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IV. The Academy as the Scientific Adviser of the Government
Pages 201-332

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From page 201...
... Even at the outset some of the committees appointed to consider questions of public policy were joint committees of the Academy and of other kindred organizations, or had among their members 201 ;
From page 202...
... On one occasion at least this led to some embarrassment, for the reason that through this double relationship it was thought that the views of subordinate officers might control the action of those higher in authority. As might be expected, there has been no regularity in the number of committees appointed on behalf of the Government from year to year.
From page 203...
... ~884. On the Signal Service of the Army, the Geological Survey, the Coast and Geodetic Survey, and the Hydrographic Once of the Navy Department (p.
From page 204...
... ~870. On the EEect of Chemicals on Internal Revenue Stamps (p.
From page 205...
... 5. Committees appointed at the request of the Navy Department.
From page 206...
... The wisest of our statesmen have regarded the attainment of this end, so desirable in itself, as by no means impossible. The combination of the decimal system with appropriate denominations in a scheme of weights, measures, and coins for the international uses of commerce, leaving, If need be, the separate systems of the nations untouched, is certainly not beyond the reach of the daring genius and patient endeavor which gave the steam engine and the telegraph to the service of mankind." 2 The committee was originally one of eight members, namely, Joseph Henry (chairman)
From page 207...
... B Comstock, Henry Draper, Wolcott Gibbs, B
From page 208...
... Hugh McCulloch, with a letter, signed by Joseph Henry, Vice-President of the Academy, giving the views of the majority and minority on the general question under consideration. This very interesting communication was as follows: 6 SMITHSONIAN INSTITUTION, WASHINGTON, D
From page 209...
... " The argument in favor of the French metrical system is, however, that it has been already adopted in whole or in part in several nations. " I have the honor to be, your obedient servant, JOSEPH HENRY, " Vice President of the National Academy of Sciences.
From page 210...
... * ~ ~ in,, 8 House of Representatives, 38th Congress, fist Session.
From page 211...
... The Academy appears not to have been directly concerned in the passage of this measure, but at the annual meeting of the following year ~ ~867) a resolution was adopted to the effect that the Academy considered it " highly desirable that the discretionary power granted by Congress to the Postmaster-General to use the metrical Freights in the post offices (should)
From page 212...
... " Very respectfully, your obedient servant, JOSEPH H ENRY, "President National Academy of Sciences. " Upon this recommendation the convention was ratified by the United States Senate." 13 It was signed at Paris, May 20' 1875, the United States being the first to sign ~4 — 1lRep.
From page 213...
... It was appointed May 9, ~863, at the request of the Navy Department, communicated by Admiral Davis May 8, ~863. This was a short-lived committee.
From page 214...
... It should be noted, however, that largely as a result of the government entering the Held with its own paint the prices asked for ship's bottom paint by various firms previously supplying the navy has been so reduced that if, for expediency or for some other reason, the Navy Department decided in the future to purchase all or a portion of its ship's bottom paint, there still would remain an appreciable saving to be credited to the Norfolk paint." \5 He further remarks on this subject: " The question of protecting the underwater bodies of sea-going ships always has been vital, and since the use of steel for hulls has become general, a suitable paint for this purpose has been in demand. Various manufacturers offer commerically, generally under proprietary names, so-called ship's bottom paints or compositions, which are designed to effect the double purpose of protecting the bottom plating from the corrosive action of sea-water and, also, of preventing the attaching of the various marine growths, such as grass, barnacles, hydroids, etc.
From page 215...
... When the Academy had been organized, the Secretary of the Navy turned the matter over to it, requesting that it would " investigate and report upon the subject of magnetic deviation in iron ships." The similarity of the personnel of the two bodies the commission and the committee is of strong interest in connection with the present history. We learn from Professor B ache that the Commission of the Navy Department consisted of himself as chairman, Joseph Henry, Wolcott Gibbs, Benjamin Peirce, and W
From page 216...
... The Civil War happened at a time when iron ships were fast superseding wooden ones. The Navy had in commission or under construction in May, ~863, some 88 vessels, the majority of which had wooden hulls protected above the water-line by plates of iron.
From page 217...
... S Coast Survey, made, by direction of Professor Bache, an extended series of magnetic observations on the first-rate ironclad Roanoke and the monitor Passaic at the Brooklyn Navy Yard, and also some experiments in the iron-clad Monadrzock at the CharIestown Navy Yard.
From page 218...
... l 2I8 NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES COMMITTEE ON SAXTON'S ALCOHOLOMETER. 1863 While the purpose of this committee was to advise the Government, it was peculiar in that it was appointed at the request of a member of the Academy to examine the invention of another member.
From page 219...
... The explanatory note regarding it contained in the Annual of the Academy for the year is as follows: " Appointed May 2sth, ~863, at the request of the Navy Department, conveyed through Rear-Admiral C
From page 220...
... Rendered incapacitated for active service by the accident which he encountered, he was placed in charge of the Depot of Charts and Instruments, in the Navy Department. Out of this office a little later grew the Hydrographic Office and the United States Naval Observatory.
From page 221...
... When Maury left the Naval Observatory on April ~5, ~86~, his meteorological data, records and papers fell into the hands of James Melville Gilliss, who two days later was appointed to succeed him as the head of the Naval Observatory. 23 Depths of the Ocean, by Sir John Murray and Dr.
From page 222...
... This was a committee of twelve members, ten of whom were ap~The correspondence, as given in the Report of the Academy for ~863, pp. 6, 7, is as follows: " BUREAU OF NAVIGATION, NAVY DEPARTMENTS, " Washington, May 2T, 1863.
