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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 18.djvu/425

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SKETCH OF GENERAL ALBERT J. MYER.

their own efforts, General Myer was a victim of overwork. His field of labor was an ever-widening one, and his ambitious brain knew no discretion in the matter of rest, but pushed him onward beyond his powers of physical endurance. Once before, his ceaseless industry laid him low—at a time, too, by a curious yet characteristic chance, when he was supposed to be recuperating his energies in a foreign trip. In spite of this warning, which was certainly severe enough to be heeded, he refused to leave Washington this summer, and obtain the relaxation he so much needed, but kept at his post until he became so ill that he could not sign his name. Then he was obliged to leave at a time when, as it afterward proved, he had waited too long. He was brought to Buffalo, but instead of going to his beautiful summer home at Lake View, he took apartments in the Palace Hotel, Dr. Rochester, his family physician, taking charge of his case. His trouble was a painful complication of heart and kidney troubles, and, his blood becoming poisoned by the latter disease, he became delirious. In spite of the careful treatment and perfect nursing which he received he sank slowly and died, August 24th, at the early age of fifty-two, leaving a wife and six children.

"Although dying thus in the very height of his usefulness, and when he could ill be spared from his great work, General Myer lived to see his idea of an international signal-weather system in successful operation, and already sanctioned and supported by the leading nations of the Northern Hemisphere. His great idea has passed its experimental stage, and his friends have the satisfaction of knowing that competent and enthusiastic men will carry it forward to its fullest fruition. His legacy is a grand one, comprising an honest name, an heroic record, a stainless reputation both as soldier and citizen, the honor of an unpatented invention and application of telegraphy which materially helped to save the Union, and the glory of having originated one of the grandest ideas of the century—an idea the practical application of which has already saved many lives, and which is destined when more perfectly developed to work a revolution in the science of meteorology, and to banish, in part at least, that great cause of terrestrial waste—meteorological uncertainty.

"In appearance 'Old Probabilities' was a fine-looking, soldierly appearing man, with high forehead, firm mouth, and earnest, thoughtful eyes. He wore a short-cropped, full beard, and an abundant head of hair. His physiognomy indicated great decision of character and executive ability, and these signals from Nature's code were fully confirmed in his character and life."

We are indebted for the foregoing particulars of General Myer's career to an admirable sketch in the Buffalo "Daily Courier" of August 25th.