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triangle. The northern of the two smaller stars may see Sirius in the southern sky, south is Epsilon Lyrə, a quadruple star. Mr. Burn- and east of the beautiful constellation Orion, ham and a few other sharp-sighted people can which everybody knows. In the course of see with the naked eyes that it is a double star, some observations of this star the illustrious which with the help of an opera-glass almost Bessel, one of the greatest astronomers of the anybody can do. Through a good telescope century, suspected the existence of a satellite, each of these doubles becomes itself a double, the mass of which, acting on the central star, making four stars in the group-a beautiful produced certain variations in its movements sight to look upon. Astronomers, however, that had long excited the curiosity of obtake little interest in such a star as this, because servers. Of this satellite nothing was known, it is what they call a “wide double,” and is so and Bessel's suggestion provoked search for it. easily seen. What they are interested in are Other astronomers studied on the same prob“ close doubles," which are generally found to lem, and one of them, M. Peters, calculated for

the orbit of the unknown companion a period S

of fifty years. Several European astronomers looked for it and could not find it. Such was the state of things until the 31st of January,

1862, when Mr. Alvan G. Clark, one of the 1983 1881

makers of the unfinished Chicago telescope 1880

then at Cambridge, set it up rudely in the 1884

yard of his factory, and turning it upon Sirius discovered the companion which Bessel had

foretold and whose position M. Peters had so W


nicely calculated. Although very difficult to

see, being almost in the blaze of the bright star, 1978

this satellite or companion has been watched and measured very carefully ever since, and during the twenty-two years that have elapsed it has made a circuit of nearly one hundred and fisty degrees round the large star, and is likely to make a complete revolution in about the time predicted by the French astronomer. For making this discovery the French Academy

gave Mr. Clark the Lalande gold medal. The 1874

shortest period of revolution now known among double stars is eleven years, and the star is Delta Equulei, the distance of its companion being only two-tenths of one second.

Mr. Burnham's discoveries attracted much

attention in Europe because the double stars N

he discovered were the closest and most difficult observed POSITIONS OF THE COMPONENTS OF THE Double known to astronomers, and many of them have

since been found to be in rapid motion like have physical relations; that is, the smaller star the companion of Sirius. To them it seemed revolves round the larger one as the planets go amazing that such difficult doubles could have round the sun in our solar system. The closer been discovered by a self-instructed amateur the doubles the more likely they are to be using so small an instrument as one of six physically related. The distance between the inches aperture. two pairs in Epsilon Lyræ is 3 minutes 27 The result was that by this time Mr. Burnseconds of arc, or 207 seconds, whereas in the ham's name was well known abroad, and he 1000 new doubles discovered by Mr. Burn- himself was in correspondence with many of ham 743 of them are, on an average, only 15.8 the leading astronomers of Europe. Two years seconds apart, or 131 times as close as in Epsi- later M. Angot, one of the French astronolon Lyræ, while many do not exceed one-fifth mers sent to the islands of the Pacific Ocean of that distance. Such close doubles as some to observe the transit of Venus, returned of these not one person in a thousand would be through the United States, under instructions likely to see, even if he looked through the from his government to visit and report on the best and largest telescope.

appliances and work of American observaOne of the most interesting double stars is tories. One of the places which he visited was Sirius, or the Dog Star, the brightest star in Chicago, and the person in whom he was most the heavens. During the winter months one interested was our amateur astronomer on Vin