From page 223...
... It begins with a brief account of the size, number and character of the publications which were examined, and then discusses the purposes which they appeared to have been intended to seine. it points out that up to the year ~858 more than 200,000 copies of the " Wind and Current Charts " and zo,ooo copies of the " Sailing Directions " had been distributed, from which it resulted that the publications and their compiler, Maury, had become widely known.
From page 224...
... " The committee, therefore, with entire unanimity, recommend the adoption of the following resolutions: " ' Resolved by the National Academy of Sciences, That, in the opinion of this academy, the volumes entitled ' Sailing Directions,' heretofore issued to navigators from the Naval Observatory, and the ' Wind and Current Charts,' which they are designed to illustrate and explain, embrace much which is unsound in philosophy, and little that is practically useful; and that therefore these publications ought no longer to be issued in their present form. " ' Resolved, That the records of meteorological phenomena and of other important facts connected with terrestrial physics, which, under the direction of the Navy Department, have been accumulated at the Observatory, are capable of being turned to valuable account, and that it is eminently desirable that such information should continue to be collected and subjected to careful discussion.
From page 225...
... R Bartlett, the head of the Hydrographic Office remarked: " The province of the meteorological division is to furnish blank meteorological journals to the masters of merchant vessels who are willing to post them, the masters receiving in return a set of charts covering the route to be traversed.
From page 226...
... The Navy Department appointees were Horatio Allen, Chas.
From page 227...
... In view of this circumstance and the fact that fifteen years after the experiments were begun they were still unfinished, it is improbable that they were ever brought to a conclusion. The most that can be learned is that the object in view was to determine the measure of expansion that would give the best results in practice, that a program for the experiments was considered at a meeting held in New York on June 29, ~864, at the Novelty Iron Works, of which Horatio Allen was the president, that the apparatus proposed by him was approved by the commission, that after delay this apparatus was made ready for use, and that experiments were conducted by five assistant engineers detailed by the Navy Department one of whom had general charge, while the other four kept regular watch of operations.29 ~ ~ OA COMMITTEE ON MATERIALS FOR THE MANUFACTURE OF CENT COINS.
From page 228...
... The proceedings were on this account confined simply to preparing a bar of aluminum bronze, anal having coins struck from it at the mint in order to ascertain to what extent the alloy was suitable for coinage. The bar was prepared by Joseph Saxton, a member of the Academy, and transmitted by Joseph Henry to the Director of the Mint, who in turn placed it in the 8lRep.
From page 229...
... After some progress had been made, it became evident, 33This~experiment was suggested by Joseph Henry.
From page 230...
... COMMITTEE ON THE EXPLOSION ON THE UNITED STATES STEAMER CHENANGO. 1864 During the Civil War the Government ordered the construction of z7 light-draft side-wheel steamers, intended for use as gun-boats.
From page 231...
... She steamed slowly past Governor's Island and entered the Narrows, when one of her boilers exploded, scalding thirty-two of the crew of whom twenty-eight died.38 This terrible accident " appalled the whole country," and an inquest was immediately held in New York to ascertain if possible the circumstances under which it occurred. A very large number of witnesses were examined, and the testimony given occupies ~4~ printed pages.37 The jury was unable to agree and two verdicts were rendered, the majority holding that the accident resulted from " the bursting of one of the boilers, which was caused by a greater tension exerted on the boiler than it could bear, the result of the unproper bracing," while the minority asserted that the boiler " exploded from low water and superheated steam." The specifications for the boilers were prepared by the Navy Department, while the boilers themselves, as already menIt is o r .' 1 ·~ .
From page 232...
... The committee visited the Brooklyn Napery Yard and made a painstaking examination of the boilers, " one of the committee having entered the boilers and made a minute and thorough examination of their internal condition." The detailed report submitted on August 5, 1864, contains the following conclusion; " The committee are unanimously of opinion that the rupture of the shell of the boiler of the Chenango was caused by the insufficiency of the vertical stays, by which the top of the boiler was fastened to the tube-boxes to withstand the pressure for which the boiler was intended, and that these stays were both deficient in number and injudiciously arranged," and again " the committee are of opinion that the boiler was not braced in accordance with the specifications, and that this difference was the cause of the disaster." 38 This report clearly throws the main responsibility for the accident on the private constructors rather than on the engineers of the Navy Department, though it would seem that the Government inspectors were not entirely absolved thereby. As a slight concession to the makers of the boilers, the committee in closing points out a certain fault in the specifications which they had corrected.
From page 233...
... C., January 8, ~867. " Sly: It having been suggested to the War Department that the coating with zinc of the iron head-blocks, with which it is proposed to mark soldiers' graves, will produce galvanic action that will tend to a destruction of the iron blocks, the Secretary of War has directed me to submit the subject to the Academy of Sciences here, with a view to obtain an intelligent opinion on it, and to ascertain if there be any good ground for the apprehension.
From page 234...
... S A., " Acting Quartermaster General." JOSEPH HENRY, J
From page 235...
... 788) for the marking of soldiers' graves in the National Cemeteries, and this bill was reported from the Committee on Military Affairs to the Senate on January ~ 8, ~ 867.
From page 236...
... WILSON. BY existing law the War Department was authorized to prepare these monuments, and I am told they have agreed upon this plan.
From page 237...
... STANTON, " Secretary of [Yar." There is no evidence in the records of the Academy that this second request was complied with, though in view of subsequent proceedings it is not unlikely that it was. As indicated by the discussion in Congress, opinion in the War Department was divided on the subject of the headstones, some officials favoring the iron blocks and others regarding them as unsuitable.
From page 238...
... 229. Act approved March 3, ~873.
