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work proposed, it is almost needless to dwell upon its value to science. The one consideration, that Piazzi's observations must, for long years to come, furnish the only means of determining the proper motions of more than five thousand stars, is of itself sufficient. For the other stars observed by him, they constitute a most important element in the determination. The huge number of stars, observed in zones by Lalande, at almost the same period—more than fifty thousand—depend for their reduction and value almost solely upon Piazzi's results; and the formation of a new catalogue of the latter will give an altogether new value to the results of Lalande. The great mass of independent observations thus rendered more accurate can speak for themselves, and it is manifest that their usefulness will be far greater than that of the same number of new observations made now. Unfortunately, Piazzi's observations do not afford all the elements now known to be needed for their reduction, and it will doubtless be necessary to reduce them differentially, thus greatly increasing the labor. Not merely questions of azimuth, zenith point, and clock correction, but also questions of graduation, of irregularity of pivots, and even of refraction, must be discussed, thus rendering the undertaking one of no small magnitude; still it would, I am sure, be labor well bestowed, and, as Professor Argelander wrote me in 1857, “it would be a grand thing, * * * * and one of the most importaut things that could be done.” The first process required is the reduction to the mean equinox of 1800.0 of all the observations just as they were given by Piazzi. This is a work which could be carried on by ordinary computers, and would in itself be of great service, even were the discussions of the observations to be omitted. It would constitute nearly two-thirds of all the labor, and possesses the great advantage that whatever is done, be the amount large or small, is immediately available. The best estimate that I am able to make gives about $5,000 as the probable cost of this reduction, to which from one-quarter to one-third should be added for the expense of checking, comparing, and correcting mistakes. Therefore, before beginning, I desire to make sure that at least $6,000 will be available for the purpose. There is scarcely a limit to the number of computers who could be employed at once upon this part of the work. It might easily be accomplished in a single year, or it might be slowly and regularly carried on for a long time, the expense being not very different in the two cases. This process being completed, the remainder of the work, consisting of various. investigations, in addition to the discussion of the instrumental corrections, and the formation of a catalogue from the observations after all reductions have been applied, would, of course, require more deliberate study. It would probably occupy at least two years, but I think the expense would be decidedly inferior to that of the first process. Indeed, I have convinced myself that all the outlays needed for the whole undertaking in all its branches would not exceed $10,000, and that if this sum were now available, the work might be completed in two years, inasmuch as parts of all the processes could go on simultaneously. My sense of the usefulness of this work, and my conviction that astronomers everywhere would agree in this opinion, are so strong that I have determined to appeal to you for aid, well knowing that your interest and moral support. will, under any circumstances, not be wanting. It is precisely such an undertaking as the plan of the Smithsonian Institution would lead it to encourage; and although I can readily see that the amount needed is larger than the Smithsonian would probably be able to apply at any one time to the furtherance of any one science, still I come to you with my plan, well assured that you will willingly do what you can in its behalf, whether by some gradual appropriation year after year, from the Smithsonian funds, in aid of what I have called the first process, viz.: The computation of the correction to the mean equinox of
1800.0, or in some still more active way, by enlisting interest and securing aid from other sources.
For several months past I have devoted such time and means as I could to the preliminary steps, and, as you are aware, I now desire only the means of defraying the indispensable outlays, wishing to contribute my own services in behalf of the work.
I am, dear sir, very respectfully and truly yours, B. A. GOULD. Professor Joseph HeNRY, Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution.
Project of an outline history of public education in the United States, by Frederic A. Packard.
The proposed volume to contain from 600 to 800 pages royal 8vo, to be put up in a cheap form, in the manner of legislative documents, with ample tables, indexes, &c., for easy reference. If it shall be thought best, the form o: be changed to two volumes—one embracing the original thirteen States, and the other the remaining States and Territories. The plan of the work would comprise the following topics: I. Qf universal education, considered as an essential element of free political institutions, what should be its character and extent? II. An historical sketch of the laws of the several States on the subject of education, and the establishment of public schools, academies, and colleges. In this connexion would be given the provisions for education under the colonial government, and their influence on succeeding legislation. III. An abstract or synopsis of all laws now in force in the several States touching public education, and of contemporaneous judicial expositions of the law, so far as they affect the essential principles of the system. IV. A sketch of the present state of public education in the country: (a.) Of the division of territory for school purposes, what and how made? (b.) Of the manner of raising money for the support of schools, and the amount raised and expended in each decade of years, of the present century. (c.) Of the permanent revenue for the support of ...]". derived from a fund—when and how was such fund created, and what is its amount and investments what portion of the annual school expense is derived from it, and what is its effect to stimulate or depress the working of the system : (d.) Of the number and average age of children under instruction, distinguishing the sex; the number in attendance, in proportion to the whole population, and the average time of attendance. (e.) Of the mode of employing teachers and determining their qualifications. (f) Of the number of teachers employed, distinguishing the sex; the compensation allowed: the average age of teachers, male and female separate; and the average amount of time employed in daily teaching, making distinct heads of summer and winter schools. (g.) Of the branches taught in the public schools, and the proportion of time devoted to each. (h.) Of the preparation and introduction of school-books; character of them in carly schools—improvements in them; expense of them, and by whom borne; and the number and variety of them, in the different branches, which are in use in the different schools. V. Of normal schools, number, when organized, how supported, number of pupils, terms and condition of admission; what proportion of pupils pursue teaching for a livelihood, and what proportion of these succeed.
