes, of the Pacific Mail Steamshi Company, and forwarded by him, via the Isthmus, to Washington, where it arrived in November, and is now on exhibition, and the great object of attraction to visitors in the Smithsonian hall. It is proper to state that, although Dr. Irwin was authorized to expend whatever was necessary to secure the transmission of the meteorite to San Francisco, beyond some small expenses paid by him for placing it upon the truck in Tucson, no charge was made by the Ainza family for the cost of transportation to Guaymas and delivery to the Pacific Mail Steamship Company, performed partly with their own wagons and partly by other means of ... It was brought free of charge from Guaymas to San Francisco by the Flint and Haliday line of steamers. While on the route to New York the Pacific Mail Steamship Company and the Panama Railroad Company, with that liberality which has ever characterized their intercourse with the Smithsonian Institution, transported it without expense to Aspinwall, and thence to New York. The meteorite is in the shape of an immense signet ring, much heavier on one side, where it is nearly flat on its outer surface, and presents the face used as an anvil. The greatest exterior diameter is 49 inches; width of thickest part of the ring 9 inches, the least 38 inches; the greatest width of the central opening, 23 inches; width of thickest part of the ring, 17% inches. The weight is now 1,400 pounds, but some portions have been removed from time to time, probably reducing it considerably. Its composition is principally of iron, with small specks of a whitish silicious mineral diffused through it. A careful chemical and physical examination of the meteorite will be made by Professor G. J. Brush, of New Haven, to whom the Smithsonian Institution has committed the subject for a detailed report. As the aerolite was first brought from the mountains north of Tucson by the great grandfather of the gentleman to whose exertions in transporting it to Washington the Institution owes so much, it is proposed to call it the “Ainsa meteorite.” To Dr. Irwin, of the United States medical department, the Institution is also under great obligations for his agency in securing this specimen. Dr. Irwin states that the inhabitants of Tucson have a tradition that a shower of these meteorites took place in the Santa Catarina mountains about two hundred years ago, and that there are many other masses of a similar character yet remaining in those mountains. This meteorite is among the largest known, and in this country is onl exceeded a little in weight by the Gibbs meteorite in the cabinet of Yale o lege, New Haven, while it ..". the latter in size, being disposed in the form of a ring instead of a solid mass. The Smithsonian Institution also possesses the third largest meteorite in the country in the “Couch meteorite,” weighing 252 pounds, and brought from Northeastern Mexico by Major General D. N. Couch, and by him presented to the Institution.

identific Ation of specimens.

Continued progress has been made during the year in the determination and arrangement of the species in the Smithsonian collections, and the cabinet is gradually becoming more and more useful for reference and study. Any apparent shortcoming in this respect will be excused in view of the fact that the work done is mainly a voluntary contribution on the part of gentlemen engaged in making special examinations of the Smithsonian collections, and the Institution is under many obligations for their assistance.

Distribution OF SPeci MeNs.

In accordance with the plan of the Institution, as fast as the identification of the species is satisfactorily accomplished, the duplicate specimens are set aside for distribution to such museums at home and abroad as appear to be suitable recipients. The total number of objects thus †† to the end of the year 1863, all properly determined and labelled, amounts to 26,651 species, and 50,601 specimens, as shown by the following schedule:

Statement of specimens of natural history distributed by the Smthsonian Institution up to December 31, 1863.

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Mammals 581 845 ............... -

Birds....... - - * * ** * * * 5,774 7,784 -. .

Reptiles - 1 : 1.

Fishes.. 1,643

Crustacean 9:26

Radiates... --- 551

Mollusks ----------....... 898

Invertebrates,
sects, &c. -----------------------. - - 528

Eggs of birds ....... | - - 2,279

Fossil invertebrates......... |-------. 747

Fossil vertebrates...l........'........l........l........l........'........................