From page 239...
... After that war they were once more discarded and no excises were collected subsequently until the outbreak of the Civil War. The enormous demands then made on the treasury necessitated the establishment of a vast series of internal revenue taxes, which were levied on property and activities of every description, Nothing was too great or too small to be pressed into service and the revenue collected in this way in the year ~866 amounted to more than $300,000,000.
From page 240...
... The recommendations were that following the custom of the trade, the strength of distilled spirits should be estimated according to their equivalent in proof spirits, and be expressed in terms of percentage of proof spirits rather than by the use of the IS Rep.
From page 241...
... In addition, the report has appended to it a " Manual for inspectors of spirits," consisting of tables showing the true percentage of proof spirits for and indication of the hydrometer at temperature between o° and loon F., and instructions for their use. This part of the report covers thirtyfour pages.
From page 242...
... At the beginning of the fiscal year ~866-67, therefore, the Treasury Department was in possession of the information necessary for the establishment of a new system of proving and gauging spirits and the authority for carrying it into effect. In his report for ~867 the Commissioner of Internal Revenue remarks on this subject as follows: · ~ · ~ ~ " For several years there had been frequent complaints of a lack of uniformity in the inspection of distilled spirits in different sections of the country.
From page 243...
... There was a widespread belief at the time, based on the strongest evidence, that the Government was being deprived of a vast amount of its revenue through frauds practiced on an enormous scale, either by the distillers separately or in collusion with the inspectors, and many thought that these could be stopped by making the capacity of the distilleries the basis of the tax. The Commissioner of Internal Revenue, E
From page 244...
... " Of various inventions submitted for measuring and registering the quantity of spirits passing from a still, the only one which has commended itself for simplicity and certainty of action, is that of Cox & Murphy, of Montreal, which the committee likewise recommend to be submitted to actual trial in a distillery, for several months, under the supervision of an officer of the revenue." 53 And in the report for I 867: " The desire of the Internal Revenue Department to possess a reliable spiritmeter having become generally known through its officers and agents, a large number of inventions were brought forward, from time to time, between dune, ~866, and January, ~868, and referred to this committee. The examination of the various plans and models, and the correspondence incident thereto, involved the expenditure of much time and labor, the constant aim being to develop any promising plans by pointing out defects, and making suggestions of improvement when practicable." 54 .
From page 245...
... As already mentioned, a number of these instruments were attached to distilleries in New York late in ~867 and early in ~ 868. They had scarcely been put into operation than a storm of opposition arose from the distillers, and on February 3, ~868, a joint resolution of Congress was approved appointing a commission of five persons who, in connection with the committee of the Academy, should again immediately examine all meters presented to them for consideration and report to Congress in detail the results of their examination, together with such recommendations as would in their opinion promote the interests of the Government.
From page 246...
... ~868, and was again favorable to the Tice meter, which the committee of the Academy had already recommended. No action was taken thereon, however, until July 20, ~868, when the Commissioner of Internal Revenue was authorized to adopt and prescribe for use such meters as he should deem necessary.
From page 247...
... Of the latter, which were recommended by the committee of the Academy the Commissioner of Internal Revenue said in 1871, "These instruments distributed under the present system of inspection, seem to give general satisfaction, and their accuracy and uniformity have relieved the trade of the embarrassments resulting from errors in gauging." 60 COMMITTEE ON THE IMPROVEMENT OF GREYTOWN HARBOR, NICARAGUA. 1866 For one brief period the Academy was concerned with a question connected with the great problem of an isthmian canal which had occupied so many minds since the discovery of America.
From page 248...
... As the ship-canal was likely to be long in building, a subsidiary company was formed in ~85~, which opened a passenger route from Greytown up the San Juan River and across Lake Nicaragua by boat, and thence down to the Pacific coast by a stage road. This route had been in operation but a few years when the American adventurer Walker appeared in Nicaragua and having been successful in overturning the existing government proceeded to have the charter of the canal company revoked and its property confiscated in retaliation for an action unfavorable to his ambitions which was taken by the United States.
From page 249...
... The minister, Don Lluis Molina, repeated the suggestion in a letter addressed to Secretary Seward and requested that a committee of the Academy be appointed to carry it into effect. Seward in turn presented the matter to Joseph Henry, then Acting President of the Acaclemv.
From page 250...
... E Hilgard, in charge of the United States Coast Survey office, recommending the appointment of a board to consist of the members of the Academy of Sciences, of which you are the vice-president, for the purpose of investigating and reporting upon the practicability and best means of improving the navigation of the Lower San Juan river, and reclaiming the harbor of San Juan del Norte, in Nicaragua, which recommendation is fully approved by the minister in his communication to this department.
From page 251...
... " I have the honor to remain, very truly, your obedient servant, JOSEPH HENRY, " Fice-Preside~zt of the National Academy.
From page 252...
... This will appear from the following excerpts from the report: " The deepening that we have advised in the lower San Juan, in the neighborhood of the weir, may prove sufficient to improve the whole stream, since the great proportion of water added at the dry season and the considerable increase of the wet season discharge must act powerfully upon the bed of the stream, and increase its depth wherever a yielding bottom is found. It may, however, well be feared that this scour, induced along the bed clef the stream, will sweep into the harbor-basin masses of material not so easily removed from the deeper water of the anchorage-ground as from their present positions.
From page 253...
... e., the turning of the current into the Lower San Juan, unless the latter was dredged out to a sufficient width and depth to prevent, by drawing it away, the water from cutting around the dam. This would have to be done for a distance of thirteen miles.
From page 254...
