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in the hall of the Cincinnati College. To give an incre:sed effect to these discourses (which were unwritten, and in a style of great simplicity), a mechanical contrivance was prepared, by the aid of which the beautiful telescopic views in the heavens were presented to the audience, with a brilliancy and power scarcely inferior to that displayed by the most powerful telescopes. To this fortunate invention were these lectures, no doubt, principally indebted for the interest which they produced, and which occasioned them to be attended by a very large number of the intelligent persons in the city Encouraged by the large audiences, which continued through two months to fill the lecture-room, and still more by the request to repeat the last lecture of the course in one of the great churches of the city, I matured a plan for the building of an observatory, which it was resolved should be presented to the audience at the close of the lecture, in case circumstances should favor. Through the kindness of a few friends, who were now beginning to take a deep interest in the matter, more than two thousand persons were in attendance; and it seemed that the moment had arrived for taking the first step in an enterprise whose fate it was impossible to predict.

Having closed the subject under discussion, the audience were requested to give me a few minutes of time, for the explanation of a matter which it was hoped would not be received without some feelings of interest and approbation. The rapid advances of astronomy in Europe were then referred to--the erection of observatories in all parts of the world—the variety of magnificent instruments in Russia and Germany, in France and England, and the utter deficiency of our own ountry in every thing pertaining to the science of the staro


The past neglect was easily accounted for, and might be ex: eused; 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 munificerce 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 or; 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 Astronomical Society. Two resolutions were taken in the outset, to which I am indebted for any success which may have attea led my 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,


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 Liverpool. 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 t'velve inches diame Fr, and of superior finish, was found in the cabinet of M Alertz, the successor of Frauenhofer. This gless 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 Siry, the Astronomer Royal, I remained for some time to study. Having accomplished the objects of my journey, 1 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 is 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 ainple time thus allowed would render the task af collection comparat 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 en. close 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, in the occasion of laying the foundation-stone of the first great popular observatory ever erected in the United States. This hope was not disappointed. The unaffected devotion of this truly great man to the interests of his country, were, perhaps, nover more perfectly exhibited than in his ready acquiescence

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