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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 81.djvu/118

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THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY

Göttingen student of those days. The accounts of Bismarck's career give a good idea of what this life was. Upon one occasion Eugen gave a dinner to some of his student friends. Instead of paying for the score himself, he sent the bill to his father. When his father rebuked him for this, he took violent offence. Without mentioning the matter to either of his parents, he made up his mind to leave home and go to the United States. A day or two after that incident he left for Bremen to take ship for New York. Upon learning of this, the father promptly did his utmost to induce Eugen to return home, and, when failing in his endeavor, offered him money for the journey. Eugen remained in New York until his money was spent. Then he enlisted in the army of the United States as a private soldier. He was transferred with other enlisted men to a post at St. Peters in Minnesota. He had been there but a short time, when the officers of the post discovered that he was an educated man and, desirous of relieving him of the more onerous duties, placed him in charge of a small library at the post. After having served five years in the army, Eugen entered the service of the American Fur Co. and for about four years spent most of his time at Fort Pierre in South Dakota. It was about this time that his brother Joseph Gauss came to the United States to examine American railways. He brought with him letters of introduction to General Scott and other prominent men. He wrote his brother, offering to use his influence to secure him a commission in the army. This offer Eugen declined, as he had other plans laid out for himself. Shortly after a visit in 1840 to his brother Wilhelm, who had by this time come to America, Eugen settled in St. Charles, Mo., where he engaged in business. In 1885 he removed to a farm near Columbia, Mo., where he died in 1896. Whatever estrangement may at first have existed between Eugen and his father on account of his departure from home against his father's will was not of long duration. One of the letters received by Eugen from his fisher in Göttingen was written shortly after Eugen informed him of his intention to marry. It was cordial and affectionate. The original of this letter is now in the Lick Observatory.[1]

The youngest son, Wilhelm, came to America in 1837, with the consent and approval of his father. He went on a sailing vessel to New Orleans and from there traveled up the Mississippi to Missouri. Just before leaving Germany, he had married Louisa Aletta Fallenstein, a niece on her mother's side to the mathematician Bessel. In the published Gauss-Bessel correspondence mention of the young couple is frequently made. In 1855 he located permanently in the city of St. Louis, where he was engaged in the wholesale mercantile business until the

  1. For a copy of this letter and for additional details relative to the life and intellectual qualities of Eugen Gauss, as well as information relating to other descendants of C. F. Gauss in America, see an article, "Carl Friedrich Gauss and his Children," in Science, N. S., Vol. IX., 1899, pp. 697-704.