Skulls.............. 58 58 - 63

Minerals and rocks.................. - 211

4,210 7,368 26,651 72,657 10,934 44, 112

Total......... o 1,020 1,527 | 10,487 | 19, 650

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In the index to the three volumes of transmissions of specimens for examination, or donation, the names of two hundred and fifty-nine institutions and individuals are entered up to August, 1863.

N. B.-The preceding enumeration of specimens distributed does not include the specimens (duplicates) retained by collaborators in behalf of certain authorized collections—as of insects, by Messrs. Leconte, Uhler, Morris, Ostensacken, Saussure, Edwards, Hagen, Loew, Scudder, &c.; of vertebrate fossils, by Leidy, for the Philadelphia Academy; of fishes, by Professor Agassiz; shells, by Messrs. Carpenter, Binney, Tryon, &c.; mammals, by Messrs. Leconte, Allen. &c.; birds, by Mr. Cassin; reptiles, by Mr. Cope; plants, by Messrs. Torrey, Gray, Engelman, and Eaton. These will probably amount to at least 10,000 species, and 20,000 specimens additional.

The cataloguing of specimens in the record-books of the Institution has been continued during the year, and, as will be seen by the accompanying table, now amounts to 86,547 entries, being an increase, since 1863, of over 12,000.

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Table showing the total number of entries on the record-books of the Smithsonian collection at the end of the years 1861, 1862, and 1863.

1861. 1862. 1863.

Skeletons and skulls--------------------------------------- 4,459 4,750 6,275 Mammals------------------------------------------------- 5,550 5,900 7, 175 Birds ---------------------------------------------------- 23,510 |26, 157 31,800 Reptiles -------------------------------------------------- 6,088 6,311 6, 325 Fishes --------------------------------------------------- 3,643 || 4,925 5,075 Eggs of birds--------------------------------------------- 4,830 6,000 7,275 Crustaceans ---------------------------------------------- 1,287 1, 2 1,287 Mollusks ------------------------------------------------- 9,718 10,000 10,450 Radiates-------------------------------------------------- 1,800 2,675 2,725 Fossils --------------------------------------------------- 1,031 2, 100 2,550 Minerals-------------------------------------------------- 3,500 3,725 4,925 Ethnological specimens ------------------------------------ 550 825 875 Annelids-------------------------------------------------- 105 109 110

Total.----------------------------------------------- 66,075 74,764 86,847

LIST OF DONATIONS TO THE MUSEUM OF THE SMITHSONIAN INSTITUTION IN 1863.

Atkins, L. S.–Eggs of birds and shells from Ohio.
Ainsa, J.-See Irwin.
Akhurst, J-Birds from St. Thomas, West Indies.
Baer, O. P.-Unionidae from Indiana.
Baird, S. F.—Iron ore from Hanover station; series of skins and eggs of birds,
mammals, fishes, and invertebrates, from Wood's Hole and Cohasset, Massa-
chusetts.
Baird, Mrs. S. F.—Leuciscus, from Potomac river.
Beadle, Rev. E. R.—Bergen Hill minerals.
Bean, W–Collection of annelids and cirripeds of Great Britain.
Behrens, Dr.—Insects from California.
Berlin Museum.–54 skins of birds of Central and South America.
Bethune, Rer. C. S.—Skin of Scalops breweri, Canada.
Blackman, Mr.—Skins and eggs of birds, Illinois.
Blake, W. P.-Keg of fishes from Hakodadi, Japan.
Bland, Thomas.-Spiracis, from West Indies.
** George A.—Embryo Canada grouse in alcohol; skins and eggs of
irois.
Bouré, Thomas T–Large crystals of beryl.
Brass, W-Birds, mammals, &c., Fort Halkett.
Brevoort, J. C.—Fresh specimen of Zoarces anguillaris.
Bruckart, H. G.-Insects from Lancaster county, Pennsylvania.
Buckalew, Hon. C. R.—Collection of birds of Ecuador.
Burling, .W –Skin of Haliatus pelagicus from the Amoor river. (Through
Samuel Hubbard.)
Carniol, J.-Skins of Costa Rican birds.
Carpenter, P. P-Fossils from vicinity of Moscow.
Carpenter, Robbie S.–Skin of starling, Sturnus vulgaris, Warrington, England.
o: Lawrence.—A general zoological collection from Fort Rae, Great Slave
ake.
Coleman, Lyman–Seeds of Damascus thorn; petrified wood from Cairo.
Coleman, W. T-Birds and eggs from Canada.
Comstock, A.—Cuttings of California grapes.

