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Mr. Bond communicated several papers from Major W. H. Emory, of the Corps of United States Topographical Engineers, and Chief Astronomer and Surveyor, on the part of the United States, of the Mexican Boundary Commission.
These papers consisted of, - 1. Astronomical Observations made at the City of Panama, New Grenada. — 2. Results of Observations for the Determination of the Latitude of the Northwest Bastion of the Fortification of the City of Panama. The station occupied by Major Emory was found to be situated 2".75 north, and 65.85 west, of the cathedral. The places of the adopted stars were taken from the British Association Catalogue. The computations were made by Major Emory and Professor James Nooney, one of his assistants. The following are the resulting latitudes :
1849, April 10th, 8 57 11.037 pairs of stars.
“ 12th, 8 57 13.19 4 " "
“ 25th, 8 57 12.27 8 pairs of stars. 3. Eclipses of Jupiter's First and Second Satellites. Observed by Major Emory and Lieutenant A. W. Whipple, United States Topographical Engineers, at the Northeastern Bastion of the Wall of the City of Panama, and Moon Culminations observed by Lieutenant Whipple. The result of these observations gave for the longitude of the northwestern bastion of the city wall, 5h. 17m. 573.=79° 29' 24" west of Greenwich.
The fourth paper contains Observations of the Elements of Terrestrial Magnetism at Chagres, Gorgona, and at the City of Panama, made by Major Emory, assisted by Lieutenant Whipple. The first station at Chagres was “near the centre of the plateau, east from the village, and 94 feet east from a ruin consisting of two rows of brick pillars, there being five pillars in each row.” Latitude 9° 20' north, longitude 51. 20m. 56. west. VOL. II.
The second station, at the city of Panama, “was upon the glacis, just beyond the ditch, about 300 feet outside the western gate of the city. Latitude 8° 57' 12" north, longitude 79° 29' 24".5 west.
The instrument made use of in these magnetic observations was a “Fox” magnetic circle, made by W. George, at Falmouth, England, under the immediate inspection of Mr. Fox, who determined its relative indications in regard to Falmouth. It has likewise been compared on several occasions with the instruments of the Cambridge Observatory, in 1844 - 45 by Colonel Graham and W. C. Bond, and in 1849 by Lieutenant Whipple and W. C. Bond. The observations are given in detail.
The fifth paper contains Meteorological Observations made at Panama.
The sixth gives the Longitude of Chagres, derived from Five Chronometers, transported in the Steam-packet " Northerner,” leaving New York on the 1st of March, and arriving at Chagres on the 13th. Major Emory gives as the resulting longitude, by these five chronometers, (assuming the longitude of Columbia College, at New York, to be 4h. 56m. 009.,) of the house of Don Luis Parides, 5h. 20m. 058,4, and its latitude, as determined by Espinar, 9° 10'.
Professor Gray communicated a paper by Dr. J. Deane, of Greenfield, on Fossil Footprints of the Valley of the Connecticut, with drawings.
Dr. H. J. Bigelow submitted a paper entitled Descriptions of Certain Tumors, with Remarks upon the Character of Morbid Growths, usually thus designated.
. Professor Agassiz gave an account of some discoveries he had made in respect to the structure of the tracheæ and the circulation in insects. He also exhibited living specimens of Astrangia Dane, a living coral which he obtained by dredging on the southern coast of Massachusetts, off Edgartown, as well as drawings illustrating their development and structure; also the curious structure of the cells which form their stinging apparatus.
The committee appointed at the Annual Meeting, to suggest some special rules in respect to the nomination of foreign members, and also to report suitable provisions for the future amendment of the Statutes, made a report, proposing the following additional Statutes, which were adopted, viz. :
“Chap. VII. Additional Statute. Foreign Honorary Members may be chosen by the same vote as Fellows; but only at the statute meetings of May and November, and from a nomination list prepared by a Council for that purpose, and publicly read at the meeting immediately preceding that on which the balloting takes place. The Council for nominating Foreign Members shall consist of the President, VicePresident, the Secretaries, Treasurer, Librarian, and the members of the three Standing Committees; and no candidate shall be balloted for who is not recommended by the signatures of two thirds of the members of this Council.
“Chap. IX. Of AMENDMENTS OF THE STATUTES. All proposed alterations or additions to the Statutes shall be referred to a committee during the interval between two statute meetings, and shall require for enactment a majority of two thirds of the members present, and at least eighteen affirmative votes."
