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that occur in my remarks on the Nebraska fossils in this number of the

Page 1?3, fifth line from top, for '* respecting " read representing.
Page 177, seventeenth line from top, for ^thus far " read this far. Page
180, twenty-second line from bottom, for *^they are,'' read it is. Page
184, sixth line from top, strike out the f after Rhynchxnulla,

4. Note on the Corundophilite of Chester, Mass, — In a note on page
258 the writer has alluded to observations on the optical characters of
the Chester chlorite made by Mr. Descloizeaux. Mr. Descloizeaux com-
municated his results to the writer in a letter dated Paris, Jan. 29, 1866,
or a year and a half since. They are as follows.

Corundophilite is a dinochlore, in macled plates or crystals. The
divergence of the axes is very variable, they being sometimes united, and
at others widelv separated. The bisectrix is positive, and distinctly in-
clined to the plane of cleavage or the surface of the plates. In one good
plate I found 2E (or angle of divergence observed in the air) =65° for
white light at 22^ C. On heating to 200^ C, the angle was increased
from 3 to 4 degrees, a characteristic distinguishing dinochlore from pen-
nine, which is always insensible to heat The dispersion of the optical
axes is quite distinct and ^<v. The hyperbolas are bordered by red in-
teriorly and green exteriorly.

6. Note on the optical characters of different micaceous minerals called
Margarita; by Mr. DjbsCloizkauz. (From a letter to J. D. Dana, dated
Paris, August 15, 1867). — (1.) In 1847 I received from the vicinity of
Sterzing, a foliated mineral having the plates a little concave, of white
color and pearly luster, and well named perl-glimmer, which has the op-
tical axes distinctly united.

(2.) The small specimen sent me recently by Mr. Dana as the original
znarffarite is identical with one which had been sent me after 1848 ; it is
in white laminse mixed with some green dinochlore, and was regarded
at that time as chloritoid. The laminse are very much macled, and the
divergence of the optical axes is accordingly very variable. I have found
for the red ray, at 20"" C. with

my specimen 2£=:126^ 24' ; in another plate, z=117° d(y.

Mr. Dana's specimen 2£=109''d2'; ** '' *' 128'' S8^

The dispersion is very feeble, and it is rendered quite indeterminable by
the numerous interlacings of the lamins. The plane of the optical axes
appears to be paralld to the longer diagonal. [This is the margarite of
p. 259.]

The dinochlore mixed with the margarite is macled, with distinct dis-
persion (9<v), and with strong double refraction. A plate gave me
2E=60' 48' for the ydlow ray.

(3.) In 1863 I received from Kammelsberg, under the name of Baryt-
glimmer [the (Ellacherite of p. 256] a so-called margarite from Pfitsch,
which is white and pearly, and has been analyzed oy (Ellacher. The

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284 Scientific Intelligence.

i>1aieA are very transparent, the double refraction strong, the dispernoii
eeble with ^^v, and orientation of the optical axes uncertain because of
the irregular oontonr of the laminae. I have found, at 20^ C.

2E=70^ 21' for the red ray ; 2E=78** 46' for the blue,
angles which correspond with those of ordinary potash mica.

6. Eozoon Canadense in Finland, — Prof. Pusirevski reports the occur-
rence of the Eoasoon Canadense in limestone at Hopunwara in Finland.
A lower and upper system of schistose metamorphic rocks have been dis-
tinguished. In the lower division of the upper system, at Pusunssari
and Hopunwara near Pitk&randa occurs a limestone with serpentine, and
the serpentine affords small nodules consisting of parallel layers which
have the structure of the Eozoon. The facts are stated to prove that a
large part of the rocks of Finland are Laurentian, and that the upper
and lower systems probably correspond to the upper and lower groups of
Canada. — Bull. Acad. St, Petersbourff^ x, 161.

1. Geological Observations in Colorado, (Colorado Transcript, July
24, 1867.) — ^The late railroad surveys on Dry and Boulder creeks, St
Vrain, Big Thompson and Cache-a-la-Poudre rivers, and on the South
Platte, under Capt. E. L. Berthoud, have shown that the Cretaceous
strata on the east slope of the Rocky Mountains, extend eastward from
the mountains at least four hundred and seventy-five miles ; that in the
upper beds, extending some seventy-five miles from the Rocky Mountains,
eoal of good quality can be found in large fields, which near the mountains
in Jefferson county are covered on its west border by almost horizontal Ter-
tiary beds, and through which extensive outcrops of Cretaceous coal occur,