WI. Of school-houses, their number, average capacity, manner and means of building, and improvements in respect to site, ventilation, heating, furniture, out-houses, &c., &c. VII. Of school libraries, number of schools supplied with ; how and by whom selected; funds to purchase, and the amount and source of the same; number and character of volumes; cost, mode of distributing, preserving, and extent of circulation. VIII. Of the religious element in public schools; if less than formerly, why? To what extent necessary and practicable? IX. Of popular manners and customs in the schools; habits of thinking and acting; domestic and social character, and qualifications for citizenship, as they are influenced by our systems of public education. X. Of physical education, what time appropriated to it; what facilities and encouragements are afforded; what methods adopted, as drill, gymnasium, or athletic games; and what part teachers take therein. XI. Of infant schools. XII. Of Sunday schools. XIII. Of colleges and other public literary institutions, so far as they afford aid to, or receive aid from, the public schools. XIV. Of the comparative expense and value of public education at different periods of our history. XV. Of lyceums, mechanics' institutes, evening schools, and other methods of adult education, to make other means of education available, or to compensate for the want or neglect of early advantages. XVI. Number of persons of school age that are under instruction, the proportion of the population that can both read and write; the qualifications of the pupils, upon leaving school, to engage in the active pursuits of life, with a superior physical, moral, and intellectual character. The materials being thus collected, would be arranged under the title of each State, respectively, whatever is peculiar in its educational history and statistics }: placed under specific heads, and what is common to all under general S. For example, Maine might occupy the first chapter or section of the volume— and we should first refer to Massachusetts for all matter preceding 1820, when it ceased to be a province. Then would come a succinct account of all legislation on the subject, including an abstract of existing laws; then the origin, amount, and mode of distributing any school fund. Next, a bird’s-eye view of the actual condition of the schools, government, discipline, construction of buildings, character of teachers, text-books, and the obvious fruits of the system. Whatever peculiarity there may be in the climate, in the habits and pursuits of the people, or in the condition of society, affecting favorably or otherwise the interests of education, would find a place in this connexion. After completing the circle of States in this way, a condensed chronological, historical, and statistical survey of the entire country would be in place, and such principles or conclusions as are established by the facts stated and illustrated. It will be observed that the plan contemplates the history of each State complete in itself, and if prepared by an individual selected for the purpose, might bear the author's name, like contributions to a biographical dictionary or an encyclopædia. Of course it would serve a valuable local purpose, and if properly prepared, would secure a share of public patronage, while the whole volume would furnish highly interesting and important information to the country at large and to foreign inquirers. When the outline thus sketched is well digested and matured, my purpose would be to forward a schedule of the subjects to some qualified patriotic person in each State, requesting his co-operation. The great advantages of having the work done by a resident of the States, respectively, are the accuracy, fidelity. and fulness which would be secured, the facilities for obtaining materials, and the authority which it would bear. These considerations might induce one or more suitable persons in each State to encounter some personal inconvenience, especially as the service is one of vast and permanent importance, and can be better done now than at any future period.
The President of the Chamber of Commerce of Bordeaua to the Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution at Washington :
SIR : I am not ignorant that the Institution of which you are the Secretary, and which labors with the most praiseworthy zeal to promote the progress of the different branches of human knowledge, maintains relations of exchange with the Imperial Academy of Sciences, Belles Lettres, and Arts of Bordeaux.