... Fua soumet au jugement de l'Academie quelques details relatifs a un precede qu'il croft propre a prevenir les accidentes causes par les explosions du grisou. Ce precede consiste essentiellement dans l'emploi de spirals de platine rendus incandescentes, a certains intervalles, par le passage d'un courant electrique; ces spirales mettraient le fen a des meches de colon soufre, trempees dans une pate gommee de phosphore et de chlorate de potasse." 67 COMMITTEE ON THE EFFECT OF CHEMICALS ON INTERNAL REVENUE STAMPS.
From page 255...
... This request was contained in the following letter 68 addressed to Joseph Henry, President of the Academy: TREASURY DEPARTMENT, OFFICE OF INTERNAL REVENUE, WASHINGTON, April 13, 1870. " SIR: In accordance with the third Section of the Act of Congress incorporating the National Academy of Sciences, I have the honor to submit herewith specimens of proposed Internal Revenue Stamps for examination and report with reference to their sensitiveness to chemical agencies applied for the purpose of removing ink, cancellation marks, and their durability under ordinary usage.
From page 256...
... I make this presentation with the hope that the Academy will take such action on the matter as may seem proper and desirable." 7° At the same session a committee was appointed by the President of the Academy to secure the successful observation of the transit. It consisted of Benjamin Peirce, Superintendent of the Coast Survey, Rear-Admiral Charles H
From page 257...
... 46. 72 The item in the Sundry Civil Act is as follows: "For preparing instruments for observation of transit of Venus, two thousand dollars; Provided, That this and all other appropriations made for the observations of the transits of Venus shall be expended, subject to the approval of the Secretary of the Navy, under the direction of a commission to be composed of the superintendent and two of the professors of mathematics of the navy attached to the Naval Observatory, the president of the National Academy of Sciences, and the superintendent of the coast survey, for which services they shall not receive any compensation." Stat.
From page 258...
... 227, z873. Sundry Civil Act for the fiscal year ending June 30, z874, approved March 3, z873.
From page 259...
... A plan of observation was very carefully matured by the commission created by Congress for that purpose in ~87~, and the organization and arrangement of the parties were made to accord with that plan. The entire scientific corps of the expedition, numbering forty-two persons in all, spent several weeks at the Naval Observatory last spring in preliminary practice with the same instruments they were to use at the stations, thus becoming familiar with the difficult and delicate operations involved in the final observations.
From page 260...
... " The system of practice was fully carried out, and the several parties destined for the observation of the transit of Venus in both hemispheres, left the United States fully qualified in all respects to perform their duties. " Instructions for conducting the scientific operations of the parties were prepared by Professor Newcomb, printed, and freely distributed." 8\ The Transit of Venus Commission of ~874, which was considered as having continued in existence, took charge of the arrangements for the observations of the transit of ~882 and prepared instructions to the observers that were printed by authority of the Secretary of the Navy.82 The Secretary remarks as follows in his report for the fiscal year ending June 30, ~882: TRANSIT OF VENUS " Professor Harkness has been principally occupied in fitting out the parties for observing the approaching Transit of Venus, and in reducing the zone observations made in Chili during the years ~850, ~85~, and ~852, by the astronomical expedition to the southern hemisphere, under the late Capt.
From page 261...
... supplement to the American Ephemeris of 1887' pages 7I to 77.
From page 262...
... H Bristow, remarked that no royalty was paid on the water-proofing material, which was purchased by the gallon, and that on July 30, ~875, he had requested the President of the Academy, Professor Henry, to appoint a committee to examine into the merits of the waterproofing process.
From page 263...
... 22-28, 44th Congress, fist Session.
From page 264...
... For many years the duties on different grades of sugars were levied in accordance with their color, or what was known as the Dutch standard. After a time, however, the Government began to suspect that certain sugars were artificially colored, whereby the higher grades were made to assume the appearance of the lower grades,89 and were in consequence assessed at a lower rate than that which was properly chargeable.
From page 265...
... department, which for obvious reasons have not been published." 93 From various statements contained in the reports of the Secretary of the Treasury it seems allowable to suppose that the Academy suggested the use of the polariscope, or even made experiments demonstrating that certain sugars were artificially colored, and that the fact could be determined by means of that instrument. The President of the Academy, Joseph Henry, acted as a separate committee on the use of the polariscope or polarimeter, for determining the value of sugars, and reported in ~8~7.
From page 266...
... IS Dutch standard in color shall pay duty on their polariscopic test as follows, viz: " All sugars not above No. IS Dutch standard in color, all tank bottoms, sirups of cane juice or of beet juice, melada, concentrated melada, concrete and con94 Rep.
From page 267...
... Simon Newcomb as Superintendent of the Nautical Almanac for the fiscal year ~877-78, however, we learn the nature of the changes proposed by the Academy. Under date of October 26, ~878, he writes: 96 " ....
From page 268...
... WASHINGTON, " September 3, ~879." COMMITTEE ON A PLAN FOR SURVEYING AND MAPPING THE TERRITORIES OF THE UNITED STATES. 1878 In the decade following the close of the Civil War the recurring discussion of the relative merits of military and civil control of public enterprises centered around the management of the surveys of the public domain.
From page 269...
... S Geographical and Geological Survey of the Rocky Mountain Region, under the Department of the Interior and conducted by Major l.
From page 270...
... and a stimulus will be given to each to do the best work possible, and a resulting benefit will ensue in more accurate surveys and more extensive and valuable maps and reports..... " The conclusions, therefore, to which the committee have come are, that the surveys under the War Department, so far as the same are necessary for military purposes, should be continued; that all other surveys for geographical, geological, topographic, and scientific purposes should be continued under the direction of the Department of the Interior, and that suitable appropriations should be made by Congress to accomplish these results." 2°° Havoc.