j8. Geological Survey of Nebraska, — By appointment from the Gene-
ral Government, the geological survey of Nebraska has just been com-
menced under the direction of Professor F. V. Hayden. Dr. Hayden is
in his old familiar field, where he has explored in former years with great
success, and we may expect very valuable results from his investi^tions.
The experienced paleontologist, Mr. F. B. Meek, is associated with him
in the work. The territory of Nebraska lies directly west of the state
of low^ the survey of which state is going rapidly forward under Dr.
C. A. White, its able state geologist; and this again directly west of IIH-
oois, whose geoiogical survey under Dr. VVorthen has already made great
progress, as shown in the admirable volumes recently published. The
Reports of these regions when completed, will extend our knowledge of
the geology of the continent on this side of the Rooky Mountains to 104^
W^ It is to be regretted, however, that the great and rich states of Ohio
ftud Indiana yet remain but very imperfectly explored.


1. Manual of the Botany of the Northern United States^ including
the district East of the Mississij^ and North of North Carolina and
Tennessee^ arranged according to the natural system; by Asa Grat,
Fisher Professor of Natural History in Harvard University. Fifth edition,
with twenty plates illustrating the Sedges, Grasses, Ferns, etc. New
¥ork: Ivison, Py&ney, Blakeman A Co. Chicago; S. G. Griggs &s Co.
1367, 8vo, pp. 701. — The former editions of this Manual have been dnly
noticed in this Jx>urnal. The first edition was published in 1848, and
was at x>nce accepted as the standard Flora of the region it embraced.

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Botany. 285

Tke work was entirelj rowritien for tho edition of 1856, and was revised
upoo the stereotype plates, some pages also being added, for the third
edition (1S62), and for the fourth (1863). The fifth edition has been
nostly rewritten, several month's labor having been expended upon it

The Garden Botany is excluded from this edition, but will be inoor>
porated into a separate, more elementary work entitled Fields Forest^ and
Gatdm Botany. The MouiB and Livenvorts^ also, whioh were contribu*
ted to the previous editions by Mr. SuUivant, are now omitted, but the
hope is expressed that these orders, together with the Liehenes, by Prot
Tttckerman, and perhaps the remaining orders of Cellular Cryptogamia,
May before very long h^ published in a supplementary volume.

To the fourteen plates at the end of the volume, illustrating the genera
of Grasses and Ferns, are now added six new ones, from original draw-
ings by Sprague, to show the structure of the genera of Cyperaoeas. By
the help of these accurately drawn figures the student will be able to
identify easily the genus of any native or introduced plant belonging to
these somewhat difficult orders.

While the general plan of the work is otherwise unchanged, a com-
parison of this volume with its predecessor shows that the learned an-
ther has taken new views of several natural orders, and that the generic
and specific descriptions generally have been studied anew, ana most
fiiitbfnlly compared with the plants as they exist in nature.

Among the changes in the natural orders to be particularly noticed is
the uniting of Nelwmbonea and Cabombaeem with J^ymphmaeem. This
had already been done by Bentham & Hooker, and indeed we find iTf-
lumbonecB made a tribe of Nymphceaeem in DeCandolle's Systema Vege-
tahUium. But why not keep the name Nelumbo as originally written by
Adanson in 1763, and adopted by Q»rtner in 1*788, a year before it was
changed to Jfelumbium by Jussieu ? It would then accord with Negundo.

Another noticeable change is the restoration of Tropaolumj Impatitm
and Oxalis to Geraniaeem^ in which order they were placed as "' Genera
Otraniie affima^ by its founder Jussieu. In the same order Dr. Oray has
placed Flarkea also, in the whole arrangement following pretty closely
the views of Bentham di Hooker. The same authors had already inclu-
ded Ribee as well as Pamaseia in Sax^agaeem. The clustered stamin-
odia of Pam€eeia are perhaps peculiar to the genus, but there are single
staminodia or glands alternate with the stamens of Franeoa and TetiUa^
and the multifid lobes of the disk in Brexia is perhaps somewhat similar.
Nor does Bibee alone produce berries, for they occur in several genera of

Holoragem is separated from Onagracem^ the points of difiference beinff
numerous and well marked. Loganioiceai is recognized as a natunu
order and is placed next after Gentianaeem, LUiaeeat is much extended,
TrillidecB and Melanihiem being regarded as tribes, the genera Prosartet
and Streptopui placed in Aeparaginem^ and Nartheeium in LUiea. Sonse
such consolidation of orders in the lilial alliance has seemed inevitable
ever since it was shown by Dr. A. W. Chapman that the anthers of
ZUium itself are extrorse in the bud.

