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Twenty-ninth Annual Report of the Board of Direction of the Mercantile Library Association, Clinton Hall, New York. Jan., 1850. 8vo pamph.

Neu Denkschriften der Allg. Schweizerischen Gesellschaft fur die gesammten Naturwissenschaften. Band. VII. – XIX. 4to. Neucha. tel, 1845.

On the Regio Cinnamomifera of the Ancients. By W. Desborough Cooley. With Maps. Read before the Royal Geol. Soc. of London, April, 1849. 8vo pamph. From the Hon. Edward Everett.

On the Tertiary and more recent Deposits in the Island of Nantuck. et. By E. Desor and E. C. Cabot. (In a Letter to Sir Charles Lyell, Pres. Geol. Soc.) 8vo pamph. 1849.

Edward Jarvis, M. D. Production of Vital Force. A Discourse delivered before the Massachusetts Medical Society, at their Annual Meeting, May 30th, 1849. 8vo. Boston, 1849. From the Author.


Three hundred and thirty-first meeting.

May 28, 1850. — ANNUAL MEETING. The PRESIDENT in the chair.

The Treasurer presented his annual report on the finances of the Academy, accompanied by the certificate of the Auditor.

Dr. Gould, from the Library Committee, and Dr. Gray, from the Committee of Publication, made verbal reports.

Mr. Everett moved resolutions of respect to the memory of the late William Vaughan, Esq., of London, an Honorary Member of the Academy, which were unanimously adopted.

Professor Treadwell, from the Committee on Meteorological Observations, read the following report:

" The committee appointed, in February last, to consider the subject of meteorological observations, respectfully ask leave to report, that there are now in the possession of the Academy journals of observations, more or less complete, for the following periods :

“Professor Winthrop's Journal, from December 11th, 1742, to April 29th, 1779.

“ Professor Wigglesworth's Journal, from August 1st, 1780, to De. cember 31st, 1789. Also for the year 1793.

“ Dr. Holyoke's Journal, from January 1st, 1754, to February 28th, 1829, except only the year 1759. A period of 75 years and 2 months, of which the observations are complete for 74 years and 2 months !

“ Dr. Hale's Journal, from January 1st, 1818, to November 30th, 1848.

“ Making a continued series for 106 years and 7 months, of which there are duplicate observations for 46 years and 3 months. Of these observations, 65 years of Dr. Holyoke's and Dr. Hale's have been reduced to tables, and various means of years and seasons computed and published in the Academy's Memoirs, by Dr. Hale. The original journals have been bound in volumes, and are now in a good state of preservation. As these papers were confided to the Academy, in most cases, by the heirs of the observers, it is manifestly the duty of the Academy to adopt every means for their preservation, that the object of the patient and persevering labor of their authors may be attained. The committee find that they contain a record of many phenomena not noticed in the printed abstracts, and which may hereafter be found highly useful in explaining the laws of meteorology, if science should ever be able to discover the order and relations of those laws, and reduce them to a rational and connected system. With a view, therefore, to the preservation of these journals from fire and other hazards to which they are now exposed, the committee have subjoined a vote for the purchase of a fire-proof safe, in which they may be deposited.

“Since the lamented death of Dr. Hale, no observations have been made under the direction of the Academy. It will be recollected that that gentleman several years since extended his original private observations, at the request of the Academy, for which he received a small compensation from the Rumford fund. The committee deem it highly important that these observations should be resumed as soon as a competent observer can be found who will undertake the trust. The committee think it desirable, moreover, that the instruments used by Dr. Hale, which were his private property, should be in the possession of the Academy, that they may be referred to and compared with such other instruments as may be used hereafter.

“ Under these views of the whole subject, the committee recommend the following votes : —

Voted, That the Librarian be authorized and requested to purchase an iron safe, in which shall be kept the various manuscript meteorolog. ical journals in possession of the Academy; and that the same officer be authorized to purchase of the heirs of Dr. Hale any instruments which were used by him in his Meteorological Observations, and that the sum of one hundred dollars be appropriated from the income of the Rumford fund for these purposes.

