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bequest, as well as by the increasing expense of sustaining a large building, a library, and museum. It is to be hoped, however, that at least a partial relief will hereafter be afforded by an annual appropriation, which it is reasonable to expect government will make for the keeping and exhibition of the collections of the various exploring expeditions which have been entrusted to the care of the Regents.
At the last session of Congress an appropriation was 'made for the construction and erection of cases to receive the collections of the United States Exploring Expedition and others in Washington, and also for the transfer and arrangement of the specimens. This appropriation was granted in accordance with the recommendation of the late Secretary of the Interior and the Commissioner of Patents, in order that the large room in the Patent Office occupied by the museum might be used for the more legitimate purposes of that establishment. We presume that the other part of the recommendation will also be carried out, namely, that the annual appropriation be continued which has heretofore been made for the care of this portion of the government property. While, on the one hand, no appropriation should be made which would serve to lessen the distinctive character of Smithson's bequest, on the other it is evident that the government should not impose any burdens upon the Institution which would impair its usefulness or divert its funds from their legitimate purpose.
It was stated in the last report that the extra fund of the Institution, which had been saved from the accrued interest, was invested in State Stocks. This investment was made because the fund was at the time drawing no interest, and because, until action could be procured by Congress in relation to receiving said fund into the United States Treasury, it was deemed the safest disposition of the money. Though a temporary depreciation of these stocks took place during the last year, there is no reason to regret the investment. Their marketable value is at present about the same as it was at the time they were purchased.
By reference to the report of the Executive Committee it will be seen that the expenditures during the year, though less than the amount of receipts, have somewhat exceeded the estimates. This has been occasioned, first, by unexpected repairs which were found necessary to the building, in consequence of an unprecedented hail storm, which destroyed several thousand panes of glass and did considerable injury to the roof and other parts of the edifice; secondly, by an expansion of the system of foreign exchanges, rendered necessary by the large amount of material entrusted to the Institution by the
different agricultural and other societies of the country; and thirdly, the necessity we were under, on account of the financial pressure, of paying bills for publications which will appear during the present and the next year. The funds of the Institution are, however, still in a prosperous condition, but great care is required to prevent the accumulation of small expenses, which, individually, by reason of their insignificance, are allowed to occur, but which in the aggregate, at the end of the year, are found to have swelled into amounts of considerable magnitude.
Publications. The ninth annual quarto volume of Contributions to Knowledge was completed and distributed during the first half of the year. It is equal in size and importance to the preceding volumes, and contains the following memoirs :
1. On the relative intensity of the heat and light of the sun upon different latitudes of the earth. By L. W. Meecb.
2. Illustrations of surface geology, by Edward Hitchcock, LL.D., of Amherst College.
Part 1. On surface geology, especially that of the Connecticut valley, in New England.
Part 2. On the erosions of the earth's surface, especially by rivers.
Part 3. Traces of ancient glaciers in Massachusetts and Vermont. 3. Observations on Mexican history and archæology, with a special notice of Zapotec remains, as delineated in Mr. J. G. Sawkins' drawings of Mitla, &c. By Brantz Mayer.
4. Researches on the Ammonia Cobalt bases. By Professor Wolcott Gibbs and Professor F. A. Genth.
5. New tables for determining the values of the co-efficients in the perturbative functions of planetary motion, which depend upon the ratio of the mean distances. By J. D. Runkle.
6. Asteroid supplement to new tables for determining the values of 6 and its derivatives. By J. D. Runkle.
It was stated in the last report that Mr. L. W. Meech proposed to continue his interesting investigations relative to the heat and light of the sun, provided the Smithsonian Institution would pay the expense of the arithmetical computations. Though most of his time is necessarily occupied in other duties, he would cheerfully devote his leisure hours to the investigation with a view of extending the bounds
of knowledge. During the past year an appropriation has been made of one hundred dollars for the purpose here mentioned, and we are assured, from what Mr. Meech has already accomplished, that this sum will be instrumental in producing valuable results. He proposes to determine, from several elementary formulas, the laws of terrestrial temperature for different latitudes. The first formula has been pretty thoroughly applied, and the annual temperature computed by it compared with the result of actual observation. The diurnal temperatures have also been deduced and seem to agree with actual observation within the presumed errors of the latter. The temperature, however, of the surrounding medium, derived from the annual temperature, differs widely from the results obtained by the diurnal temperatures. The author is inclined to attribute this difference to a defect in the law of radiation as generally received, which, deduced from experiments in the laboratory, he thinks inapplicable to the phenomena of terrestrial temperature. The second formula takes into account another cause of the variation of temperature, namely, the cooling due to the contact of the air; and the third formula includes also the effect of the absorption of solar heat in its passage through the atmosphere. The investigation will include the consideration of1st, terrestrial radiation ; 2d, contact of air; 3d, the sun's intensity; 4th, atmospheric absorption; 5th, the difference in radiating power of luminous heat by day and non-luminous heat by night. Among other inferences to be deduced is the relative heating or radiating powers of sea and continent, when the land is covered with foliage and vegetation, and when it is covered with ice and snow. These researches are intimately connected with the extended series of observations on the climate of the United States, now carried on at the expense and under the direction of the Institution.
