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The past neglect was easily accounted for, and might be ex. cused; the future scientific character of the country rested with the people, and upon them devolved the responsibility of providing the means for original research. In Europe, imperia! treasure and princely munificence could build the temples of science ; under-a free government no such means existed, and to accomplish the erection of these great scientific institutions, the intelligent liberality of the whole community was the only

But it had been denied that this resource could be relied on; and it had been roundly asserted that, in the nature of things, the United States must ever remain grossly defective in all the appliances for scientific research. To test the truth or falsehood of these statements was not a difficult matter; and thus encouraged by the interest already manifested in behalf of astronomy, I had already resolved to devote five years of faithful effort to accomplish the erection of a great astronomical observatory in the city of Cincinnati.

This announcement was received with every mark of favor, and the following simple plan was at once presented. The entire amount required to erect the buildings and purchase the instruments, should be divided into shares of twenty-five dollars; every shareholder to be entitled to the privileges of the observatory, under the management of a board of control, to be elected by the shareholders. Before any subscription should become binding, the names of three hundred subscribers should be first obtained. This accomplished, these three hun dred should meet, organize, and elect a board, who should thenceforward manage the affairs of the association.

Such is the history of the origin of the Cincinnati Astrono. mical Society. Two resolutions were taken in the outset, to which I am indebted for any success which may have attended iny own personal efforts. First: To work faithfully for five years, during all the leisure which could be spared from my regular duties. Second : Never to become angry, under any provocation, while in the prosecution of this enterprise.

In three weeks the three hundred subscribers had been obtained. No public meeting had been called; and these names had been procured by private solicitation, and a personal explanation of the nature and advantages of the enterprise. So soon as the number was complete, the subscribers convened, organized, elected officers and a directory, and gave me a commission to visit Europe, to procure instruments, examine observatories, and obtain the requisite knowledge to erect and conduct the institution which it was now hoped would be one day reared.

This order being received, on the second day I started for New York, and on the 16th of June, 1842, sailed for Livere pool. Having visited many of the best appointed observatories both in England and on the continent (in each and every one of which I was received with a degree of kindness and attention for which I acknowledge the deepest obligations), and having been unsuccessful in finding, either in London or Paris, an object-glass of the size required, I finally determined to visit the city of Munich. The fame of the optical institute of the celebrated Frauenhofer had even reached the banks of the Ohio; and it was hoped that, in that great manufactory, an instrument such as the society desired might be obtained, if not completed, at least in such a state of forwardness as to permit it to be furnished at an early day. In this I was not disappointed. An object-glass of nearly twelve inches diana er, and of superior finish, was found in the cabinet of M Mertz, the successor of Frauenhofer. This glass had been subjected to a severe trial in the tube of the great refractor of the Munich observatory, by Dr. Lamont, and had been pronounced of the highest quality.

To mount this glass would require about two years, at & cost of nearly ten thousand dollars ; a sum considerably greater than that appropriated at the time for an equatorial telescope. Having made a conditional arrangement for this and other instruments, I returned to Greenwich, England, where, at the invitation of Professor biry, the Astronomer Royal, I remained for some time to study. Having accomplished the objects of my journey, I returned home, and rendered a report to a very large meeting of the members of the association and other citizens of Cincinnati.

During my absence of four months, a great change had occurred in the commercial affairs of the country. Every thing was depressed to the lowest point, and increased in a high ratio the necessary difficulties of such an undertaking; always great, even if carried forward at a time when the country


prosperous. With great difficulty the subscription was increased to an amount sufficient to warrant the ordering of the great objectglass already referred to. The sum of three thousand dollars was collected and remitted to meet the first payment. Even this fraction of the entire sum was collected with difficulty ; but as the remaining part of the price of the telescope was not to be paid until the completion of the instrument, it was hoped that the ample time thus allowed would render the task of collection comparai vely easy.

The principal instrument having been ordered, and the first payment on its cost made, attention was now given to the procuring of a suitable site for the building. Fortunately for the society, the place of all others most perfectly adapted to their wants, was then the property of Nicholas Longworth, Esqr. It is a lofty hill-top, rising some four hundred feet above the level of the city, and commanding a perfect horizon in all directions. On making known to Mr. Longworth the prospects and wants of the Astronomical Society, the writer was directed by him to select four acres on the hill-top, out of a tract of some twenty five acres, and to proceed at once to enclose it, as it would give him great pleasure to present it to the association. On compliance with the conditions of the title-bond, a deed has since been received, placing the society in full possession of this elegant position.

Preparations were now made to commence the erection of the building for the observatory. The grounds were enclosed, a road built, rendering the access to the hill-top comparatively easy, the excavations for the foundations were made, and, on the 9th day of November, 1843, the corner-stone of the pier which was to sustain the great Refracting Telescope, was laid by John Quincy Adams, with appropriate ceremonies. On this occasion Mr. Adams made his last

great oration. The deep interest which he had taken in astronomical science warranted the hope that he might be induced to visit the west, on the occasion of laying the foundation-stone of the first great popular observatory ever erected in the United States. T'hig hope was not disappointed. The unaffected devotion of this truly great man to the interests of his country, were, perhaps, never more perfectly exhibited than in his ready acqriescence to comply with the wishes of the astronomical socieży, that he should perform for them the important services on which the future success of this new enterprise in no small degree depended. His high character, his advanced age, the length of the journey, the inclemency of the season, all combined to exhibit to his countrymen the depth of his interest in a cause which could induce such sacrifices.

After the laying of the corner-stone, the lateness of the season, and other causes, induced a suspension of the work on the building for the winter; and it was not resumed until May, 1844. In the mean time, after incredible difficulty, the entire amount called for in the payment for the great telescope, was collected and remitted ; and the society was left with scarcely a dollar of available means, to commence the erection of a building which, according to the plan, would cost some seven or eight thousand dollars.

It was believed that the intelligent mechanics of Cincinnati would lend their powerful aid in the accomplishment of an enterprise which had progressed far enough to give some cons fidence in its ultimate success. With little or no means the building was commenced, trusting to activity and perseverance to supply the means as the work progressed. During the first week but three workmen were employed ; but by the commencement of the next week the funds had been obtained to pay these, and to double their number. In six weeks not less than one hundred hands were at work on the hill-top and in the city. Mechanics of all trades subscribed for stock, and paid their subscription in work. The stone of which the building is erected, was quarried from the grounds of the society. The lime was burnt on the hill,

every means


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