From page 271...
... On March 8, ~878, a demand was made on the War Department and the Department of the Interior for a statement as to the cost of all the surveys carried on by those departments, and the extent to which their fields of operation overlapped. The Sundry Civil Act for the fiscal year ending June 30, ~879,~°3 contained the following provision: "And the National Academy of Sciences is hereby required, at their next meeting, to take into consideration the methods and expenses of conducting all surveys of a scientific character under the War or Interior Department and the 1o1 J D
From page 272...
... P Trowbridge, a graduate of West Point, who, while a member of the Corps of Engineers, served for several years on the Coast Survey; Professor Simon Newcomb, whose knowledge of mathematics and astronomy rendered his advice most valuable; and Professor Alexander Agassiz, whose experience both in mining engineering and biology made him a fit representative of those departments." ,04 As will be noted, no member of any of the Government surveys then existing was included in the committee, the President holding that it would be inappropriate to designate anyone representing those organizations whose contentions were reported to have caused Congress to consider their reorganization.
From page 273...
... We learn from the documents which accompany the Academy's report that the War Department thought that its topographic and geodetic surveys should be continued and that they might advantageously be made the basis of the land-parcelling surveys of the General Land Office, and that the scale and topography of its maps might be such that they could be used for plotting the geological data collected by the geological surveys. The General Land Office was of the opinion that " combining a geological and geographical survey with the survey of the public lands might be most beneficial and economical:" Dr.
From page 274...
... The committee in this report confined its attention to six scientific surveys of the public domain which were then in operation. These were the surveys west of the tooth meridian, under the War Department; the U
From page 275...
... The Land Office was to get its surveys and measurements from the Coast and Interior Survey, and its information regarding the value and classification of lands from the Geological Survey. The latter organization was to call on the Coast and Interior Survey for all mensuration data, but would be " authorized to execute local topographical surveys for special purposes." All three organizations were to be~in the Department of the Interior.
From page 276...
... He argued that the geodetic work of that organization was not necessary to the proper surveying of the coasts of the United States and that it was not as well equipped as the War Department to do the work of mensuration for all the surveys, as proposed in the Academy's plan, and that, in any case, the War Department could perform the necessary work at a much smaller expense. After reviewing the history of the survey of the Great Lakes, he made the claim that the kind of land survey of the United States at large recommended by the Academy was unnecessarily refined and would entail enormous expenses, and, by a very full comparison of costs, endeavored to show that if really demanded by Congress, it would be carried out at a much less expense by the War Department than by the Coast Survey.
From page 277...
... It enumerates the different kinds of surveys, and explains their objects, gives the cost of different surveys per square mile, states the amount of land belonging to the public domain which is unsurveyed and the cost of surveying it, shows that different systems of geodesy and topography are employed by the several existing organizations, and finally gives the reasons why the work should be consolidated under the Interior Department. In regard to the letters cited above, Major Powell's closing paragraph contains this reference to the Academy's report: "The wisdom and integrity of the committee of the National Academy of Sciences needs no other vindication than that contained in its report to the honorable body that finally endorsed it and transmitted it to Congress.
From page 278...
... When the matter came to issue, however, the portion of the plan relating to the establishment of a single geological survey under the Department of the anterior and the appointment of a commission to consider the codification of laws relating to the survey and disposition of the public domain and other matters was approved, while that providing for the consolidation of all mensuration work under the Coast Survey was not. The law, which forms part of the Sundry Civil Act for the fiscal year ending June 30, taco, which was approved March 3, ~879, is as follows: " For the salary of the Director of the Geological Survey, which once is hereby established, under the Interior Department, who shall be appointed by the President by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, six thousand dollars: Provided, That this officer shall have the direction of the Geological Survey, and the classification of the public lands and examination of the Geological Structure, mineral resources and products of the national domain And the Geological and Geographical Survey of the Territories, and the Geographical and Geological Survey of the Rocky Mountain Region, under the Department of the Interior, and the Geographical Surveys West of the One Hundredth Meridian, under the War Department, are hereby discontinued, to take eHect on the thirtieth day of Tune, eighteen hundred and seventy-nine.
From page 279...
... Professor Dana remarked in the American Journal of Science in December, I 879: " The failure of Congress to act favorably with reference to the establishment of ' Mensuration Surveys,' recommended in the Report of the Committee of the Academy, is thought to be a deferring of the subject for the time, and not rejection of the scheme." tiff This opinion has not been confirmed by any action of Congress up to the present time. The later history of the Geological Survey, especially, as regards the extension of its work to the States is one of much interest, but cannot be considered here.~5 COMMITTEES ON THE RESTORATION OF' THE DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE.
From page 280...
... B Rogers thereupon appointed Wolcott Gibbs, l.
From page 281...
... Under date of April ~4, ~903, he addressed the following letter 220 to President Agassiz: DEPARTMENT OF STATE, WASHINGTON, April I 4, I 903. " President of the National Academy of Sciences, Cambridge, Mass.
From page 282...
... " I am, sir, your obedient servant, JOHN HAY. The President thereupon appointed C
From page 283...
... " SIR: I have received your letter of April 24 instant, conveying the report of the committee appointed by President Agassiz of the National Academy of Sciences to confer with me respecting the present condition of the Declaration of Independence, and I beg you to accept for yourself and your colleagues of the committee President Remsen, of the Johns Hopkins University, and Dr. Billings, of the New York Public Library—my thanks for the promptness and thoroughness of the examination made by the committee, among the results of which is the gratifying assurance that no evidence of mold or other disintegrating agents were discovered upon the parchment under the microscope.