The paper of Professor Gibbs and Dr. Genth, which forms a part of the 9th volume, has been republished in the American Journal of Science and in the London Chemical Gazette, due credit being given to the Smithsonian Contributions, from which it was copied. We regret to be informed by the authors of this interesting paper that the sum appropriated by the Institution for assisting in defraying the expense of the materials and apparatus employed in their researches was scarcely sufficient to compensate for more than one-fourth of their outlay. Limited means, and not a want of proper appreciation of the labors of these gentlemen, prevented their entire reimbursement for the pecuniary loss in the prosecution of their valuable researches. They intend, notwithstanding this, to continue their investigations,
and to devote as much time to them as their other engagements and the means at their disposal will allow. Since this memoir has met the approval of the scientific world, it will be proper to make as liberal an appropriation as the demands on the limited income of the Institution will permit for the continuance of researches in the same line. The publication of the paper was of comparatively little expense, since it required no costly illustrations, and this may be an additional reason for granting a larger appropriation for further investigations in the same line.
The ninth volume also contains the supplement to the tables by J. D. Runkle, mentioned in the last report. The tables in this supplement are intended to facilitate calculations with reference to the asteroids. The search for these bodies has been prosecuted with so much vigor of late that their list now extends to more than fifty, and the mechanical labor required to calculate their places is so great that this can scarcely be expected to be accomplished, except by the use of general tables. The work of Gauss on the theory of the motion of the heavenly bodies leaves little to be desired, so far as the determination of their orbits is concerned ; but this is by no means the case with regard to their perturbations by the larger planets. The tables therefore will afford an important means of facilitating the ad. vance of our knowledge, particularly of this class of the members of our solar system.
The third part of the Nereis Boreali-Americana, by Dr. William H. Harvey, has been completed and will be included in the tenth volume of the Contributions. Two hundred extra copies of the text of the preceding parts having been struck off before the distribution of the types, and the drawings on the lithographic stones having been preserved, an equal number of plates from the latter have been printed and colored, so that we shall be enabled to make up two hundred copies of the complete work to be offered for sale, which will serve, it is hoped, to reimburse, in some degree, the heavy expense incurred in the publication of this interesting addition to the science of botany. It may be proper to mention that the work was published in numbers, in order that the whole expense should be defrayed by the appropriation of different years, as well as to furnish the author the opportunity of rendering the work more complete by more extended research,
For the purpose of classification, the sea plants have been grouped
under three principal heads which are readily distinguished by their general color.
They are as follows: 1. Melanospermeæ-plants of an olive-green or olive-brown color. 2. Rhodospermeæ, or plants of a rosy-red or purple color.
3. Chlorospermeæ, or plants of a grass, rarely of a livid purple color.
The numbers of the work already published relate to the first two divisions, and the third, now about to be issued, will contain the last, with an appendix describing new species discovered since the date of the former parts.
The text of the first part of the work on Oology, mentioned in preceding reports, has been printed ; but the publication of the plates to accompany it will be so expensive that we were obliged to defer it until the present year. In the meantime the author will proceed with the preparation of the other parts of the memoir, and the whole will be completed as soon as the funds of the Institution will permit. From an accidental oversight in the preparation of the last Report, I neglected to mention the fact that the author of this interesting work is Dr. Thomas M. Brewer, of Boston. The omission of his name in the reports would not only be unjust to himself, but might also prevent him from receiving in some cases additional information relative to his labors from correspondents who are engaged in the same line of research. The announcement of the fact of the intended publication of this memoir has induced a number of persons to enter into correspondence with the Institution on the subject, and we doubt not that these remarks will tend to call forth other additions to our knowledge of this branch of natural history.
Since the date of the last Report a grammar and dictionary of the Yoruba language of Africa have been accepted for publication. Thi work is another contribution from the missionary enterprise of the present day, and has been prepared by the Rev. Thos. J. Bowen, of the Southern Baptist Missionary Board, from materials collected during a residence of six years in Africa, and revised and rewritten with the aid of W. W. Turner, esq., of Washington. The grammar and dictionary are prefaced by a brief account of the country and its inhabitants. The long residence of the author in this part of the interior of Africa has enabled him to gather more minute knowledge of its topography, climate, and productions, and of the political, social, and moral relations of its inhabitants than has before been obtained. He