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Death Of Professor Watson

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Aprivate telegram from Madison, Wisconain, received about nino o'clock yesterday morniug announced tlio audden death of Professor James Craig Watson, for many years connected with Michigan Univeraity, and the President of the Ann Arbor Printing and Publishing Company. A lew of lus friends here had known for the past day er two that he was aeverely ill with congestión of the bladder, but no fears had been entertained of a serioua and fatal result. The news of his deatli rapidly spread throughout the city, and was during the day the general topic of conversation, calling out on every side expressions of the deepest regret and grief. Another telegram was received by Mrs. Watson's brother, Wirt Waite, of Dexter, who left at once yesterday morniug for Madiaon. HIS PUBLIC LIFE. The following is a brief sketch of his life. His father emigrated from Northumberlaud county, Pennsylvania, to Canada, and the subject of thia sketch was bom in Middlesex, now Elgin county, Canada West, June 28, 1838. From here Professor Watson's father removed [ with his famUy to Michigan and located in Ann Arbor. His mother is still living, and lias resided in Madison since Professar Watsoh'8 removal there. Of the children only one son now survives, Edward Watson, of Sioux Falls, Dakota. The father died here about two years ago. Professor Watson was essentially a self-made man. By industry, and selfdenial, he securcd the meana which permitted him to obtain a college education. All that he has become, all the reputation that he has attained, s due to his indomitable peraeverance, and to the determination with which he set himself to surmouut the obstacles which stood iu hia path. Professor 'ftatson graduated trom Michigan University with high houors in 1857, and was the firet pupil of the famous astronomer, Dr. Brunnow, who was then Director of the Observatory and ProI fossor of Astronomy in the University of Michigan. Soon after his graduation, in the year 1858, he was appointed Inatructer in Matliematic3, in the University, and Aasistant Observer. In 1859, upon the retirement of Professor Brunnow, Mr. Watson was appointed Professor of Aatronomy, which position lie lield during the college year 1859-60. In the latter year he accepted the chair of phyaics in the Univer8ity, which lie held tor three years. He was tlien appointed Professor of Aatronomy and Director of the Observatory, upon the recommendation of many of the leading astronoraers of the country. Although only 25 yeara of age hia aWhties and preeminent qualification for this responsible position, had al ready won recognition, and even thus early had he given evidence of the future eminence to which he was to attain. These positions he has held until a li Ulo over a year ago, when he resigned them to accept a similar place in Madison University, Wisconsin, where very great inducenients and superior facilities wero offered him. During his long directorship of the Observatory here, although only 25 years of age at the time of his appointment, " the list of discoveries and contributions made by him form a record of which any University might be proud." THE HONORS WHICH 1ÍE RECEIVED. Professor Watson was elected a member of Üie National Aeademy of Sciences in 1867 ; of the American Philosophical Society n 1877; of the Royal Aeademy of Sciences ; Catania, Italy, in 1870. He was the discoverer of 23 asteroids, for whieh he received in 1870 the gold medal of the French Aeadoray of Sciences. In 1875 he received from the Khedive of Egypt the decoration of Knight Commander of the Imperial Order of the Medjidich of Turkey and Egypt. He was appointed Judge of Awards in the Centennial Exposition. He received the degree of Ph. D. from the University of Leipsic in 1870, and from Yale College in 1871. In 1877, Columbia College conferrod upon him the degree of LL. D. HIS ASTRONOÏIICAI, SUCCESS. Prefesaor Watson was the diacoverer of twenty-three asteroida and two comets, - April 29, 1856, and January 9, 1864. On Oetober 20, 1857, he alao digcovered independently, the planet afterwards named Aglaia, and on January 9, 1864, one afterwards called Io; but it subsequently proved that these discoveries had been auticipated by a few days in Europe. He was placed by the government of the United States, in charge of the expedition to Mt. Pleaaant, Iowa, to obaerve the total eclipse of the Sun in 1869 ; waa sent to Carlentina, Sicily, for a aimilar purpose in 1870, and to Peking in China, in charge of the expedition of 1874 to observe the transit of Venus. The notes of his obgervationg on the latter expedition are very voluminous and valuable. They have not yet been published. The last and most noted of Professor Watsou's diaeoveries, waa that made in July, 1878, in Wyoming, of the existence of one and probably two intra-mercurial planets. Always a firm believer in Leverrier's theoryjof the existence of Vulean, he had the satisfaction on thia expedition of proving its positive existeace, aud of obtaining convincing proof to himaelf at least of the existence of still another intramercurial planet of lesser magnitude. AS JlX AUTHOR. Prof. Watson was the author of a "Popular Treatiae on Comets," pubüshed in Philadelphia in 1860, " Theoretical Astronomy," pubHshed