From page 284...
... " The conclusions of the committee, that the application of any chemicals with the view of restoring the original color of the ink would be unwise, and that the application of any solution, such as collodion, paraffin, etc., is neither necessary nor advisable for the purpose of strengthening the parchment or making it moisture proof, are welcome as avoiding experimental treatment of a document so precious and historic. " Again thanking the committee for their attention and care, " I am, sir, your obedient servant, JOHN HAY ', }23 It appears from the foregoing correspondence that the second committee agreed with the first as to the principal causes of the deterioration observable in the document and as to the best means of preventing further damage.
From page 285...
... Collier, then presented the following resolution which was approved by the Council: "Resolved, That the subject of sorghum sugar, the experimental results on which, obtained during the three or four years last past by Dr. Peter Collier, of the Agricultural Department, submitted in brief, by invitation, to the academy at 20
From page 286...
... A committee appointed for that purpose entered upon their work with great zeal and energy, and their report, which was laid before me, was, on July at, withdrawn formally by the secretary of the academy ' for such action as the academy may deem necessary.' On the lath of November current, the president of the academy presented to me the final report of that institution, a long and elaborate document, containing a review of the history of the sorghum industry for twenty-five ~rears, a statement of the scientific investigations made in this country and in Europe into the quality of sorghum and maize as sugar producing plants, a careful examination of 124 Rep.
From page 287...
... 5l, 47th Congress, 26 session.226 At did not leave the hands of the Commissioner until January lo, ~83, however, and was not published until June of that year. It was the most voluminous report prepared by any committee of the Academy and covered i52 printed pages.~27 Though conservative in their attitude, the committee speak in favorable terms of the outlook of the sorghum sugar industry, and express their faith in its future development.
From page 288...
... 24.) Again: " The spirit of scientific investigation which has led the Department of Agriculture through its chemical and agronomic researches to results of such importance towards developing a new industry of national value has been liberally fostered by the General Government, and to some extent also by certain of the States.
From page 289...
... Among these the most important was that the price of sugar was unusually low, a condition brought about largely by the growth of the beetsugar industry which proved remunerative and engrossed the attention of agriculturists in those very sections of the country in which it was expected that the cultivation of sorghum sugar would prove a benefit. In ~893 Congress discontinued appronriations for sorghum investigations, the Secretarv of Ao~rir,,]
From page 290...
... I take pleasure in acknowledging this courtesy as showing the establishment of more intimate relations between the scientific interests of the United States and the Signal Service." 23t The committee appears not to have presented any formal reports but was continued until ~884, when it was discharged. At this time the Academy had been requested by a Joint Commission of Congress to.
From page 291...
... R 5082 ~ ' To authorize the withdrawal from distillery warehouse, without tax, of alcohol and other spirits to be used in industrial pursuits,' which bill provides that ' such spirits shall either first have been mixed with one-ninth of their bulk of methyl, or wood alcohol, of equal proof strength, or that such spirits shall be withdrawn for use in tobacco factories, or such other industrial pursuits as shall entail their complete destruction so that they cannot be recovered by any process of distillation.' " It is therefore deemed important to the interests of the revenue that a careful and thorough investigation be made, having for its object the determination of O O ~ ~ the fact whether the methyl, or wood spirits may be entirely, or approximately, separated by distillation, or in any other economical manner from the ethyl alcohol, or spirits of wine, upon which the tax is imposed.
From page 292...
... ~ . ~ ~ ~ It then defined the several liquids know as ethyl alcohol, methyl alcohol, crude wood-naphtha, and refined wood-naphtha or wood spirits, and described a number of experiments made by the committee with mixtures of ethyl alcohol and refined wood-naphtha.
From page 293...
... B Rogers, appointed the following committee to consider the question at issue: Tra Remsen, C
From page 294...
... And, 4th, that though having at best only about three-fifths the sweetening power of cane sugar, yet starch sugar is in no way inferior to cane sugar in healthfulness, there being no evidence before the committee that maize starch sugar, either in its normal condition or fermented, has any deleterious eEect upon the system, even when taken in large quantities." }35 ~35 Rep.
From page 295...
... Regarding the latter the joint Commission remarked in its report: " It has been frequently stated in the course of debates in Congress that the several scientific Bureaus named were engaged in unnecessary work, so far as practical results were concerned, and also that there was a duplication of work, two or more Bureaus being engaged in substantially the same character of investigation and in the execution of the same work. It was claimed, especially, that the Geological Survey and the Coast and Geodetic Survey were duplicating their work; and it was also claimed that the work of the Coast Survey proper could be more economically performed under the direction of the Navy Department by use of the force and the organization in that Department known as the Hydrographic Office, and that that work should be transferred from the Treasury to the Navy." \36 As originally organized.
From page 296...
... no. z740, 48th Congress, fist Session.
From page 297...
... The committee recommended that the Weather Bureau be separated from the Signal Service of the War Department and placed under the control of a scientific commission. T\To immediate change in the scope of the Hydrographic Once was recommended, but it was suggested that when the original survey of the coast should be finished, the work of re-sounding, re-examining, etc., might perhaps be advantageously committed to the Navy Department.
From page 298...
... In case either action was taken, the Committee recommended that a permanent scientific commission be created to direct the policy of the several bureaus, this commission to consist of the Secretary of the Department of Science, or other Department to which the bureaus should be assigned (who should be president ex officio) , the President of the National Academy of Sciences, the Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, `' two civilians of high scientific reputation," an officer of the Engineer Corps of the Army, a professor of mathematics in the Navy, the Superintendent of the Coast and Geodetic Survey, the Director of the Geological Survey, the head of the meteorological bureau.