The Hon. Robert C. Winthrop, and Dr. William F. Channing, of Boston, were elected Fellows of the Academy.
Three hundred and twenty-second meeting.
October 2, 1849. — MONTHLY MEETING. The PRESIDENT in the chair.
The Corresponding Secretary read letters of acceptance from the Hon. Robert C. Winthrop, and Professor Charles B. Adams, in reply to his official notification of their election as Fellows of the Academy.
A circular from the Physical Section of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, respecting the establishment of an Astronomical Journal, was read; whereupon it was
" Resolved, That, in the opinion of this Academy, the establishment of the proposed Journal, for the publication of original researches in mathematics and astronomy, will tend materially to the advancement of these sciences; and it should receive the encouragement and support of learned societies, seminaries of learning, and scientific men throughout the United States.”
By a resolution, the Committee of Publication was authorized and directed to prepare, and append to the current volume of the Memoirs, a list of the present Fellows and Honorary Members of the Academy.
Mr. Everett presented some papers from Professor Mitchell, of Cincinnati, describing his machinery for recording the observed motions of the heavenly bodies. Professor Peirce and Dr. B. A. Gould made some comments upon it.
Dr. C. T. Jackson desired a correction to be made in the printed Proceedings of the Academy, under date of January 2d, namely, that the discovery of the almost universal presence of oxide of manganese in the water of streams, fc., should be ascribed to his assistant, Richard Crossley, Esq.
Dr. Jackson also exhibited specimens of tellurium, from Virginia, discovered by him in connection with the gold ores from that locality.
Dr. Pickering made a communication on the length of the year, according to the Egyptian cycle. From various sources, which were specified, he had deduced the following table of the Egyptian computation of time, viz. : —
“ That 30 years make a panegyry;
“ 22 panegyries make a phenix ; and
“ 21 phenixes make the great year, or the Sothic Cycle.” Professor Wyman exhibited some crania of the Engé-ena (Troglodytes Gorilla, Savage), and made additional observations on its structure and relations, based on the examination of two skulls recently brought from Cape Palmas, by Dr. George A. Perkins. Contrary to the views of Professor Owen, Professor Wyman would rank the animal below the Chimpanzée, on account of the greater development of the intermaxillary bones, the comparatively smaller capacity of the cranium, and the conformation of the teeth, especially of the dentes sapientiæ.
The subjoined communication was received from Mr. Haldeman:
“ On some points in Linguistic Ethnology; with Illustrations, chiefly
from the Aboriginal Languages of North America. By S. S. HALDEMAN, A. M.* “Every fact in relation to language must be worthy of consideration in an ethnologic point of view; and as speech is the natural representative and vehicle of thought, its laws, as exhibited in comparative grammar, must afford great aid in investigating the science of reason.
“The chief points, in the phonetic examination of a language, are the number and nature of its vocal elements, their order and replacement in speech, the greater or less frequency of certain contacts, and of phases like surd and sonant, lene and aspirate. Thus we should know the proportion in a given language of p to t, p to b, to f, or to m. T may be taken as the typical representative and most common of the consonants, and A (in far) of the vowels.
“ The classification of the elements is of great importance in the study of language, and I am convinced that a distribution of the consonants into contacts, as proposed by the Abbé Sicard, is the only proper mode. These, as proposed by me, in the year 1846, are essentially five, the labial, dental, palatal, guttural, and glottal. There are, however, some intermediate ones, or subcontacts, and the order of the whole may be represented thus:1. P; 2. F; 3. Th; 4. T; 5. S; 6. Sh; 7. —; 8. K; 9. —; 10. Q.
“The number of elements in each contact is usually eight, but this number may be doubled, so that, if all the contacts and subcontacts were full, there would be 160 consonants, some of which being subject to variation, (as the cerebrals,) the theoretical number may be
* This paper was intended in part as a review of a work entitled, — The Essentials of Phonetics; containing the Theory of a Universal Alphabet, together with its Practical Application as an Ethnical Alphabet to the Reduction of all Languages, written and unwritten, to one uniform System of Writing ; with numerous Eramples; adapted to the Use of Phoneticians, Philologists, Etymologists, Ethnographists, Travellers, and Missionaries, in Lieu of a Second Edition of the “ Alphabet of Nuture.” By Alexander John Ellis, B. A., Fellow of the Cambridge Philosophical Society, and formerly Scholar of Trinity College, Cambridge. London, 1848. 250 pages. Printed in phonotype.