Letter from William Lambert to the Columbian Institute, December 3, 1827

ID: SIA RU007051 [SIA_007051_S02_B01A_F07_D10]

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Form/Genre: Letters (correspondence)

Date: 1827

Citation: Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 7051, Columbian Institute Records, Image No. SIA_007051_S02_B01A_F07_D10

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Summary

Letter from William Lambert to the Columbian Institute, on the establishment of a National Observatory at the seat of government of the United States. Dated 3 December 1827. Referred to the mathematical class. Vol. 1, page 275.

Cite as

Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 7051, Columbian Institute Records, Image No. SIA_007051_S02_B01A_F07_D10

Repository Loc.

Smithsonian Institution Archives Capital Gallery, Suite 3000, MRC 507; 600 Maryland Avenue, SW; Washington, DC 20024-2520

Date

  • 1827
  • December 3, 1827

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  • No access restrictions Many of SIA's holdings are located off-site, and advance notice is recommended to consult a collection. Please email the SIA Reference Team at osiaref@si.edu
  • No Copyright - United States

Topic

Form/Genre

Letters (correspondence)

Local number

SIA RU007051 [SIA_007051_S02_B01A_F07_D10]

Full Record

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[[in pencil]] Astronomy - Lambert, Dec. 3, 1827 [[/in pencil]] The attention of the Columbian Institute for the promotion of arts and sciences, is called to the [[underlined]] subject of a first meridian at the seat of the general government, and [[/underlined]] consequently, to [[underlined]] the erection of a National Observatory [[/underlined]], without which, a Nautical Almanac, or Astronomic Ephemeris, cannot be computed; and we must always be dependent on foreign nations for the means of ascertaining the correct positions of places on land as well as on the ocean, until an establishment of this kind shall have been completed. Let us suppose an event to happen, that we should, by the policy or enmity of those countries, be deprived of the use of their Nautical Almanacs, which are now furnished our geographers and mariners, what would then be our situation? It is, or ought to be well known, that all the kingdoms or states in Europe, of political and commercial importance, have established observatories within their respective limits, and, generally, at or near the seats of their government. This has been done, not only for the encouragement of scientific pursuits, but as a regulation affecting their sovereignty and independence. The author of this communication has, by originally bringing the subject to the view of Congress in December, 1809, and by subsequent calculations to ascertain the longitude of our Capitol from Greenwich and Paris Observatories, contributed, by all means in his power, to the establishment of a first meridian for the United States of America. It appears lately thro' the channel of public newspapers, that some scientic natives, as well as foreigners, have advised - the erection of a national observatory; and one [[insert]] ^ or [[/insert]] more of the Chief Magistrates of our Union, have [[insert]] ^ also [[/insert]] recommended the adoption of the plan. These few remarks, in addition to the accompanying reports to the President of the United States, are sufficient to engage the attention of the Institute, which, as a scientific and literary Society, is peculiarly interested in the progress and completion of the object. William Lambert. December 3[[superscript]] d [[/superscript]]. 1827}
On the establishment of a National Observatory at the seat of government of the United States. [[double line]] 3[[superscript]] d [[/superscript]]. December, 1827. P Referred to the Mathematical Class. Vol: 1[[superscript]] st [[/superscript]]. page 275