1877 1876 1875





cennes Avenue. In Mr. Burnham's little general use not suiting him, he invented one observatory M. Angot was greatly interested, which has been almost universally adopted, and said he had never seen one where such and which the Clarks now attach to all their important results had been accomplished with best telescopes. such simple and inexpensive appliances. He In 1877 M. Flammarion of Paris, France, found no sidereal clock, no transit instru- sent to Mr. Burnham a mass of printed proofs ment - nothing, in short, but a six-inch tele- and a letter, stating that he had completed scope mounted equatorially on a stout piece and had put in type his “ Catalogue of Double of timber sunk in the ground. The telescope Stars which had shown Orbital or other was even without the usual clockwork to keep Motion.” “But,” he continued, “before I pubits motion in correspondence with the rotation lish it I beg to submit the proofs to you for of the earth. For this, of course, Mr. Burn- correction and revision-you, whom the scienham had a substitute, and a very ingenious tific world now places at the head of this deone too, as M. Angot's description of it will partment of sidereal astronomy.” The proofs show. It was simply a long, vertical tube filled were corrected and a large number of new with sand, with an orifice at the bottom through measures and new systems in motion were which the sand could escape, after the manner added, which called forth enthusiastic acof an old-fashioned hour-glass. A lead plunger knowledgments and compliments from the following the descent of the sand through the great French astronomer. These facts are mentube gave the proper motion to the telescope, tioned to show in what estimation this man, and held it as firmly on a star as could be done of whom his own countrymen now know so by clockwork. He describes also Mr. Burn- little, was held by the greatest of European ham's ingenious mode of construction and astronomers so far back as 1877. Not only reading off his circles, by which much saving this, but besides his election as Fellow of the of time is secured. The discoveries and work Royal Astronomical Society of England he done with this little telescope tested at the has been made a member of the German Astime the sight of the best observers in Europe tronomical Society and has received from and the resources of much larger and better Yale University the honorary degree of M. A. equipped instruments. Otto Struve, the distin- When a dispute in astronomy involving acuteguished Russian astronomer, in a letter ad- ness of vision has arisen in Europe, which dressed to Mr. Burnham in 1876 said he had could be determined only by a series of the devoted forty years of his life to the zealous closest and most delicate observations, Mr. R. observation and study of double stars. “But A. Proctor has repeatedly called in Mr. Burnwhen," he went on to say, “I think of what ham as umpire, and his modest statement has you have done in so short a time, I am almost always settled the question. ashamed of my own labors.” How great these At the date of which we are writing, 1876 labors of Struve were may be judged from Mr. and 1877, Mr. Burnham had been for four Burnham's own words, as given in his “Double years a regular contributor to “ Monthly NoStar Observations,” in the “ Memoirs of the tices of the Royal Astronomical Society” of Royal Astronomical Society," Vol. XLIV.: London, “ Astronomische Nachrichten ” of

, Omit the observations (meaning measures, Germany, and other European journals, and had not discoveries of Dembowski and Otto Struve published nine catalogues, embracing nearly and our knowledge of nine-tenths ofthe double five hundred of his own new double stars. stars would not be materially advanced in the When at this time it was suggested to give him last thirty years." This was written in 1879, the use of the great telescope in the Dearborn and Mr. Burnham's own measures and discov- Observatory – absolutely unused till theneries since would render the insertion of his the president of the Chicago Astronomical own name necessary to preserve at the present Society asked, “Who is Mr. Burnham ?" On time the truth of the statement.

September 20, 1876, however, he was appointed As soon as Mr. Burnham was allowed ac- acting director of the observatory, which honcess to the great 18%2 inch telescope of the orary position he held until April 11, 1877, Dearborn Observatory, he applied himself when, through local personal jealousies into to the measurement of double stars, and be- which we need not enter, this order was recame as noted an expert in this difficult work scinded, the doors of the observatory were as Baron Dembowski or Otto Struve, as his closed upon him, the locks even were changed, publications in the “Memoirs of the Royal and he returned to his back yard and his Astronomical Society "sufficiently attest. He “cheese-box." It was too late, however, to never having had instruction from any prac- consign such a man to obscurity. His name tical astronomer, his methods of work were had begun to be known in this country, and original and showed great ingenuity and inven- a war-cry was sounded in the leading daily tive genius. The form of the micrometer in papers of New York, Boston, Cincinnati, and

Vol. XXXVIII.- 40.