in Philadelphia and Loadon m 1868, and which lias aiuce been the standard work on the subject. It was this work which won for him the degree of Ph. D., which was eonferred opon him by Leispic Uuiversity. He was also the author of a " Report on Horological Instruments," and of " Table3 for the Calculation of Simple and Compound Interest and Discount," the latter having boen published in Ann Arbor. He was also a frequent contributor to astronomical, educational and scientific jouraals. Among others to Gould's Astronomical Journal, Brunnow's Astronomical Notices, American Journal of Science and Arts, Reporta of the United States Coast Survey, The Michigan Journal of Educatión, The Horological Journal, Monthly Noticea of the Royal Astronomical Society (London), Astronomische Nachrichten,Germany, Compte's Rendus de l'Academie dea Sciences, Paris Bulletin, International de '1 Association, Scientifique de Franco, Memorie della Societa degh, Sppettros co pisti Italiani. (Palirmo.) AS A BUSINESS MAN. ín 1870 and four years thereafter Prof. Watson was associated with B. J. Conrad, in the book and stationery business here. In 1872 ho became mterested m the Ann Arbor Printing and Publishing Company, the company by which the Register is published, and after the retirement of Dr. A. W. Chase, iu the same year, lie was elected its president, a positiou whieh he continned to hold up to the time of his death. He has alao beon, for several years the.Actuary of the Michigan Mutual Lito Insurance Company. I'ROi'. WATSON AT MADISON. Wheu Prof. Watson'8 centemplated removal to Madison became kuown, the regenta, fully appreciating the great loas which his resiguation would occasion the Umversity here, strongly urged hím to reconsider his intentions. Additional assiatance and increased salary were offered him, if he would remaní. Moanwhile Madison Univeraity was holding out to him the greatest inducemento posaible - a new obaervatory to be built and equippod under his own directious, Ex-Gov. burne's nninificence had enabled Madiaon University to offer brilliant prospecta to the astronomer, the advantages of a large telescope and all tho other expensivo eqmpmonts of a complete obserratory enabling Prof. Wataon to oarry on his aatronomical reaearchea under the most favorable circumatancea. Thero wero probably othor reasons also, which it ia not neeeasary to refer to here, which finally induced him to make tlie ehange. Hia time at Madiaon haa thua far been spent largely in overseeing the completion of the observatory there, and in looking after the purchase and adjustment of new instrumenta. He had yet not fairly settled down to work in his uew home. During the past fow montlis he haa been engagcd upon a novel project of erecting at his own expense a solar observatory. The plan was recently deacribed in the Register, and was founded on the fact that from the bottom of a well atara can bo plainly 3een at bright noonday. A cellar 20 feet deep had been sunk at the foot of a hill, and over it a fine stone building erected. At the top of the hill about 60 feet from the bottom of the cellar powerful reflectors were to be placed, to throw rays of light down a large tube, which enda in the cellar. This method of mirror reflectiou was an invontion of the Professor'a. In thia new obaervatory he had hoped to prosecute his studies of the new planot, but by hia sudden and unoxpected death, an end is put to all hia plans, and an already brilliant career, with the moat promiaing prospecta for future is cut short. . HIS DEATH. No partieulara of his deatli have been received at this writing. A letter from Mrs. Watson, received here on Monday, annotmccd hig lineas, lrom congestión of the bladder, a disease from wuich he has previously suffered. He was taken ill on Saturday, Nov. 13, and aftera short sickuess of only ten days, died Xuesday morning about 8 o'clock. His remains will be brought here for interment. A TRIBUTE FROM A COLLEAQUK. In the death of Professor Watson, scienoe has lost one of its greatest hghts, and the University of' Michigan the most illustrious of its alumni. Wherever astronomy ia a science the name of Watson has become familiar toevery scholar. His fame has spread not only over America aud Europe, but his services have been sought and his labors revvarded by nationa on the oppoaite side3 of the globo where acience is but little known. It is no disparageraent either to the living or the dead to say that in the peculiar sphere of liis intellectual activity he has probably iad no superior in the hiatory of this country. Though he was bom in Canada he aecompanieü his parents to Ann Arbor when le ras still a cliila. At the age of fifteen he entered the University and at once attracted genral attention by hisremarkableabilities. He was equally brilliant as a linguïst and in the sciences. Wliile he was still an undergraduate he committed to memory long passages of Greek, Latín and Germán, whichho held with an unfailing memory, and with a recital of which he has been known to astonish his familiar acquaintances withm the last two or three years of his life. Before he took his iirst degree in Arta he waa able to write Frasch and Germán with correctnesa ; and an inspection of the American Journal of Science ahows that the year before his graduation he waa one of its most frequent contributora on scientific aubjecta. He