Harvard's Petition to Congress.
We, the undersigned, members of the faculty of arts and sciences of Harvard University, desire to signify our accord with the views expressed by the honorable secretary of the navy in his annual report for 1891, wherein he recommends the adoption of legislation to place the naval observatory at Washington under the direction of a competent practical astronomer.
We are of the opinion that the enactment of a measure of this kind will result in greater efficiency in that branch of the public service represented by the government observatory, and in great credit to the scientific reputation of our country.
Your petitioners having learned that a bill to place the United States naval observatory under civilian control, and to appoint an astronomer its chief director, has been brought to the attention of Congress, earnestly request that this measure shall receive your friendly consideration.
The paper is signed by President Charles W. Eliot of Harvard and every member of the faculty.