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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 32.djvu/415

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SKETCH OF CLEVELAND ABBE.

As he went through college his ability in mathematical and mathematico-physical science became more and more apparent, and, at the close of the college course, there could be no question of his superiority." Having been graduated from this institution in 1857, he taught mathematics in Trinity Latin School for one year, and afterward connected himself with the University of Michigan, where he served as teacher of the higher mathematics in the Scientific School, and studied astronomy under Professor Brunnow. Thence he removed, in 1860, to Cambridge, Massachusetts, where he spent four years in association with Dr. B. A. Gould, and was engaged upon the telegraphic longitude work of the United States Coast Survey. In continuance of his astronomical work, he resided for the two years, 1865-′66, at the Observatory of Poulkova, in Russia, which was then under the direction of the illustrious Otto Struve, in the position of supernumerary astronomer, as those young persons not military officers are called, who are allowed by the statutes of the institution to reside within its precincts for their own advantage. Generally, according to Mr. Abbe's account of the observatories at "Dorpat and Poulkova," which is given in the report of the Smithsonian Institution for 1867, "these inevitably contribute something to the furtherance of the scientific work of the observatory, while receiving from it the treatment of guests. The new statutes allow the director to give these young men a position and rank as civilians serving the observatory, but not in the service of the state; thus they may be properly considered as supernumerary astronomers, who, however, enjoy some of the privileges of such as are permanently in the state service, which is no mean advantage in the autocratic Russian Empire. Although these are at liberty to devote their whole time to their own studies, they yet generally choose to contribute several hours daily to the regular work of the observatory, receiving a small compensation therefor." Returning to the United States, he became connected, in 1867, with the National Observatory at Washington; but he had not resided there long before, on the 1st of February, 1867, he accepted the position of director of the Cincinnati Observatory, and he removed there on the 1st of June. This institution, which had been founded through the exertions of Professor O. M. Mitchell, and the corner-stone of which was laid with accompaniment of great public interest by John Quincy Adams, in 1843, had never been adequately supported, and had been virtually suspended for the past half dozen years. Preparatory to taking charge of it, Mr. Abbe visited the other observatories and astronomers of the country, and found everywhere the heartiest pleasure exhibited at the intended resuscitation of the institution. "Each," he says, "seemed to seek to find some way in which to offer assistance and encouragement, while all united in deploring the inaction of the past ten years. There is, in astronomy, a continual endeavor on the part of each one to add something to our knowledge by his own original observations and re-