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I believe I have given you some data about the Tucson meteorites in a monogram published by the War Department in 1860; Medical Statistics of United States Army, 1855–60.
I wish I could give you full information on this matter. Please let me know when you receive it, and be assured that when I go to Washington I will pay my respects in person to you and it.
I am very busy, so you will excuse this hurried letter, and believe me
Yours, very respectfully,
SAN FRANcisco, CAL., July 2, 1863.
DEAR SIR: The aerolite which had remained so long at Alamito, for want of a proper person to bring it here, was brought by one of my brothers, Jesus M. Ainsa, who visited Sonora lately. We have been induced to retain it here for a short time, to satisfy the curiosity of the San Francisco people. The State Geological Society asked to be allowed to have a small piece for their collection, which request was, of course, granted. With this exception the aerolite has been preserved entirely in the same condition in which it was found in Arizona, and by the 13th of this month we will have the pleasure to ship it to New York, under the care of the Pacific Mail Steamship Company.
I take this opportunity to offer my services to the Institution.
I remain, respectfully, SANTIAGO AINSA. Professor Hex Ry, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D. C.
SAN FRANcisco, CAL., August 26, 1863.
DeAR Sir : I have the pleasure to acknowledge your favor of July 31, and I take pleasure in complying with your request. In fact I intended to do this before, but, owing to many engagements on hand, I have been postponing it to this moment.
I announced in my last that the meteorite would be sent by the following steamer from that date; but we were asked to retain it some time longer by some scientific men, who wished to examine it closely.
The history of this aerolite we have from our grandmother, Doña Ana Anza de Islas, daughter of Don Juan Bautista Anza, our great grandfather. The Jesuit missionaries had the earliest knowledge of this curiosity. There were various theories entertained about it; but it was generally believed to proceed from some iron mine in the vicinity, which belief holds to this day in Sonora. In an expedition made by Don Juan Bautista Anza, then “Gran Capitan de las Provincias del Occidente,” about the year 1735, to the country about Tucson, he was induced to visit the aerolite, and he undertook the work of transporting it to Spain. The place where it was found is called “Sierra de la Madera,” on a spot called Los Muchadios. Through the want of proper means and the bad state of the roads, (having to carry it to San Blas, then the nearest port of entry,) the work of transportation was given up, and they were satisfied to take it as far as Tucson. here it remained ever since, until my brother, Agustine Ainsa, undertook to transport it, in 1860, and present it to the Institute. His intentions, however, were never carried out until May last, when another of my brothers, Jesus M. Ainsa, visited Sonora and brought it with him on his return. By the time of the receipt of this the aerolite must be already in Washington, as we delivered it to the agent of the Institute about a month ago, to have it transported to you. Your agent spoke to us about expenses; but we wish not to deprive ourselves of the honor of having presented it to the Institute, and as such we desire that you should accept it. I would be thankful if you would send me a copy of the analysis, and of other information about the aerolite; and if you find it not too troublesome, to send the same, with my compliments, to St. John's College, Fordham, New York, where I was educated. I have the honor to remain, your obedient servant, SANTIAGO AINSA. Joseph HENRY, Esq., Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D. C.
[This meteorite is now in the museum, and is an object of special interest to visitors.]
Little GLAce BAY, CAPE BREToN, Nov A Scoti A,
MY DEAR SIR: I send you a specimen of “cone-in-cone,” which I have lately obtained in sinking a shaft at this place upon the Harbor Wein seam of coal described in Professor Lesley's report of this coal-field last year.
It was found in the band that corresponds to the black bituminous shales below the one inch of cannel coal, and 23 feet above the Harbor series of five feet of coal.
It was only obtained on the northwest side of the shaft, thinning out to the south and east, or towards the “crop.” The greatest thickness of the bed was about 7 inches. The largest “cone-in-cone” was 5% inches in diameter.
The journal of the strata sunk through differs somewhat from Professor Lesley's taken at the shore.
