3-47-10. C. H. Davis to Henri Poincaré

Washington, D. C., May 17, 189911The letter was received by the Bureau by 07.06.1899 at the latest, according to the annotation: ‘‘Séance du 7 juin 1899’’.

U.S. Naval Observatory, Georgetown Heights

Captain, U.S.N., Superintendent22Charles Henry Davis (1845–1927) était superintendent à l’Observatoire naval depuis 1897. Il fut membre de la Société philosophique de Washington, et de la Société astronomique de Mexique (Cattell 1921, 167).

In anticipation of the total eclipse of the sun, May 28, 1900, the United States Navy Department has arranged with the Secretary of the Treasury to have admitted free of duty the instruments of foreign astronomers who may come to this country to observe the eclipse.33Voir le rapport de Bigourdan (1900). To this end, astronomers abroad who contemplate an expedition to the United States are invited to notify the Superintendent of the Naval Observatory of the probable date of their arrival, with the name of the port at which they propose to disembark. The Navy Department will forward to the consuls of the different countries to which these observers belong, stationed at the ports in the United States at which the gentlemen shall arrive, a letter stating their purpose in traveling, which letter be countersigned by the consul, and presented to the collector at the port as a proof of their identity. Upon this the collector will extend all proper facilities for the speed delivery of the instruments in question, free of duty and charges. The Superintendent of the Observatory will be glad to hear from each of the proposed expeditions, in order that he may render such assistance as lies in his power. The path of totality extends through a thickly settled portion of the country, including some principal cities. Facilities for transportation are excellent, but it is recommended that instruments be securely packed and marked ‘‘Delicate instruments — handle with care.’’ The climate at that season is warm. The chances for clear weather are good. Full information regarding routes of travel to proposed points, and other particulars, can best be obtained through consuls. Through the regular diplomatic channels, notice should be conveyed to the local authorities of the city or town selected as a post of observation. This Observatory will issue a pamphlet of instructions, containing large scale maps showing path of totality.

C. H. Davis

TLS. X5 D2, Observatoire de Paris.

Time-stamp: "25.01.2016 01:24"


  • G. Bigourdan (1900) Rapport sommaire sur l’observation, faite en Espagne, de l’éclipse totale de soleil du 28 mai 1900. Bulletin astronomique 17, pp. 369–382. External Links: Link Cited by: 3-47-10. C. H. Davis to Henri Poincaré.
  • J. M. Cattell and D. R. Brimhall (Eds.) (1921) American Men of Science: A Biographical Directory. 3d edition, The Science Press, Garrison NY. External Links: Link Cited by: 3-47-10. C. H. Davis to Henri Poincaré.