Conolly, H.-Skins and eggs of birds from Labrador.
Cooper, Dr. J. G.-Shells of California.
Coues, Dr. E.-Series of skins of birds of District of Columbia.
Cowles, P. W.-Insects from Vicksburg.
Crosier, Dr. E. S.–Vorticella, &c., New Albany, Indiana.
De Saussure, Dr. H.-Skins of Mexican birds, and lacustrian antiquities of

Switzerland.
Diebitsch, Professor H.—Rana pipiens.
Dodd, P. W.-Skulls of animals and eggs of birds from Sable island.
Dow, Captain J. M.-Skins of mammals, and birds, fishes, &c., from west

coast of Central America. Drew, Dr. F. P.-Collection of reptiles and eggs of birds from Kansas. Drewsen, Charles.—Series of Greenland shells. Drexler, C.-Series of skins of birds of the District of Columbia. Egleston, Thomas.-Series of European fossils. Elliot, D. G. -Skins of European gulls; skins of humming birds. Elliot, H. W.-Large collection of Unionidæ ; shells, &c., in alcohol, Ohio. Engelmann, Dr.-Fossils from Illinois. Fairbanks, Professor.-Box of eggs. Fay, Joseph S. -Chlorastrolite from Lake Superior. Flett, Andrew.—Skins and eggs of birds; Fort Normann. Flett, James.-Eggs of birds, &c., from La Pierre's house. Foreman, Dr. E.-Five boxes of minerals from Maryland. Freiburg, Mining Academy of.Box of mineralogical and geological speci

mens from Germany. Frick, Dr.-Shells of California and Japan. Galody, M.-Skins of birds of Trinidad. Gaudet, C. P.-Skins and eggs of birds, &c., from Peel's river. Gibbs, Gcorge.—Indian curiosities. Gilliss, U. Š. N., Captain.—Six boxes of microscopic soundings. Gilpin, Dr. J. B.-Series of shrews and mice of Nova Scotia. Goldsmith, Dr. M.-Cricket from the Mammoth Cave, Kentucky. Gould, Dr. A. A.-Forty species of Melaniade. Grahame, J. A.-Skins of mammals, &c., Norway House. Giebel, Dr. C.-Three boxes of insects of Europe, (365 species.) Gruber, Ferd.—Skins and eggs of birds from California. Gundlach, Dr. J.-Specimens of Gundlachia, Cuba. Gunn, Donald.—Skins and eggs of birds from Red River settlement and Lake

Winipeg. Haldeman, Professor S. S.-Types of the species of Melaniadæ described by

him. Hall, W. F.-Birds and eggs from Massachusetts. Hamilton, R.-Collection of skins and eggs of birds from Great Whale river,

(through Mr. George Barnston.) Hardisty, W. L.—Birds, mammals, &c., from Fort Liard. Harris, W. 0.–Minerals from Chester county. Harriot, Mr.–Skins of birds from Fort Anderson. Hays, Dr. W. W.-Fishes, &c., from Sacramento river. Hayden, Dr. F. V.-Alcoholic specimens, Beaufort, South Carolina. Haymond, Dr. R.-Cypris from Indiana. Hepburn, James.—Skins and eggs of birds from the Pacific coast. Hibhard, Francis.-Lead ore from New Brunswick. Hibbard, James.-Antimony ores, New Brunswick. Hitz, R. B. f. George.—1,200 eggs, of twelve species of birds, from Northamp

ton county, Virginia, with shells, &c. (See also Stimpson.) Fossils from Aquia creek.