At the shaft-drift and gravel. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10.0 Blue shales, with cyclas shells, fish teeth, and other remains........ 3.0 Cone-in-cone ------------------------------------------------ .5 Brown band, with coprolites.............. - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - .3 Blue arenaceous shales ---------------------------------------- 1.0 Hard white sandstone.---------------------------------------- 2.0 Thin bands of shales “fucoids”. ------------------------------- 3.2 Hard sandstone ---------------------------------------------- .4 Blue arenaceous shales ---------------------------------------- 2.6 Sandstone, black mark, like the fruit “cardeocarpon”.............. 1.04 Sandy shales ...... * - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - .11 Hard blue shales.-------------------------------------------- 3.10, Blacker band ------------------------------------------------ .4 Fire-clay and ironstone balls.......--------------------------- 7.5 Coal --...------------------------------------- - - - - - - - - - - - - - 5.5 41.11
I cannot find in any work that I possess anything exactly like them, so think they may be of interest to add to your museum. The points of the cones are downwards.
I shall be glad to hear from you about them after they have been examined. I have sent a specimen to Dr. Dawson, Montreal, but fear the season is too late for him to get it this year. I remain, my dear sir, your obedient servant, HENRY POOLE. Joseph HENRY, Secretary Smithsonian Institution, Washington.
The above relates to a very interesting specimen of a remarkable concretion of a clayey material, which occurs in thin slabs, entirely formed of cones, the axes of which are all at right angles to the parallel surfaces of the slabs. The only explanation which occurs to us of the mode of formation of this structure is that of percolation of water charged with earthy material through a porous rock, and filling a horizontal crevice with parallel sides, with a series of stalactites and stalagmites. J. H.
HUNGARIAN NAtion AL Museum,
SIR: In reply to your esteemed letter of the 29th of May, I have the honor to inform you that the birds sent us through Dr. Flugel have been duly received, and I beg leave to return the heartfelt thanks of our institution for the same. Full acknowledgments have also been made in our reports, and in the newspapers, of our obligations to the Smithsonian Institution, which stands so high in public opinion everywhere.
AUGUST W. KUBINYI, Director. Joseph HENRY, Esq., Secretary Smithsonian Institution, Washington.
ChristiANA, NonwAY, November 4, 1863.
Sir : Having been appointed director of the Ethnological Museum at the University of Christiana, I have perused a letter of the 6th May, 1862, from the secretary of the Smithsonian Institution to the secretary of this university. As this letter alludes to the endeavors of your excellent Institution for the collection of ethnological objects from North America, and the utility of establishing a system of exchange for European curiosities, I have made use of the opportunity to offer you what we have in this line. The aboriginal population of this country are the Laps or Laplanders, living at present on the mountains and sea-coasts farthest north of Norway, Sweden, o Russia. Their language proves them undoubtedly to be of the Mongolian stock in Asia, and, as such, related to the red man of America. The Laps are a remarkable instance of this race, as they are converted to Christianity and have adopted the habits and industry of civilization, modified by the severity of the arctic climate in their country and their peculiar mode of subsistence as nomads with flocks of reindeer. We have procured a set of models made by the individuals of the people themselves, of illustrative of their present mode of existence. In offering this small collection for your acceptance, we hope that it may serve a scientific purpose in comparing the red man with his .. brother in the old continent. If it should be in your power to afford us some corresponding objects from your field of research, that is so immensely more extensive, a very great desideratum in our collection would be supplied that would engage our most earnest attention.
The articles in question are—
I. Three casts, in plaster, taken from living individuals, viz.: 1, an unmixed Lap, 39 years old; 2, a man whose father was a Fin from Russian Finland, and whose mother was a Lap, 42 years old; 3, a man whose grandmother was a Swede, (of the Teutonic stock,) otherwise Lap, 43 years.
II. Four photographic portraits: 1, mixture of Lap and Fin, 28 years; 2, 74 years; 3, 28 years; 4, 38 years—pure Laps.
III. A reindeer, harnessed with its sledge. The sledge is canoe-shaped, so as to be able to move upon the deepest and softest snow without going down into it.
IV. A pair of snow-shoes, being very long pieces of thin wood, with which the Lap can walk upon soft snow. They have straps or stirrups to put the feet into. The man moves on with the staff.
W. A pair of pack-saddles, with which they move their luggage in summer on the back of the reindeers; included is a model of a wooden tub and a cask; two flat pieces of wood to lay across the back of the reindeer are attached.
VI. A trunk, in which is included the wooden bowl for preserving the reindeer milk, and the press for making cheese out of it.
