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Letter from William Bacon to Secretary Joseph Henry,
June 4, 1849

Dear Sir,

Your note, with accompanying documents was recd [received] one of the last days of April. I have read your report to the regents and the letter of Prof Loomis with much interest. It appears to me, that the plan of operation you have marked out for the adoption of the Ins.[Institution] is one which must meet with the approbation of all scientific (it's of no use to try to accommodate the opinions of others) men and to secure best results from the avails of the funds. My only regret with regard to its present prospects is, that I have not the means to do more for the advancement of its prosperity, and that I am not situated so as to enjoy more extensively the benefits of the Establishment. By your researches and publications all useful Knowledge will receive a new impulse, and your Library will one day form a nucleus around which, men of enquiring minds will gather from all quarters for interchange of thought and the acquirement of new food for thought. It must, it will become a fountain from which ten thousand streams will flow out in all directions to refresh and gladden the hearts of all who will partake its bounty. I say all. Not that I infer that every one will ever visit the establishment or become direct owners of all or any of its published documents, for in the present state of things it is questionable whether one in five hundred of our whole population would care to do either, unless indeed it were for any other object rather than to acquire information, yet, from those who search its tomes or investigate its researches, other streams will flow forth, whose influence, though silent as the dewfall of breezeless morning, will scatter intellectual health and happiness into every mind.

Prof Loomis' article is one that everybody, should read. His arguments are good and his reasoning upon them, in point, exactly, and we are prepared to subscribe to every item of it. Storms are no doubt produced and agitated by nature's laws as much as are the change of the seasons and the revolutions of spheres. And Why may we not suppose that certain indications of nature vary in different cases, to be sure, forewarn their approach, and may be turned to our benefit if we will observe their phases? I firmly believe that we have yet much available knowledge yet to gain in these matters, as well as in all other operations of nature.

But I am encroaching upon your time which may be devoted to more valuable purposes than scanning my remarks, and will only say that I have much pleasure in forwarding you the Journal for May, which I believe is correct, all except thermometrical notes having been taken by myself, carefully at the times. As my thermometer is broken, I have depended on the Journal of a friend in this matter, and here let me Enquire, if in order to accuracy, these instruments ought not all to be of the same manufacture and carefully compared to give true indices? I think so. I shall continue my journal in June, which will use my last blank. If you find my work acceptable you can forward more. I shall hope to exhibit less blots next time, but as I am an every day working farmer, grown so from choice, to be sure, you'l excuse them, now.

I gave a short notice of your report in one of our County papers, which I enclose, and get Mr Rockwell's M.C. frank as you gave no address to which I should forward, will you give address for future returns?

If at any time you have documents for distribution, I shall be happy to receive.

Yours very truly, William Bacon

Richmond, Mass, June 4, 1849

Note, since penning the foregoing, I find I am likely to lose the thermometrical journal for the present, so I forward, much to my regret without it.

Yours &c, W.B.

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