Chicago; the "American Journal of Science,” ated about seventy-five miles south-east of San at New Haven, took up the matter, and in Francisco, as the site of the observatory, and a short time the directors of the observatory wrote to Professor Simon Newcomb of the were very glad to stop these indignant pro- Naval Observatory in Washington requesting tests and restore to Mr. Burnham the use of him to make a series of observations on Mount the great equatorial. Since then, happy in the Hamilton for the purpose of testing the atmoscordial and active coöperation of the present pheric and other conditions of the locality for genial director, Professor George W. Hough, an observatory. Professor Newcomb replied he has gone steadily on with his observations, that the most competent person in the country until his friends can say he has discovered more for making this examination was Mr. Burnham double stars,- over one thousand,— and meas- of Chicago, and recommended him for that ured them, than any other man, living or dead. duty. Mr. Burnham accepted the appointment To Volume XLIV. of the “Memoirs of the and took his six-inch telescope, made by the Royal Astronomical Society" he contributed Clarks, with him to California, and resided on 167 quarto pages of double-star observations, Mount Hamilton for six weeks and made the taken during 1877–78, and comprising his tenth observations needed. His full and interesting catalogue, of 251 new double stars, with meas- report on the subject was printed by the trusures, and micrometrical measures of 500 double tees in 1880. In October, 1881, with Professor stars. In Volume XLVII. of the same great Holden, he went out to Mount Hamilton again, work (1882–83) will be found 160 more pages by request of the trustees, to observe the transit of similar observations made by him, compris- of Mercury. On both of these occasions he dising his thirteenth catalogue, of 151 new double covered a large number of double stars, chiefly stars, with measures, and micrometrical meas- in the southern sky, which at northern obserures of 707 double stars. But his great work is vatories are too low to be well seen. yet to be published — a complete catalogue of In connection with the observation of double all the double stars ever discovered, with their stars it may be remarked that the extreme acuteright ascension and declination, the names of ness of vision which enables one to prosecute the several discoverers, and all the measures such research with the highest success is a very taken by them. This all-important work and rare gift; and the discovery of close doubles is tabulated record of all that is known of double its severest test. To measure a star — that is, stars the United States Government, through to ascertain by means of the micrometer the the Naval Observatory at Washington, under- distance and position angle of the companion took to publish some years ago; but in the with reference to the principal star — is one press of its regular publications gave up the thing, and to find new and close doubles is a task after printing some fifty or sixty pages. It very different thing. Baron Dembowski, the is a matter for satisfaction, however, to learn most noted measurer of double stars, who rethat in all probability the Smithsonian Institu- ceived for this work the highest gold medal tion at Washington will complete the work, in from the Royal Astronomical Society of Lonwhich case Mr. Burnham will bring his cata- don in 1879, had no success as a discoverer, logue down to the date of publication. and confessed his inability to find new doubles.

This immense catalogue in manuscript, which When, however, a new double had been found the author has made for his own use, has by another observer, and the distance and greatly contributed to his own success in this position angle of the companion approximately department of astronomy. It is the only work estimated, he could readily find and accurately of the kind ever made, and double-star ob- measure it

. When Mr. Asaph Hall, in 1877, servers all over the world send to Mr. Burnham had found the two satellites of Mars and deto have their observations verified and to ascer- scribed their positions, it was not difficult for tain whether the stars are new. The research any astronomer who had access to a large and literary labor spent upon it have been sim- Clark telescope to find them and see all that ply enormous. His astronomical library of Mr. Hall had seen. The whole difficulty was some two thousand volumes contains nearly in seeing them for the first time. Besides the every star catalogue which has been printed, ability to see a difficult object, there is reand the works of every observer in this spe- quired an intelligence and an experimental cialty, some of them in manuscript. Though knowledge of the subject, which are as rare not in the possession of large means, he buys as the visual faculty itself. Some of the lower every book he needs to make his catalogue orders of animals have more acute vision than complete. The rapidity and facility with which human beings; but they do not know all they he does his literary work are as marked as that see, or understand relations to other facts. with which he uses the telescope.