VII. A spade for removing the snow.
VIII. Two large wooden bowls.
IX. A tent; in the middle the fireplace and two pots hanging over it; behind is a scaffolding of wood for their stores, raised upon poles, so that it may not be attacked by dogs.
Confiding in your interest for the advancement of science, I remain, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
LOUIS KR DAA. Joseph HENRY, Esq., Secretary Smithsonian Institution, Washington.
[These articles are now in the museum.]
KAIserliche-KöNigliche Geologische Reichs-ANstalt, Vienna, December 11, 1863. SiR : I have the honor to transmit to you for the Smithsonian Institution a series of tertiary fossils from the Vienna basin, viz:
From the Congeria beds. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 species. From the Cerithium beds. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 species. From the Marine beds. -------------------.... - - - - - - - - - - - 270 species.
Total ------------------------------------------ 286 species.
In the box prepared to be sent you will find, 1, the present letter; 2, a systematic catalogue, with tabular reference to the localities; 3, a catalogue in which the localities are kept separate; 4, a guide of geographical reference for the localities. The number of specimens or lots in catalogue 3 is 622. Beside these there are a number imperfectly determined or not belonging to Austrian localities. The rest will give a pretty fair idea of the leading or type mollusca of our Vienna basin. The series here offered has been composed or selected under the auspices of Dr. Hörnes, director of the Imperial Museum of Mineralogy, and he placed it at the disposal of our Imperial Geological Institute, so that I beg you will consider it as a joint offer from both establishments.
I have the honor to be, dear sir, ever most truly yours,
British Museum, December 30, 1863.
DeAR SIR : I have to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of this day's date, and to acquaint you that the trustees have acceded to the request made by Professor Henry, on behalf of the Smithsonian Institution, and that I have instructed Dr. Gray to give you every facility with a view to such electrotype impressions being made for that Institution as are required from our wood engravings illustrative of the conchology of the North American continent. I shall be happy to see you, and to give you any assistance in my power when ever it may be convenient for you to call at the museum, as you propose.
Believe me, dear sir, yours truly,
Dr. P. P. CARPENTER.
31 PfeideMARKET, HAMBURG, February 4, 1864.
DEAR SIR: I duly received your very kind letter of the 6th of January, informing me that the director of the Smithsonian Institution would have the kindness to send me five of the American perennibranchiates for investigation. A few days afterwards the box was delivered into my hands, containing—
1. Menopoma Alleghaniense.
2. Menobranchus lateralis.
3. Siren lacertina.
4. Amphiuma tridactylum.
5. Siredon pisciformis.
All these amphibia being of the greatest importance for my studies, I cannot but express to you my most sincere thanks for this most valuable assistance. You will allow me to pay to your renowned Institution, in the mean time, my thanks for the reports and other valuable works, particularly on the Zoëlogy and Anatomy of Amphibia, published at Washington, and directed to me some years ago.
I should feel most happy if you would give me a direction how I might pay my thanks in a more material manner. You will, therefore, oblige me very much by informing me of the desiderata in your collections. Perhaps there might be some European fishes or amphibia which I might be able to procure for you. Of sea snakes, which family of snakes I have described some years ago, there are also some few species in my own possession. In minerals I am pretty rich, having the best private collection of this branch that exists in our place.
It is only on the supposition that I might be able to furnish to the Smithsonian Institution some equivalent that I take the great, and, perhaps, immodest liberty to mention, that one specimen more of the genera amphiuma, siren, and menopoma, would be of the greatest importance for my studies. It would be very difficult to decide all the anatomical questions concerning the named amphibia after the investigation of only one specimen. Having the intention to describe in a comparative manner the bones, muscles, and nerves of the famous Salamandra Japonica, with relation to the other genera of Ichthyodea, I feel myself in a high degree advanced by the specimens which I owe to your kindness, and would be induced to hope that my little work might not remain quite imperfect, if there would be any chance to acquire still one specimen more of the above-mentioned three genera.
Finally, you will allow me to say that I am not now in any connexion with the Hamburg Museum, as the address of your letter said, but that, though being on very friendly relations with the directors of our collections, I have given up my place among them.
With the highest regards, I am yours, very respectfully,
DR. J. G. FISCHER.
[The specimen requested was sent to Dr. Fischer.]