The alterations in generic nomenclature and the uniting or dividing of
genera are not very numerous, and every such change was apparently
^denumded by the progress of botanical science*

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286 Scientific Intelligence,

Atragem it reunited with Clematis^ and PuUaiiUa with Aiumom.
lodanthuB and Turritis go into Arabis^ and Arenaria now includes AU
9ine^ Makringia and Ammadenia {Hankmyay Sanguisorha is referred
to Foterium, the characters of JUnsers perfeetj stamens fewj carpel singU^
mnd seeds mostly smooth not being constant, and the habit being the
same in both. The restoration of the Linnsean genus Houstotda is moil
welcome, and we may now call the little Bluets bj the name thej bora
when we first knew and admired this pretty flower. The Linnsean name
Muellia replaces the later one of Nees, Dipteraeanthus ; and Stylisma
is referred to Bonamia, the characters of styles somewhat less united and
stamens less exserted not justifying the separation of the American from
the Madagascar species. Bensoin of Nees becomes Lindtra of Thunberg,
and the old genus Habenaria is restored to North American botany, for
Gymnadenia and Platanthera both yield their places as distinct genera,
Dr. Gray here returning to the view which he proposed in this Journal,
in 1840.

A few specific names are altered, especially where older but less known
names have been recently identified with well known species, as for
instance Ranunculus multifidus (Pursb, 1814,) is substituted for M,
Purshii (Richards, 1823), or where an American plant is proved to be
identical with an older European species, as is Viola Muhlenbergii with F.
canina. Not a few plants which were utterly unknown when the fourth
edition of the Manual was published, in 1864, are now for the first time
made known to science, and many more which were known to inhabit
adjacent, or sometimes distant regions have been recently detected within
our limits. A new Polygala^ an Aster^ a Lobelia, a Pyrola^ two Orchids
and two species of Jsoetes are among the former, and the latter class in-
cludes a SteUaria, a Parnassia, another Aster, Calluna vulgaris, an
Hex, nearly a score of Carices, and several Ferns. In 1856 the indigen*
ous Flowering plants and Acrogens known to inhabit the r^on cov-
ered by this Manual amounted to 2166, which number has now been in-
ereased by the seal and industry of North American botanists to 2357,
as is shown by a hasty count of the distinct and truly indigenous species
described in the present volume.

The various Analytical keys have been prepared anew, and evidently
with the greatest carefulness, the distinctions being based upon the im-
portant characters of the plants, rather than upon their trivial peculiar-
ities, so that to a student who has thoroughly studied Physiological
Botany, as taught for instance in Gray's Lessons, these Analytical keys
will not only open an easy way to find the name of an unknown plant,
but will also reveal much of the true relations of the plant to the whole
y^;etable Kingdom.

fu certain oHers and genera the author has had the aid of collabora-
tors who have devoted special attention to their several department*,
among whom Dr. Engelmann takes the lead : all such assistance is amply
acknowledged in the proper place.

As to thorough scientific arrangement, correct nomenclature, and ac-
curacy and clearness of the definitions, this Flora is almost or quite
unrivalled, there being no American, and few European works of the
kind, which could bear comparison with it ; and it will be well for the
cause of American learning if this Flora, suited alike to the needs of

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Attronomy. 287

accomplished botanists and unpraotic^ students, shall displace works
which are wholly rejected by the former, and are used by the latter only
to their own injury and confusion. d. o. b.


1. Becent Ohtervatiom and Remarks of Hcfirath Schwabe regarding
Sun-epoU and other Solar Phenomena, Communicated by W. Da la
Rub, B. SrawART, and B. Lokwt. — About two months ago Hofrath
Schwabe called our attention to certain phenomena on the surface of the
Sun, which he had noticed since last December, and which he recollected
to hare occurred before, but only at the time of a minimum in the num-
ber of Sun-epots. The phenomena are: — 1st A total aheenee o/faeuliB
vrfaculoue matter, 2ttd. Aheenee of the neually observed scars^ po"^
and similar appearaneee, 3rd. An eqttal brightness of the whole surface^
the limb being ae luminous ae the center.

Hofrath Schwabe desired us to go over his observations, which are at
present at Kew Observatory, to extract similar facts formerly noticed, and
to inform him whether some of these phenomena had also been observed
in this country.