They have plenty of sight, but are lacking In 1879 the trustees of the Lick Observatory insight. Mr. Burnham's extraordinary powers in California selected Mount Hamilton, situ- in both these respects have made him the most successful discoverer of close.double stars who thing of the personal characteristics of our amever lived.

ateur astronomer, and would inquire whether The five great names in this department of such incessant day and night work affects unastronomy are the two Herschels, Sir William favorably his health and social habits. Does it and Sir John (father and son), the two Struves, make him a recluse ? Is he a martyr to science? Wilhelm and Otto (father and son again), and Has he time for social intercourse, and a taste S. W. Burnham. In science a double star for any of the recreations and amusements always retains the name of its discoverer and which interest other persons ? In reply it may his catalogue number; and, for brevity, a Greek be said briefly that few persons have such letter is used to express his name, or, in the uniformly good and robust health as he; few case of the younger Herschel and the younger love better the social intercourse of their Struve, two Greek letters. The Greek letter friends, or are more sportive and entertaining Beta is the designation of Burnham. In a in their conversation. Few play so many games, star list, “B 999” means Burnham's double or play them so rapidly and so well as he. He star, numbered 999 in his catalogue; “E 318,” carries with him no indications of a recluse Wilhelm Struve's star, number 318; and “OE or a martyr. Why should he?— for his sci413,” Otto Struve's star, number 413. Each entific pursuits come within the scope of his star is described in the catalogues of their dis- amusements. With strangers he has but little coverers by right ascension, declination, mag- conversation, and rather avoids making new nitude, position angle, and distance, so that acquaintances. He never speaks of astronomy no astronomer in the future can lay claim to except the subject be introduced by others, it. Mr. Burnham knows his thousand stars by and he never poses as a scientific man. Hence name,- that is, by number,— and can speak persons who have known him intimately for of the peculiarities of each without referring to years have never suspected that he was anyhis catalogue.

thing more than a bright, agreeable companThe known doubles are regularly and care- ion, and a good shorthand reporter. He loves fully observed by many astronomers, and their nature; and nothing delights him more than measures, each with a recorded date, will after to tramp and camp for weeks in the woods a time show whether the supposed companion of Michigan, around Lake Superior, or among has physical relations with the principal star. the Rocky Mountains, with a few genial friends, If there be no change in the position angle his trusty rifle,— for he is a noted rifle-shot,or distance, they are strangers to each other. and his photographic outfit. In the matter of If there be a change, the rate of orbital motion instantaneous photography he has few rivals, may be estimated when enough measures are and with his portable camera he has traveled collected. It is possible that two or more stars through Europe shooting pictures from steamvery distant from each other may fall in nearly boats and railroad trains. A competitive prize the same line of sight, and have the appears was offered in England for the best instanance of a double or a triple star. In case, how- taneous photograph. In a spirit of fun he sent ever, of very close doubles, the chance of such some pictures, and a first prize was awarded him. a coincidence - one in many thousands — is The subject was a cat in the act of springing so remote that there is almost a certainty that upon a bird. In late years he has studied such doubles have physical relations and be- photography in its application to astronomy. long to the same system.. Measures extending Few men have a more interesting family, a over a series of years will determine the fact. happier temperament, or get more enjoyment

Perhaps our readers may wish to know some- from life than our Amateur Astronomer.

John Fraser.

(SINCE writing the above, Professor Fraser has died. The article has been revised for the press by a friend of the author, who coöperated with him in the preparation of the original paper.- Editor.]



The Canal at Island No. 10.



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haps expedient to note that in the construction of the

defenses at Port Hudson, which I had estabshed To the EDITOR OF THE CENTURY MAGAZINE,

during the month of August, soon after the battle of

Baton Rouge, I found it necessary to impress slave contains a letter from Colonel George A. Williams, United States Army, speaking quite dogmatically of pair the defenses at Vicksburg, and in some measure the origin of the canal above New Madrid which led extend them, I found it necessary to impress several

hundred negro slaves. to the capture of Island No. 10, and rather contempt. uously of the honor of suggesting the canal. Colonel along the Mississippi River border, particularly above

It was then a critical period with owners of slaves Williams alleges the “ correct history” to be that the Vicksburg, where they were constantly menaced by canal was suggested by a saw-mill refugee named Morrison, who was taken from a raft.

predatory gunboats carrying off slaves, cotton, and I regret that I was not afforded a hearing upon this supplies, without effective resistance. Under these cirsubject before Colonel Williams's letter appeared.

cumstances, in my preliminary orders it was necessary Its publication forces me to say that I never saw

to restrict, or limit, the field for impressment to the nor heard of the raft refugee Morrison, mentioned by manifested by planters, especially as this public service