Voted, That it is expedient to continue the meteorological observations, as made by Dr. Hale, at the expense of the Rumford donation, and that for this purpose an observer be appointed at the next meeting of the Academy. “ All of which is respectfully submitted, by order of the Committee.

“DANIEL TREADWELL, Chairman. Boston, May 28, 1850.”

Professor C. G. J. Jacobi of Berlin, Professor Adrien de Jussieu of Paris, and Professor Rokitansky of Vienna, were chosen Foreign Honorary Members.

Mr. Jonathan P. Hall and Mr. Thomas T. Bouvé, of Boston, were elected Fellows of the Academy.

The annual election was held, and the following officers were chosen for the ensuing year, viz. : –

Jacob Bigelow, M. D., .. President.
Hon. EDWARD EVERETT, . . Vice-President.
AUGUSTUS A. Gould, M. D., . Corresponding Secretary.
Joseph HALE ABBOT, . . . Recording Secretary.
J. INGERSOLL Bowditch, . . Treasurer.
HENRY I. Bowditch, M. D., Librarian.
The following gentlemen were appointed on the several
Standing Committees, viz.:-

Rumford Committee.


W. C. Bond.

Committee of Publication.
A. A. Gould, Louis Agassiz,

Committee on the Library.


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The thanks of the Academy were voted to Professor Gray for his efficient services as Corresponding Secretary.

Professor Peirce proposed that special meetings of the Academy should be holden on the first Tuesdays in June and July, at four o'clock, P. M.

Voted, that such meetings be holden.

Three hundred and thirty-third meeting.

June 4, 1850. — MONTHLY MEETING. The President in the chair.

Dr. A. A. Gould declined serving as a member of the Committee of Publication, and Professor Joseph Lovering was nominated by the chair, and unanimously chosen, to fill the vacancy.

Professor Agassiz presented some new views respecting the coloration of animals. He stated that the coloration of the lower animals living in water depends upon the condition, and particularly upon the depth and transparency, of the water in which they live; that the coloration of the higher types of animals is intimately related to their structure; and that the change of color which is produced by age in many animals is connected with structural changes. He stated that coloration is valuable as an indication of structure ; that it is a law universally true of vertebrated animals, that they have the color of the back darker than that of the sides ; and that the same system of coloration prevails in all the species of a genus, — partially developed in some, but recognizable when a large number of species is examined.

Professor Peirce expressed the opinion, that there are errors in the lunar theory that still remain to be investigated ; that occultations cannot be relied on as a means of accurately determining longitude ; and that they are of little use for any purpose, except when whole groups of stars, as the Pleiades or Hyades, are taken.

He made some remarks upon the orbit of the comet of 1843, considered as a straight line directed through the sun's centre.

Three hundred and thirty-fourth meeting.

July 2, 1850. — MONTHLY MEETING. The President in the chair.

The Corresponding Secretary communicated letters of acceptance from Professor Elias Fries of Sweden, and M. Macédoine Melloni of Naples, recently elected Foreign Members. The latter gentleman states that he has sent to the Academy the first volume of his work, “Sur la Coloration Calorifique,” in which he has demonstrated, as he believes, the identity of light and heat.

The Corresponding Secretary also communicated letters from the Secretary of the Royal Institution, the Secretary of the Linnæan Society, the Librarian of the British Museum, and the President of the Academy of Breslau, acknowledging the receipt of various publications of the Academy; and two letters from Petty Vaughan, Esq., recently deceased.

Professor Peirce stated, that Mr. Schubert had discovered that Spica is a double star, one of the component parts of which is invisible. This conclusion was deduced by Mr. Schubert from observations made from 1764 to 1847 inclusive, and was said by Professor Peirce to rest on much stronger grounds than the similar conclusions of Bessel in regard to certain other stars. Spica has an irregular motion in right ascension, and it revolves in fifty years at the distance of one second and a half from the common centre of gravity of the two. This discovery Professor Peirce considered a most remarkable step in the progress of stellar astronomy.

Mr. S. C. Walker exhibited to the Academy a drawing illustrative of the results of experiments made by him on the 4th of February last, to determine the velocity of electricity,

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