Appletons' Cyclopædia of American Biography/Gould, Benjamin

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GOULD, Benjamin, soldier, b. in Topsfield, Mass., 15 May, 1751; d. in Newburyport, Mass., 30 May, 1841. At the beginning of the Revolutionary war he marched at the head of thirty minute-men from Topsfield, and participated in the fight at Lexington on 19 April, 1775. He received a bullet wound, the scar of which was conspicuous on his cheek throughout his long life, and formed the subject of a poem by his daughter, Hannah F. Gould. He was commissioned captain, and was the last man to leave Charlestown neck at the retreat of the Continental forces from Bunker Hill in June, 1775. Subsequently he was engaged in the battles of White Plains, Bennington, and Stillwater, and had command of the main guard at West Point when Arnold fled and André was captured. After the war he settled in Newburyport, where the remainder of his life was spent. — His son, Benjamin Apthorp, educator, b. in Lancaster, Mass., 15 June, 1787; d. in Boston, 24 Oct., 1859, was graduated at Harvard in 1814, and became principal of the Boston Latin-school, remaining there until 1828. During his administration this institution became one of the most famous preparatory schools in the United States. His health failing in 1828, he was obliged to relinquish teaching, and spent two years in European travel. On his return he became a ship-owner in the China and East Indian importing business. Mr. Gould also filled important public offices in the state. He was one of the first American teachers to annotate classical authors, and published “The Prize Book” (6 numbers, Boston, 1820-'6); “Adams's Latin Grammar” (Northampton, 1825); and editions of Ovid (Boston, 1827), Horace (1828), and Virgil (1829). — Benjamin's daughter, Hannah Flagg, poet, b. in Lancaster, Mass., 3 Sept., 1789; d. in Newburyport, Mass., 5 Sept., 1865, removed with her father to Newburyport in 1800, and after the death of her mother became his constant companion, a fact that accounts for the patriotism of her earlier verses. In her youth she was famed for vivacity and wit. Her poems were characterized by true thought, refined and tender emotion, and healthful, moral tone, which made them favorites, and led to their frequent appearance in print, both at home and abroad. She led a quiet life in the homestead where she resided for half a century — a life that would have been as secluded as it was unostentatious but for her genial hospitality and the many visitors and distinguished authors who sought her acquaintance. Miss Gould began her literary career by writing for periodicals. She published “Poems” (Boston, 1832); “Poems” (3 vols., 1836); “The Golden Vase, a Gift for the Young” (1843); “Gathered Leaves and Miscellaneous Papers” (1846); “New Poems” (1850); “The Diosma: a Perennial” (1851); “The Youth's Coronal” (New York, 1851); “Mothers Dream, and other Poems” (Boston, 1853); and “Hymns and Poems for Children” (1854). — Benjamin Apthorp's son, Benjamin Apthorp, astronomer, b. in Boston, Mass., 27 Sept., 1824; d. in Cambridge, Mass., 26 Nov., 1896, studied at the Boston Latin-school, and at Harvard, where he was graduated in 1844. For over a year he was master of the Roxbury Latin-school, and then went abroad for higher studies. He devoted his attention principally to astronomy, which he followed under Carl F. Gauss in Göttingen, and in 1848 he received the degree of Ph. D. there. Later he spent some time under François Arago in Paris, and also in forming the acquaintance of noted scientists, including Frederic W. A. Argelander, Alexander von Humboldt, and others. He returned to the United States in 1848, and early in 1849 started in Cambridge an “Astronomical Journal” devoted to original investigation, which he continued largely at his own expense until 1861. In 1851 he was given charge of the longitude operations of the coast survey, and was one of the first to apply the telegraph to the determination of differences in longitude. Shortly after the laying of the Atlantic cable in 1866 he established in Valencia, Ireland, the station from which the difference in longitude between Europe and America was ascertained, and he connected the two continents by precise observations. These were the first determinations of trans-Atlantic longitude by telegraph, and were the means of establishing a connected series of longitude measurements from the Ural mountains to New Orleans. He was director of the Dudley observatory in Albany from 1856 till 1859, and superintended its construction. It was in this building that the normal clock, protected from atmospheric variation and furnished with barometric compensation, was first used to give time telegraphically to dials throughout the observatory. Dr. Gould introduced numerous improvements in construction, which are now extentensively used throughout the world in other observatories, and it was his clock that gave the time signals to New York. In 1868 he was appointed to organize and direct the National observatory of the Argentine Republic in Cordoba. He obtained from Europe a complete outfit of instruments, and, after erecting the building, began work with four assistants in 1870. His work included the mapping of a large part of the southern heavens, and his “Uranometry of the Southern Heavens” is accepted as final authority for the southern hemisphere, as that of Argelander is for the northern. Dr. Gould also organized a national meteorological office, with a net of stations extending from the tropics to Tierra del Fuego, and from the Andes to the Atlantic. He remained in the Argentine Republic until 1885, when he returned to Cambridge, and has since re-established his “Astronomical Journal.” In 1862 he was requested by the U. S. sanitary commission to take charge of its statistics, and organized in connection with these an elaborate system of anthropological measurements, which were subsequently computed and tabulated. This was published under the title of “Investigations in the Military and Anthropological Statistics of American Soldiers” (New York, 1869). Dr. Gould was a member of numerous scientific societies, among which are the Royal astronomical society of London and the French, Russian, Prussian, and Austrian academies of sciences in Europe, and he was one of the original members of the National academy of sciences in the United States. In 1885 he received the degree of LL. D. from Harvard, and in 1887 from Columbia. His publications include, besides numerous shorter articles contributed to periodical literature, “Investigation of the Orbit of the Comet V” (Washington, 1847); “Report on the Discovery of the Planet Neptune” (1850); “Discussions of Observations made by the U. S. Astronomical Expedition to Chili, to determine the Solar Parallax” (1856); “The Trans-Atlantic Longitude as determined by the Coast Survey” (1869); “Ancestry of Zaccheus Gould” (1872); and also valuable charts of the heavens, and reports of the work accomplished under his superintendence.