Hoge, Mr.-Skin of boa from the Serapiqui river.
Hope, John.-Eggs of birds, fishes, &c., Great Bear lake.
Hotaling, C. F.-Rock salt from Louisiana.
Hoxie, IV.-Insects from Massachusetts.
Hoy, Dr. P. R.- Nests and eggs from Racine.
Hunt, General L. C.—Indian knife, Klamath lake.
Irwin, Dr. W. W., and J. Ainsa.—Meteorite from Tucson, weighing 1,400 pounds.
Jeffreys, Mr.-Box of minerals of Chester county, Pennsylvania.
Jones, Strachan.-Eggs of birds, &c., from the Yukon.
Julian, A. A.-Series of fishes, &c., Sombrero island.
Keep, Rev. Marcus R.—Moose horns from Maine.
Kennedy, Dr. H. W.-Collection of reptiles of Uruguay.
Kennicott, R.-Insects, eggs, &c., from Illinois.
Kennicott, R., and others.-Fifteen boxes, three bales, one keg, and one chest

of Arctic collections. Mr. Kennicott's collections principally from the mouth of the Porcupine river, Peel's river, Fort Good Hope, La Pierre's house, Fort

Resolution, &c. Kirtland, Dr. J. P.-Two boxes of western Unionida. Krefft, Dr. G., (through W. Cooper.)-Collection of Australian reptiles. Krider, John.—Mounted hawks. Lapham, I. A.-Unionidæ of Wisconsin. Lawrence, George N.-Skins of birds from Central America and Panama. Lea, Isaac.-Box of Unionidæ, and one hundred species of Melaniada. Lewis, James, Dr.-Large collection of land and fluviatile shells from the in

terior of New York. Lockhart, James.—Large series of zoological specimens, principally birds' eggs,

from the Yukon; skins of birds, mammals, eggs, &c., from Fort Resolution. Lykins, W. H. R.-Fossils from Kansas. MacFarlane, R. W.-A general zoological and ethnological collection from

vicinity of the Anderson river, Arctic America. McGuire, J. C.-Two boxes of Unionidæ. McKenzie, Ilector -Birds' eggs from Red river. Mckenzie, J.-Birds, &c., from Fort Resolution. Mckenzie, Roderick.—Birds' eggs from Lake Manitobah. McMurray, W.-Birds' eggs from Winipeg river. Mac Tarish, Gov. William.-Skins and eggs of birds, &c., from the Red River

country. Mann, William.-Skins of Pinicola canadensis, Lake Superior. March, W. Thomas.—Three boxes of skins, nests and eggs of Jamaican

birds. Mleck, F. B.-Series of fossils from New Jersey and Maryland. Moore, Carleton R.-Double tail of Limulus. Michener, Dr. E.-156 crania of birds, and 54 of mammals; two boxes of

mmerals. Onion, J. S.- Plants, eggs, &c., from Fort Good Hope. Palmer, Dr. E-Fossils, minerals, &c., Pike's Peak. Parker, Rer. H. W.-Marine shells, United States, and two boxes of minerals

from New Bedford. Parkinson, D. T.-Skins and eggs of birds, Indian skulls, plants, &c., Fort

Crook, California Philadelphia Arademy of Natural Sciences –Seventy species of Melaniade. Piper, Col., (10th regiment New York volunteer artillery.)-Rock specimens

and fossil wood from Fort Meigs, near Washington. Poey, Prof. F.-Collection of bats and Ncuroptera; fishes from Cuba. Poole, Henry —"Cone in cone" in slate. From a sbaft sunk in the Harbor

Vein coal seam, Little Glacé Bay, Cape Breton.

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