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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 49.djvu/791

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SOME BEGINNINGS IN SCIENCE.

1813, a native of Connecticut, and a descendant of John Eliot, the apostle to the Indians. Phillips was an Englishman, and a son of a clergyman of the Church of England.

Upon its completion in 1827 the instruments were moved into I he observatory, where observations were made by Dr. Caldwell and his colleagues. The materials used in the building were very poor; the bricks in the wall soon crumbled, and it became necessary, soon after the death of Dr. Caldwell, in January, 1835, to remove the instruments. The building then went rapidly to decay, and fell a victim to fire in 1838.

Observations were, however, continued by Dr. Elisha Mitchell in the attic of the large wooden building which he used as a chemical and metallurgical laboratory. In each end of the attic were two large windows, and in the roof eight others, four on either side. These observations were continued until the summer of 1857, when Prof. Mitchell lost his life upon the highest peak east of the Mississippi River, the mountain which bears his name. By his observations in 1835, 1838, 1844, and 1856 he had established PSM V49 D791 James Phillips.jpgJames Phillips.
After portrait by W. G. Brown.
the fact that the peaks of the Black Mountains in North Carolina are the highest east of the Mississippi.

Prof. Phillips has told us that in order "to study the constellations and to show them to his pupils. Dr. Caldwell built on the top of his own residence a platform surrounded by a railing. Here he would sit night after night, pointing out to the seniors, taken in squads of three or four, the outlines of the constellations and their principal stars, and the highway of the planets and the moon. Dr. Caldwell also built in his garden, where they still stand, two pillars of brick, that their eastern and western faces, carefully ground into the same plane, might mark the true meridian. Near these pillars stood a stone pillar, some five feet high, bearing upon its top a sundial for marking the hours of the day."