Imatges de pàgina

Professor C.-In the case pointed out, I am. I think I am with his plans generally.

Mr. Meacham.—Are you aware of any estimate placed upon this plan by the association at Cleveland ?

Professor C.-I am not.

Mr. Meacham.—Has there ever been published in this country a chart of climate, such as he has produced?

Professor C.-I noticed several charts. I do not know to which you refer. I have not seen anything like it produced in this country, nor do I recollect anything like it from any other country.

Mr. Meacham.-Will you tell me in what sense employees of the Institution can be authors ?

Professor C.-They may be employed to engage in specific investigations for the Institution, and so far might be said to be authors.

Mr. Meacham.—Do you consider that such employment would deprive them of their right of discovery of new principles of reducing materials ?

Professor C.-In my opinion, always entertained of the organization of the Institution, it would.

Mr. Meacham.—Do you know of any chart of the temperature, such as that prepared by Mr. Blodgett?

Professor C.-1 discovered no difference between that chart and others of a like character which I have seen. I have examined the chart.

Mr. Meacham.-Do you know of any such produced in this country?

Professor C.-I do not, not prepared in this country, but I know of such that embrace observations in this country. I have discovered nothing original in the plan.

Mr. Witte.-Do you regard the Institution as instrumental in producing such charts?

Professor C.-I am certain that such things would never have been produced without such an Institution. There is in the plan of the Institution something peculiarly for the collection of such facts better than in this or any other country, I believe.

Mr. Meacham.—Were those materials all gathered by the Institution?

Professor C.-It is my belief that a very large portion of them were. The whole collected by the War Department would not amount to onetenth of those collected by the Institution. The collections made by the War Department and by the States of New York and Massachusetts are less than one-half the whole in the Institution.

Mr. Witte.—At how many points or stations in the Union are these things gathered ?

Professor C.-There are some two hundred. Mr. Meacham.—How long had the War Department been gathering before the Institution commenced ?

Professor C.-I think the first publication of the department would date in 1823, some 25 years before the Institution began.

Mr. Meacham.—How long have you been in the Institution?
Professor C.-About a fortnight.

Mr. Pearce then read the first paragraph in Mr. Blodgett's paper marked F, and offered it as testimony. It is marked P.

Captain B. S. Alexander sworn:

Mr. Pearce.- Are you not an officer of engineers, and have you not the superintendence of the completion of the Smithsonian Institution, as architect?

Captain Alexander.-I am an officer of the engineers, and have superintended the interior finish of the Institution for the last two years.

Mr. Pearce.—Be good enough to state whether, in your opinion, the liberal accommodations for collections, according to the original plan of the building, have been diminished by the change in the plan?

Captain Alexander.—My attention was called to that the other day, and I found the room now greater than in the original plan. I ought to add, however, that the accommodations for collections are not as great as they would have been according to my original plan, but which was afterwards changed,

Mr. Meacham.—Is the room for the museum as large as the on originally designed for it ?

Captain Alexander.—The room for the museum, in the original design, was in the second story. It was 200 feet long and 50 feet wide. The room of the first story is immediately below this, and is exactly of the same size. The accommodations are, therefore, the same.

Mr. Meacham.—Is not a portion of that room intended for a library?

Captain Alexander :- When I made the plan for this finish of the building, there was a question whether the Institution should have a large library or not, and the lower room was designed, as my letter will show, peculiarly adapted, for a library or museum.

In answer to further questions on this point, Captain A. stated that one half of the present room was intended for a museum.

Mr. Meacham.- What was the original plan in regard to a library room?

Captain Alexander.—The original plan was to devote one half of the first story to a library, the other half to a lecture room. The second story was devoted to a museum. This plan was changed. The whole of the first story was thrown into one large hall, equally adapted to a library or museum. The second story, instead of being a museum, has the new lecture room in the middle of it, with two rooms 50 feet square on either side. The amount of available space by the new arrangement is not diminished.

Mr. Meacham.-Are the two rooms on each side the lecture room conveniently accessible for collections ?

Captain Alexander.-I do not think they are.

Mr. Meacham.–From whence did you derive doubt as to there being a large library ?

Captain Alexander.-I am not able to say now, except from the corrent rumor of the city. I will add, further, that when I was asked to design the interior finish of the building, I received no instruction from the Board of Regents, or from the building committee. I was only referred to the law on the subject.

Mr. Meacham.-Do you consider that part of the room designed for the library sufficient to contain 100,000 volumes ?

Captain Alexander.— I have made no calculation on the subject, but my impression is that one half of the room designed for a library or museum will not contain that number of volumes. By the present arrangement, as before stated, the available space is not diminished, so far as the accommodations of a library are concerned. The space is, however, by the present plan, differently arranged. The museum is now in three rooms, one below and two above.

Professor Henry.- What was the object of this division ?

Captain Alexander.-In the original design the lecture room was in the first story, and it was found impossible to make a good room there. After we began the work in the building, it was suggested that the lecture room might be placed up stairs, where a larger and better room could be made. After the plans for this arrangement were drawn, the building committee examined them, with the reasons for and against the change, and decided to place the lecture room up stairs. During the discussions before the committee, it was suggested that if the museum should ever be expanded so as to require the whole of the second story, then the lecture room could be removed, and the second story thrown into one room.

Professor Henry was requested to furnish certain statements herelofore referred to.