From page 299...
... Morgan, Herbert and Wait submitted a separate series of recommendations regarding the latter, while Herbert and Morgan presented a minority report relative to the Coast and Geodetic Survey and the Geological Survey. The conclusion of the majority of the Commission regarding the Coast and Geodetic Survey was as follows: " ....
From page 300...
... Those favoring the transfer submit separately their views on the subject, which are appended hereto " \44 The conclusion regarding the Hv~ro~ranhic Office vvas as follows: O O , O ~ " The commission unanimously recommend that this once be maintained by appropriations from year to year in its present state of efficiency." \46 Concerning the suggestions of the Academy that a commission be established to direct the work of the scientific bureaus, or that a department of science be created, the report remarks: " .... The commission considered with care the many suggestions respecting a change of existing law looking to the selection of a supervisory commission, which should from time to time, and at least once in each year, consider what work should properly be done by the several bureaus under examination, and supervise the methods of executing the work committed to them severally.
From page 301...
... Herbert and Morgan made the following minority report: " The undersigned favor the transfer of the Coast Survey proper to the Hydrographic Once of the Navy Department. We mean to include not only the hydrography, that is, soundings, etc., now done by naval officers under the direction of the civilian head of the Coast Survey, but all topography upon nautical charts, including such triangulation as is incident thereto.
From page 302...
... Marsh, thereupon appointed a committee consisting of George I Brush, Wolcott Gibbs, S
From page 303...
... As to the advisability of asking Congress to make an appropriation for the observation of the eclipse of the sun in August, ~886, to be expended by the Superintendent of the Naval Observatory under direction of the Navy Department.
From page 304...
... Of the three subjects presented for its consideration, the committee gave its attention principally to the question of the erection of a new observatory building. THE ASTRONOMICAL DAY AS regards the change in the astronomical day proposed by the International Meridian Conference, to make it conform to the civil day, the committee recommended that it be carried into effect as soon as there should be a general agreement among astronomers and astronomical establishments to adopt it, and preferably in ~890 or in Moo.
From page 305...
... Accordingly, an item was included by the Secretary of the Navy in the estimates for ~887, for beginning the erection of a new building on the site on the heights back of Georgetown, and in the act making appropriations for the naval service for the fiscal year ending June So, ~87, approved July 26, ~ S86, Congress gave the necessary authorization, in the following terms: " For commencing the erection of the new Naval Observatory on the site purchased under the act of Congress approved February fourth, eighteen hundred 153 Stat. at Large, vol.
From page 306...
... had contributed to the reputation of the Observatory, as an important scientific establishment, that reputation was derived mainly from the labors of its civilian professors, Walker, Ferguson, Hall, Holden, Newcomb and others. It, therefore, recommended that the Observatory be reorganized under a civilian administration, and that its name be changed from United States Naval Observatory to the National Observatory of the United States, which latter designation it bore at a certain early period in its history.255 COMMITTEE ON THE TARIFF CLASSIFICATION OF WOOLS.
From page 307...
... The committee then presented the following conclusions: " From the preceding facts, we see that wool comes into the trade in a very great variety of purity, some with not over lo or ~5 per cent. of actual wool 156 Report of H
From page 308...
... COMMITTEE ON QUARTZ PLATES USED IN SACCHARIMETERS FOR SUGAR DETERMINATIONS. 1887 After the polariscope method had been used for some years by the Government in determining the saccharine strength of sugars on which customs duties were levied, the Treasury Department appealed to the Academy to test certain quartz plates used in the saccharimeters.
From page 309...
... Dana and Charles S Hastings, requesting them not only to examine the plates but " to bring out the scientific principles involved, as a basis for future work." Three plates were received for examination from the Treasury Department in June, ~87, and three more in September of the same year.
From page 310...
... Chandler as the third member of the committee. In a letter addressed to the chairman of the committee, however, under date of May 4, ~87, he remarked: " The province of the Academy is not to conduct a technical examination merely, but especially to bring out the scientific principles involved in the investigation, and in this spirit ~ wish the work to be undertaken." \6t Having in view this injunction of the President, the committee returned to its original plan of first testing the various methods of analysis to ascertain which of them gave the most uniform results, and then applying this particular method to the problem at issue.
From page 311...
... C Mendenhall, then Superintendent of the United States Coast and Geodetic Survey, who put him into communication with Professor C
From page 312...
... This committee submitted a preliminary report on November I2' 1890, in which it stated that in its opinion a knowledge of the exact position of the Magnetic North Pole was not so important " as a study of the changes in the magnetic elements to be obtained from a cordon of stations, stretching from Alaska to Newfoundland, supplemented also by stations in Siberia." It suggested that a cordon of stations should be established near the line of dip of 89O, and that the observations should be taken simultaneously at all the stations.264 Here the matter seems to have rested until Play 2' 1892, when a general discussion took place before the American Geographical Society, Chief Justice Daly of New York presiding. The preliminary report of the Academy was read, together with letters from Professor Mendenhall and Professor Marsh, after which addresses were delivered by Professor Wm.
From page 313...
... In the year following an act was passed by the Congress of the United States, defining the various units in accordance with the decisions of the electrical congress. These comprised the ohm, the ampere, the volt, the coulomb, the farad, the joule, the watt and the henry; the last, as is well known, named in honor of Joseph Henry, the first Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution and second President of the National Academy of Sciences.
From page 314...
