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REAR ADMIRAL CHARLES HENRY DAVIS - MANUSCRIPT LETTER SIGNED 08/20/1874 CO-SIGNED BY: REAR ADMIRAL WILLIAM REYNOLDS - HFSID 22266

CHARLES H. DAVIS and WILLIAM REYNOLDS As Acting Secretary of the Navy, Reynolds signs orders to a participant in the Transit of Venus expedition of 1874, forwarded by Rear Admiral Davis as Chairman of the Transit of Venus Commission.

Sale Price $414.00

Reg. $460.00

Condition: lightly creased, otherwise fine condition
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CHARLES H. DAVIS and WILLIAM REYNOLDS
As Acting Secretary of the Navy, Reynolds signs orders to a participant in the Transit of Venus expedition of 1874, forwarded by Rear Admiral Davis as Chairman of the Transit of Venus Commission.
Manuscript Letter signed: "Wm Reynolds" as Acting Secretary of the Navy; forwarded "C. H., Davis" as President, Transit of Venus Commission, 1p, 8x10 ruled paper. Navy Department, Washington, D.C., 1874 August 20. Instructions to Mr. Robert P. Maynard, Washington, D.C. In full: "On your arrival at Rio de Janeiro, you will report to Rear Admiral W. D. Le Roy, for passage with the U.S. Steamer Monongahela, to Kerguelenland and Crozet Island, in pursuance of instructions from the President of the Transit of Venus Commission. Respectfully". Docketed on verso. Rear Admiral CHARLES HENRY DAVIS (1807-1977) commanded the US Navy's Western Gunboat Flotilla during the Civil War, participating in several naval battles on the Mississippi and its tributaries and along the Gulf Coast. From 1865-1867, he was Superintendent of the Naval Observatory, followed by command of the Navy's South Atlantic Squadron (1867-1869). He presided over the Transit of Venus Commission (formed 1872), charged with preparing for this major astronomical event. Rear Admiral WILLIAM REYNOLDS (1815-1879) rose to command of the USS Lackawanna during the Civil War. In 1867, he claimed Midway Island for the United States. An Under Secretary and Acting Secretary of the Navy during the Grant administration, he was given command of the Navy's Asiatic Squadron in 1873. William was the brother of US Army corps commander Major General John Reynolds, slain on the first day of the Battle of Gettysburg. A transit of Venus occurs when the planet Venus passes between the Earth and the Sun. This happens only twice a century. Now just a novelty, the transit was very important in the 19th century, because measurements of the event helped astronomers calculate the distance of the Earth from the Sun, and also the size of the Solar System. The US Congress funded eight scientific expeditions to remote locations to photograph and study the 1874 event, and did so again in 1882. The next transit of Venus will occur in 2012. Lightly creased. Soiled and toned at horizontal fold creases. Small notch at right edge 2" from top corner. Lightly foxed. Otherwise, fine conditioned.

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