Mississippi border, to which little or no opposition was Colonel Williams, and that the suggestion for a canal which I made to General Pope was original with me.

was supposed to give some degree of protection to

their individual interests. I did not receive the idea, directly or indirectly, wholly or partly, from Colonel Williams, saw-mill Morrison, policy the legislative committee requested explicit

In connection with the practical operation of this or from any one else.

official information as to my views on this subject, As part of the history of the canal incident, I beg space for the following extract from a letter written by

a summary of which I embodied in a letter as follows: me to B. J. Lossing, Esq., on the 7th of June, 1863:

HEADQUARTERS First District,

DEPARTMENT Miss. & EAST LOUISIANA, The following record of a conversation of Mr. Solo

JACKSON, Dec. 16, 1862. mon Sturgis of Chicago, who contributed very liberally

To Hon. C. W. Harper. to the equipment of the Sturgis rifles, I find in one of my letters dated March 31, 1862. It may not be uninter- requesting information as to the number of slaves who

Sir: In reply to your communication of the 14th inst., esting in this connection. It was said to be character, might be advantageously used in connection with our istic. He said, addressing General Pope : "General military defenses in this State, will say that my own Pope, who suggested that plan? Tell the truth, the whole views on the subject go very much beyond what is thought truth, and nothing but the truth ; do not rob any man of the credit due him." General Pope replied with a smile, confine myself within such limits of seeming propriety as

to be politic by most gentlemen, but will in response General Hamilton suggested it, sir." Turning to me,

may commend the subject to the good common sense of he said, General Hamilton, was it honestly your own

those who are to be affected by it. conception ? Did no one hint it to you — no private, no

At this time, and until they shall be completed, one corporal, no sergeant, no one?" On my replying, "No thousand negro men can and ought to be employed conone, sir," he said: “Sir, give me both your hands, I

stantly on each of the works at Vicksburg, Port Hudson, honor you for it; and, General Pope," said he, " you de

and Columbus, and two thousand more could be used in serve high honor for adopting so wise a suggestion."

the supply and transportation departments; perhaps a That is the record as I made it at the time, and it is thousand more – -part women — could be employed for true.

hospital purposes. Schuyler Hamilton,

Our railroads are in great need of repairs; a thousand

negro laborers should be put upon them immediately and Late Maj.-Gen'l Vols., U. S. Army. continuously employed. The construction and repairs New York City, March 31, 1889.

of rolling stock, too, need much attention, and half the [Colonel Williams died at Newburg, N. Y., April 2, 1889.– negro carpenters and blacksmiths in the State might be EDITOR.]

well employed upon it, and in the erection of buildings

needed for many purposes. An Early Suggestion to Arm Negroes for the

In this way, and by the employment of other servants Confederacy.

as teamsters, laborers, cooks, nurses, watchmen, etc.,

with our armies in the field, the fighting strength of these As THERE has been a variety of opinion in relation armies might certainly be increased one-tenth, and alto the status of negro slaves under the late Confederate though laborers in the field of the husbandman are as States Government during the civil war, I transmit for

necessary as soldiers in the army, to enable them to prose

cute the war waged against us, I yet believe that ten your consideration, from an official letter-book, a copy thousand negroes might be spared from the former serof my official letter to Hon. C. W. Harper, chairman vice in this state, without danger of too great reduction of a sub-committee of the Mississippi legislature, then useful in the army and other public service as an equal

in agricultural supplies, and made almost if not quite as in session at Jackson, Miss., expressing in brief my number of white men. As a system, I think it would be views as to the employment of slaves in the construc- well to introduce into the service, as cooks, one negro for tion of the military defenses of the State. It is per. absent from camp, could be made available as waichmen

every ten soldiers. These servants, when the troops were See also the correspondence on this topic between General for camp and police duty, thus relieving so many soldiers R. E. Lee and the Hon. Andrew Hunter printed in The Cent for service in the field. URY for August, 1888. The present article was written before Negroes thus employed should be organized in detachthat correspondence appeared. – EDITOR.

ments and placed under the direction and control of per

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