... 1896 At an early date, the Government of the United States adopted the policy of purchasing or setting aside from the public domain certain limited areas of forested land from which to obtain timber for the use of the Navy, but it was not until the repeal of the so-called timber-culture laws in ~89~ that the President was authorized to make extensive forest reservations without reference to any special economic value which they might possess. As a result of executive action in accordance with 168 See Rep.
From page 315...
... " SIR: I have the honor, as the head of the Department charged with the administration of the public domain, to request an investigation and report of your honorable body, as is provided in the act incorporating the National Academy, and by article 5, section 5, of its constitution, upon the inauguration of a rational forest policy for the forested lands of the United States. " Being convinced of the necessity for a radical change in the existing policy with reference to the disposal and preservation of the forests upon the public domain, I particularly desire an official expression from your body upon the following points: " I
From page 316...
... The President was also, ex officio, a member of the committee. It was obvious at the outset that no report of value could be made without a personal inspection by the committee of the forested areas of the public domain and the forest reservations, and on the representations of President Wolcott Gibbs, the sum of $2s,000 was appropriated by Congress in the Sundry Civil Act, approved June At, ~896, to enable the Secretary of the Interior to meet the expenses of an investigation and report by the Academy.
From page 317...
... O ~ ~ ~ which was transmitted on the same date by President Wolcott Gibbs to the Secretary of the Interior and printed at the Government Printing Office.17l This report. which covers ˘c printed ~ ~ e ~ ~ e, I J ~ pages, is comprehensive In scope and contains detente recommendations for the establishment of a national forestry service.
From page 318...
... The committee then proceeds to outline a definite system of national forest administration, including both temporary measures and a permanent organization. The disastrous results of defective and conflicting forest laws are then commented upon, and attention called to the desirability of establishing additional national parks.
From page 319...
... Stress was, however, laid on the desirability of offering relatively high rates of compensation and providing for retirement, in order to attract men of integrity who would render intelligent and conscientious service. To provide for the proper establishment of new forest reserves, the committee recommended that a board of forest lands should be created, composed of an officer of the Engineer Corps of the Army, an officer of the Geological Survey, an officer of the Coast Survey and two persons not connected with the Government service, whose duty should be to fix the boundaries of such reserves.
From page 320...
... "a. That a board of forest lands shall be appointed by the President to determine from actual topographical surveys to be made by the Director of the Geological Survey what portions of the public domain should be reserved permanently as forest lands and what portions, being more valuable for agriculture or mining, should be open to sale and settlement.
From page 321...
... 30, p. 35, Seth Congress, fist Session, chap.
From page 322...
... Instead of a " director " and " assistant director," we have a " chief forester " and " associate forester "; instead of " head foresters " and " foresters " we have " forest supervisors " and " deputies." The division into departments has been adopted. The formation of a special " board of forest lands " has not been carried into effect, the locating and surveying of forest lands and kindred duties remaining in charge of the General Land Office of the Department of the Interior.
From page 323...
... COMMITTEE ON THE ESTABLISHMENT OF A NATIONAL RESERVE IN THE SOUTHERN APPALACHIANS. 1902 In 1902 the Academy received a letter from the chairman of the Senate Committee on Forest Reservations and the Protection of Game relative to the establishment of a reservation in the Yearbook of the Dep.
From page 324...
... 84, Fifty-seventh Congress, first session, being the message from the President of the United States transmitting a report of the Secretary of Agriculture in relation to the forests, rivers, and mountains of the Southern Appalachian region (without the accompanying illustrations) , and a copy of Senate bill 5228, for the purchase of a national forest reserve in the Southern Appalachian Mountain region, to be known as the ' National Appalachian Forest Reserve,' and beg to state that they are in full sympathy with the principle of forest reservations intended to preserve the gradual distribution of rainfall in the flow of rivers heading therein.
From page 325...
... " MY DEAR MR. AGASSIZ: I should like much a report from the National Academy of Sciences on the desirability of instituting scientific explorations of the Philippine Islands and on the scope proper to such ad undertaking.
From page 326...
... The committee completed and adopted its report on February 7, ~903. The plan proposed covered the following subjects which the committee recommended should receive attention in the order here given provided they could not all be taken up at the same time: Coast and geodetic surveying and marine hydrography, land topography, including surveys and classification of public lands, geology and mineral resources, botany, systematic forestry (or forestry problems)
From page 327...
... At my request the National Academy of Sciences appointed a committee to consider and report upon the desirability of instituting scientific explorations of the Philippine Islands. The report of this committee, together with the report of the Board of Scientific Surveys of the Philippine Islands, including draft of a bill providing for surveys of the Philippine Islands, which board was appointed by me, after receiving the report of the committee appointed by the National Academy of Sciences, with l
From page 328...
... The surveys, while of course beneficial to the people of the Philippine Islands, should be undertaken as a national work for the information not merely of the people of the Philippine Islands, but of the people of this country and of the world. Only preliminary explorations have yet been made in the archipelago, and it should be a matter of pride to the Government of the United States fully to investigate and to describe the entire region.
From page 329...
... The coast survey and geodetic work has been carried on jointly by the Philippine government and the United States Coast and Geodetic Survey. All these organizations have issued numerous reports, scientific papers and other publications relating to the Islands.
From page 330...
... Van Hise to consider and report on the subject in question. The committee submitted its report to the Council on January 9, ~909, and President Remsen on January ~6, addressed it to the Speaker of the House of Representatives.
From page 331...
... " This last fact appears to your committee by far the most important one presented for consideration." i83 It was suggested by the committee that the permanent board referred to above should consist of the heads of the various scientific bureaus, two delegates from each house of Congress, and " five to seven eminent men of science not connected with the government service." The recommendations of the Academy have not as yet been adopted by Congress.~84 1S3 Op.


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