The observations were carefully scanned ; and it was noticed that the
phenomena occur only in years of minimum spot-frequency. The ex-
tracts, which we append, and which might have been multiplied, are
quite sufficient to snow the regularity of their recurrence, and also that
the year 1838 was particularly characterized by the frequency qf obser-
vations of them.

We also applied to the Rev. F. Hewlett, whose well-known exquisite
delineations of Sun-spotB and &cul» gave us the best promise of learning
something more relating to delicate changes on the surface of the Sun ;
but unfortunately Mr. Hewlett's impaired health has obliged him to with-
draw almost wholly from his usual application to Sun ob^rvations during
the period in question. He however states in his answer, that '^ he had
certainly noticed how uniformly bright the Sun's surface has been of late,
in connection with an almost total absence of faculee."

We Chink it right to state (without expressing our own opinion in the
matter) that HofraUi Schwabe thinks he nas noticed a connexion between
Sun-epots and meteoric showers. He says in his last letter, "The mini-
mum of spot-frequency coincides remarkably with the recurrence of mete-
oric showers, the period of rotation of which, viz., 33*2 years, agrees with
a larger period of the sun-spotB. In 1833 there was an extreme scarcity
of spots (only 33 very small groups being observed^, and in 1866-67,
after 33 years the phenomenon repeats itself. From toe 1st January until
to-day, June 8th, I have only observed 6 small groups, and out of 138
days of observation, there were 100 without spots. In the year 1848,
which is the middle of the 33-2 years period, there was a maximum of
spots. If the 33 years' period should be established by future observar
tions, then a maximum of meteoric showers would always occur after
three years of the usual Sun-spot periods. Whether this periodicity ex-
isted before, I cannot deeide, but there appears to have been a minimum
of Sun-spots in 1798*5, and a maximum in 1816*8."

We are at present engaged in determining a curve of spot-frequency
during the last forty years, founded, not on the fiKin^ of obeerved groupe^

Digitized by


368 MiteMmmut InlriHgmte.

but on the area of ipotM twfiee, as obaeired by HofniUi Sdiwabtt; and
we hope that by this means the periodicity will be repieaentod with
greater precision than before, and also that more light will be then thrown
on the whole subject ; bnt in the meantime we would call the attention
of all observers to the fust, that in the present state of our inquiries into
the physical nature of the Sun and into the connexion of coamieal phe-
nomena, even the most delicate changes obserred deserre great attention^
and that nothing should be overlook^ by those who take an actire inter-
est in this problem. — Not, Boy. AHron, Soe,^ zxvii, 280.

9. On a Metior of July 18I&, 1867 ; by Danxbl Eibkwood, (Ed-
itorial correspondence dated Ganonsburg, Pa., August 5th, 1867). — ^Mr.
J. E. Larimore, A. B., has furnished me the following account of a meteor
seen by himself, at Salem, Weetmorsiand County, PennsylTaua, on the
18th of July, 1867.

The time of obsenration was about 1^ 80™ p. m. — almost exactly at
sunset The meteor seemed to hare originated in the S.E. quarter of
the heayens, and it disappeared in the N.B. When first seen its ele?ar
tion was about 40^, and it continued visible from four to five aeeonds^
Its apparent diameter was estimated at one-fourth that of the moon, and
it had a train three or four degrees in length.


1. Researches on Qun-coiion. — Second memoir. On the Stability cf
Oun<dtton; by F. A. Abel, F.R.S., V.P.C.S. (From the Phil. Mag,
IV, xxxiii, 646, July, 1867, Supplement.) — ^The results of the many ob-
servations which had been instituted prior to 1860 upon the behavior of
gun-cotton when exposed to diffused or strong daylight, or to heat,
although they agree generally with those of the most recent investiga-
tions on the sQDJect, as far as relates to the nature of the products ob-
tained at different stages of its decomposition, cannot be regarded ss
having a direct bearing upon the question of the stability of gun-cotton
produced by strictly pursuing the system of manufacture prescribed by
von Lenk, inasmuch as it has been shown that the products formerly
experimented upon by different chemists varied very considerably in

The investigations recently published by P^Iouze and Maury* on the
composition of gun-cotton, and the influence exerted by light and heat
upon its stability, are described as having been conducted with gun-cot-
ton prepared according to von Lenk's system. The general conclusion
arrived at by those chemists with reference to the latter branch of the
subject was to the effect that the material is susceptible of spontaneous
decomposition, under conditions which may possibly be fulfilled in its
storage and application to technical and warlike purposes; and the in-
ference is drawn, partly from the results of earlier investigators, and
partly from the exceptional behavior of one or two specimens, that gun-
cotton is liable to explode spontaneously at very low temperatures whea
stored in considerable quantities.