The Chamber of Commerce, anxious in its turn to co-operate, as far as possible, in the realization of the plans which you pursue, feels plcasure in transmitting to you a copy of its publications. They comprise a collection of its proceedings since 1850, the first volume of the catalogue of its library, &c. It is hoped that these various publications will find a place in your collections. The Chamber has, on its own part, founded a considerable library, which is open to the public, and it would be happy if the Smithsonian Institution should think proper to send us some of the volumes which it publishes, and which are filled with documents of the greatest interest on America, and on different questions of importance. These works would thus be at the disposal of a consid. erable number of studious persons, and they would contribute to make the services of the Institution of which you are the organ appreciated in all their extent in Europe. Be pleased, sir, to accept the assurance of my most distinguished consideration.
CARTE DEL PALAsso, Milan,
SiR : Through the kindness of your agent, Mr. Bossange, of Paris, we have received the Annual Report of the Board of Regents, presented by the great and liberal Smithsonian Institution to the Carte del Palasio's Agricultural Association, of which we are directors and regents. Iteading your valuable report, we have seen with the greatest satisfaction that the interesting and useful results of your labors have been approved and commended by intelligent men everywhere. Whilst expressing, honored sir, our warmest thanks for having been deemed worthy by your Institution to participate in the gifts which the liberality of the Smithsonian Institution ol. to men devoted to science, it will be a source of pleasure to us to endeavor to reciprocate your kindness. To promote knowledge and facilitate its progress by stimulating men of science to undertake general and extensive researches, and to offer the means of continuing them, is the most useful service which can be rendered to mankind. The very extensive means which your great Institution has at its command, the ardor with which your officers and regents began and continue their difficult work, are infallible indications of the greatest results which will be produced. And we do not doubt that the material and moral progress of individuals, with that of science in general, will fully realize the anticipations of the founder, and amply recompense the continued labors of the distinguished directors of the Smithsonian Institution.
As directors of a new institution, which we hope will also soon produce important results in agriculture, we shall be content if, in reciprocating your kindness, we can also in any way serve the laudable purposes of your Institution by presenting the results of our own labors and researches.
Again expressing our thanks, we have the pleasure of sending some of the publications relating to our institution, with the hope that they will be placed in the Smithsonian library. They are the following: 1. Programme of organization of the Carte del Palasio's Agricultural Association. 2. Annual Reports of the Association for 1859–61. 3. Agricultural Annals, by Dr. Gaetano Cantoni, professor of agronomy.
Your most obedient servants,
Sig. ANTONIO RESCHIN, Direttore.
Office Sup'T U. S. MILITARY GENERAL HOSPITALS,
Memphis, Tennessee, September 5, 1863. MY DEAR SIR: I am in receipt of your letter of the 25th ultimo, by which I learn the pleasing intelligence that the “great Tucson meteorite" is in a fair way of getting to Washington at last. I am sure you will feel proud of it when you see it. I knew the “Carlton specimen" was not ours, as I had sent it to Hermosilla before I left Arizona. That sent in by General C. is about 750 pounds, while ours is about twice that weight. .
The only history I can give you is a vague one, as there is no written record of its advent in Tucson. The old inhabitants of that place all agree that it was brought there from the Santa Catarina mountains, which lie to the north of Tucson, about midway between the Rio San Pedro and that town. It was brought in by the military stationed at the old presidio, where it remained until after the withdrawal of the Spanish garrison. It was then taken into town, set up on end, and used as a kind of public anvil for the use of the inhabitants. The smaller one was used in a blacksmith's forge for similar purposes. In 1857 I found the large one lying in one of the by-streets half buried in the earth, having evidently been there a considerable time. No person claimed it, so I publicly announced that I would take possession of it in behalf of the Smithsonian, and forward it whenever an opportunity offered. Mr. Palatine Robinson, near whose house the iron was, assisted me in getting it sent to Hermosilla. There was some expense attending its hoisting into the truck-wagon that took it down to Sonora, which I paid to Mr. R. Mr. Ainsa agreed to take it, or have it taken, to Guaymas, Sonora, for fifty dollars.
The people of Tucson all agree that a shower of these meteorites fell in the Santa Catarina mountains some two hundred years ago, and I have been told that there were plenty of them remaining in the mountains. I never was in the immediate portion of the mountain range where they report the specimens are to be found, so I cannot vouch for the correctness of their reports. As the country is volcanic almost entirely, I have often thought, from the fact that iron ore is abundant in several of these mountains, that it might have been that masses of iron mineral were reduced to the metallic state by volcanic heat. See in the case of the famous “Planchas de plata" silver mines, some one hundred miles south of the Santa Catarina, where large pieces of pure silver have been found reduced to the pure state by fire, which has left everything in its vicinity in a state of calcination. One picce weighing 1,500 pounds was found and cut in two to allow its removal to the city of Mexico by the Spanish authorities. I think you will find allusion to those interesting and once rich mines in Brantz