took his first dogree :n 1857 at the early age of n meteen. Immediately after graduaron young Wataon wa9 employed aa au asaistant at the Obeservatory, where he had already became the brilliaut pupil of Professor Brunuow. Such was the extraordinary brilliancy and succeas of lus studies that, 011 the reaignation of the Professor of Astronomy, in June of 1859, Mr. Watsou, though not yet twenty-two years of age was appointed Professor of Astronomy and Inatructor in Mathematica. Two years later Dr. Brunnow returned to Michignn, whereupon Professor Wataon was transferred to the Chair of Physioa which he held until 1863. Iu that year the Direetorship of the Observalory becoming vacant by the seoond resignation of Dr. Brunnow, Professor Watson was a second time appointed aa the head of the Observatory. He was now twenty-flve yoars of age, aud the rapid succesaion with which his discovenes succeeded one auother showed that he was fast advancing to the trönt rank in the scieutiflc world. In the course of hia conneotion with the Univeraity he added twenty-three planeta to the list of those already known, beaides the more important diaeovery oftheplauot Vulcan. For these contributions to the world's kuowledge he received in theyear 1870 the awardof the gold medal of the French Academy of Sciences, was made a member of the National Academy of Science in 1867 ; of the American Philosophical Society in 1877 ; of the Royal Academy of Sciences of Italy in 1870: and in 1875 Knight Commander of the Imperial Order of the Medjidich of Turkey and Kgypt. During the last yeara of his Ufe, Professor Watson was a flrrn believer not only in the existeuce of a planet within the circuit of Mercury, but also in the existenco of one without and beyond the orbit of Neptune. The diacovery of such a planet was thesummit of his scientific ambition, and it was ia order that the better instrumenta of the Washburn observatory might facilítate his obsorvations that he reaigned the position at Ann Axbor wliere his fame had been built up for what seemaá almoat like the begiuuing of a new career at the University of Wiaconsin. Nearly the whole of the last year of hia life has been devoted to the completion of the observa tory and the perfection of the appliancos with which he hoped to achieve the coming work of his life. It ia wonderful to rerlect that in all probability lus undue expoaures in the intereata of science contributed not a little to the untimely end of a career at once the mout brilliant and moat promiaing in the Biatory of Michigan. With all Professor Wataon's genius he united tlie modesty of the most gen uiüo scholarship. His name waa much more frequently apoken in scientific circlcs than in popular aocioty. During the laat yeara of hia life he even left Üie announcement of his discoveries to the sciontific journala and societies to which alone he contributed. For many years ho waa a regular contributor of the moat prominent scientiflc jeurnals of Kurope and America, and by theaejournals many of hia discovariea were ürat anuounced. C. K. Adams. The Uuiversity Senate have decided to have Dr. Watson's remains lie in Btate in the University during Thuraday. The funeral service will be held on Friday at 10 o'clock. Itegüter. Gen. Geo. D. Hill put ic an appearance Tuesday. Col. M. Holloway will altend the state pomological meeting. The Kegister was in mourniiig yesterilay for the deatuof Prof. WaUou. The freshman clasa wish a class seal, and have taken steps to procure oue. Dr. Halsey, of Detroit, gradúate medical (iepartment class '64, was at the Chandier house Tuesday and Wednesday. Prof. Frauklin removed a tumor, weighing seven pouuds from the hip of a patiënt Saturday last, at the homeopathie Kearncy does an immense restaurant business. A number of citizens have organized an aid society, and are solicting conlributions for the negroos who have left their homes in the sunny south and are now suffering for the necessaries of life in a northeru climate. It is all right we suppose to give them aid, but would it not be quite as well to look after the suffering and deserving poor in this community? We learn that duriug recent cold snapjsome of them suftered for the want of wood to keep them warm. We learn from Mr. C. Donovan that the jetty works at the South Pass of the Mississippi river are nearly completed, so far as actual construction is concerned ; but this is not all, Mr. Eads contract with the United States requires that he main. tain a channel twenty-six feet deep, two hundred feet wide with a central depth of not less than thirty feet, for twenty years from the 8th of July, 1879. For this rnaintainauce he receives one hundred thousand dollars per aunum, payable quarterly, on the certifícate of an engineer offlcer whose duty it is to make surveys from time to time to determine whether a channel as required by law is being maintained. The present channel through the jetties is tweuty-six fect dcep, two huudred feet wide and has a central depth of tbirty and one-half feet. This channel affords safe and easy passage from the Gulf of Mexico to the city of New Orleans for the deepest draught vessels now navigating those waters, in consequence of which the shipping mterests of New Orleans, as well as the revenues lo vcssel ownern, have been greatly increased.


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