It has been shown, in the memoir on the Manufacture and Composi-
tion of Gun-cotton, published last year,f that modifications in the pro-

* Comptes Beodus.

t Trans. Boyal Socisty. For abstract sts Phil Mag., IV, zzxii, 146.

Digitized by


MiscellaneoMs IrUslKgence. ^89

I of conTenion and parification, which appear at fini sight of wj
trifling nature, exert meet important influences upon the compoaitiotfl(|<t
purity of the product. Gun-cotton of quite exceptional character has
been discovered, in seyeral instances, among samples received from Hir-
tenberg and among the first supplies obtained from Stowmarket ; other
exceptional products have also been produced by purposely modifying, in
several vrays, the system of manufacture as pursued at Waltham Aboey.
The very considerable difference exhibited between some of these and
the ordinary products in their behavior under equal conditions of expo-
sure to heat and light, affords good grounds for the belief that the attain-
ment of certain exceptional results, upon which the conclusions of P^louze
and Maury's report condemnatory of ^un-cotton have been principally
founded, are to be ascribed to sudb vanations in the nature of the mate-
rial operated upon.

Very numerous and extensive experiments and observations have been
carried on during the last four years at Woolvrich, both with small and
large quantities of gun-cotton, for the purpose of completely investigat-
ing the conditions by which the stability of this substance, when under
the influence of light and heat, may be modified, and with the view ci
ascertaining whether results recently arrived at in France apply to gun-
cotton as manufactured in this country.

The principal points which have been established b? the results ar-
rived at in these investigations may be summed up as follows : —

(1.) Qun-cotton produced from properly purified cotton, according to
the directions given by von Lenk, may be exposed to diffused daylight,
either in the open air or in closed vessels, for very long periods without
undergoing any change. The preservation of the material for 3^ years
under those conditions has been perfect

(2.) Long-continued exposure of the substance in a condition of ordi-
nary dryness to strong daylight and sunlight produces a very gradual
change in gun-cotton of the description de£ed above ; and ther^re the
statements which have been published regarding the very rapid decom-
position of gun-cotton when exposed to the sunlight do not apply to the
nearly pure trinitrooellulose obtained by strictly following the system of
manuracture now adopted.

(8.) If gun-cotton in dosed vasels is left for j^rotracted periods exposed
to strong daylight or sunlight in a damp or moist condition, it is affected
to a somewhat greater extent ; but even under these circumstances the
change pro<iuced in the gun-cotton by several months' exposure is of a
very trimng nature.

(4.) Gun-cotton which is exposed to sunlight until a faint acid reaction
has become developed, and is then immediately afterward packed into
boxes which are tightly closed, does not undergo any change during sub-
sequent storage for long periods. (The present experience on this head
extends over 3^ years.)

(5.) Gun-cotton prepared and purified according to the prescribed sys-
tem, and stored in the ordinary dry condition, does not furnish any indi-
cation of alteration, beyond the development, shortly after it is first
packed, of a slight peculiar odor and the power of gradually imparting
to litmus, when packed with it, a pinkish tinge.

Am. Joub. Sci.— Seoond Ssbibs, Vol. XLIV, No. 131. - Sxpt., 1807.

Digitized by


390 Miscellaneaus InieUigettce.

£6.) The inflaenoe exercised upon the stability of gon-ootton of aver-
aglkquality, as obtained bj strict adherence to von Lenk's systeooi of
manufacture, by prolonged exposure to temperatures considerably ex-
ceeding those which are experienced in tropical climates, is very trifling
in comparison with the results recently published by Continental experi-
menters relating to the effects of heat upon gun-cotton ; and it may be
so perfectly counteracted by yery simple means, which in no way inter-
fere with the essential qualities of the material, that the storage and
transport of gun-cotton presents no greater danger, and is, under some
circumstances, attended with much less risk of accident than is the case
with gunpowder.

(7.) Perfectly pure gun-cotton, or trinitrooelluloee, resists to a remark-
able extent the destructive effects of prolonged exposure to temperatures
even approaching 100* C. ; and the lower nitro-produots of ceUnlose
(soluble ffun-eotton) are at any rate not more prone to alteration when
pure. The incomplete conversion of cotton into the most explosive pro-
ducts does, therefore, not of necessity result in the production of a less

Online LibraryJohn AlmonThe American journal of science and arts → online text (page 84 of 102)