The examination of witnesses was then closed, with the understanding that at the particular request of the parties on either side, further examinations would be had. Any additional documentary testimony the parties might desire to introduce would be received and considered.

Adjourned to meet on Saturday evening next at half-past seven,

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Committee met pursuant to adjournment.
Present: Messrs. Upham, Witte, and Wells.

After some conference, it was agreed that the chairman should prepare a report, to be submitted to the committee at as early a period as possible.



Committee met in the room of the Committee on Private Land Claims of the House.

Present: Messrs. Upham, Wells, and Puryear.

The chairman read a report, prepared agreeably to the understanding had at last meeting, which was approved by the members present.

Note.—Mr. Witte was prevented from attending this sitting of the committee by indisposition, and Mr. Taylor was absent from the House during the day.


To the Erecutive Committee of the Smithsonian Institution, to which was

referred the subject of the claims of Mr. Lorin Blodgett relative to his labors in meteorology.

GENTLEMEN: Mr. Lorin Blodgett was introduced to me by a member of Congress from the western part of the State of New York, in December, 1851. The gentleman who introduced him informed me that Mr. Blodgett desired temporary employment and an opportunity to improve himself, and that he would be satisfied with a small compensation

Previous to this the meteorological returns had accumulated, and I was anxious that a beginning should be made in deducing results from them. That they contained important material was never for a moment doubted by myself.

I concluded to engage Mr. Blodgett on trial, and to set him at work at first in arranging the returns relative to the periodical phenomena. For upwards of three months I paid him at the rate of $1 50 a day, or until the end of April, 1852. From that time till the end of the following November he received remuneration at the rate of $50 a month, for which he gave receipts in the following form:

“Smithsonian Institution to Lorin Biodgett, Dr., to one month's services reducing meteorological observations, $50.

"Received of W. W. Seaton, treasurer of the Smithsonian Institution, fifty dollars, in full of the above account. * $50.


At his earnest request, in November, 1852, I concluded to allow him for a single year payment at the rate of $800, but beyond this, I informed him, I could not venture without the sanction of the executive committee.

Before the conclusion of the year, however, the meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science took place, at which time Mr. Blodgett, much to my astonishment, exhibited his peculiar views in regard to his ownership of the results. Previous to this his bearing had been entirely unassuming. He had shown a disposition to render himself useful in every way, and had made none of the claims which he has since set up. It is true he frequently talked to me of the importance of placing the system on a more extended footing, and of applying to Congress for an appropriation for this purpose. I, however, gave no encouragement to these propositions, and made him no promises as to future compensation. Indeed, Mr. Blodgett's views were so indefinite, or at least were so indefinitely expressed, that until I read and studied his communication to the executive committee I had no clear conception of them.

From the first moment of his engagement until the meeting at Cleveland I had no idea that Mr. Blodgett considered himself other than as a temporary assistant, engaged for a specified salary, on a definite work. The only promises which I ever held out to him were, that if his labors proved satisfactory, and the means of the Institution could afford it, bis salary should be increased, and that he should have due credit for all that he accomplished. It is true he questioned me several times as to the pecuniary advantages which would result to him from his labors, and intimated to me that his friends expected something important in this way. I distinctly told him that the prosecution of science, particularly in this country, did not result in pecuniary remuneration, but that he would have an opportunity, if he continued these investigations, lo improve himself in knowledge, and establish a reputation which might be of use to him. I never had the least idea that in any case he expected to be paid extra for past services, or that bis salary was to be retrospective.

Although he was very industrious, the work on which he was employed required no special genius, and all the processes he has followed were well known, and involved nothing beyond the most elementary scientific attainments. I gave him a copy of Professor Loomis's paper on storms, and allowed him to make such preliminary experiments with the material as he should think fit. My own time was very much occupied, and Mr. Blodgett frequently reported to me results, and made various propositions as to the points to be investigated. Some of these I rejected, and others adopted.

I never had for a moment the least idea of allowing him to publish a report as his own, under the auspices of the Institution, as he has since proposed, but I from the first intended that, after a series of definite results had been obtained, I would carefully study these myself, and call upon some meteorologist to assist me, and thus determine what would be proper to publish under the name of the Smithsonian Institution, giving to Mr. Blodgett full credit for all his labors. My idea was to publish a series of facts which might be used by meteorologists in every part of the world as the data on which to found their generalizations.

It should be distinctly understood that in all this I was acting as a mere agent of the Institution; that my own labors, whatever they might be, would not appear; and whilst I was anxious that the results should fully justify the expenditure of that portion of the Smithsonian fund which had been devoted to meteorology, I was desirous to give to Mr. Blodgett full and liberal credit for the manner in which he discharged his duties.

Up to the present time the Institution has paid Mr. Blodgett in all $2,323 18, and has expended for assistance to him and for other incidentals connected with the reductions, exclusive of stationery, $1,668 60.

The results I consider clearly the property of the Institution, Mr. Blodgett having no other claim in regard to them except that when they are published credit shall be given him for the reductions and discussions.

After the publication by the Institution of the facts which have been thus obtained they will then be common property, and Mr. Blodgett and all the meteorologists in the country may enploy them in any way they may see fit. But previous to their publication I considered it improper that Mr. Blodgett should use them in preparing meteorological reports

Rep. 141- 7

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