Gillis, James Melville
- Thomas R. Williams
- … show all 1 hide
BornGeorgetown, District of Columbia, USA, 6 September 1811
DiedWashington, District of Columbia, USA, 9 February 1865
James Gillis, son of George and Mary (née Melvile) Gillis, founded the United States Naval Observatory and served as its second superintendent. Gillis’ education in astronomy was largely self-directed. He was commissioned in the US Navy and served at sea before being assigned as a Lieutenant to the United States Navy Depot of Charts and Instruments. Working with limited resources from the depot, Gillis published the first star catalog based on American observations (1846).
Gillis began the process of ordering instruments for a first-class observatory, and then persuaded the US Congress that a new facility should be provided to house the instruments. Navy political considerations dictated the appointment of Matthew Maury as the first superintendent of the new observatory. Instead, Gillis was assigned for a period of time to the Coastal Survey working with Alexander Bache ...
- Dick, Steven J. (1983). “How the U. S. Naval Observatory Began, 1830-65.” In Sky with Ocean Joined: Proceedings of the Sesquicentennial Symposia of the U. S. Naval Observatory, edited by Steven J. Dick and Leroy E. Doggett, pp. 167–181. Washington, DC: U. S. Naval Observatory.
- — (2003). Sky and Ocean Joined: The U.S. Naval Observatory, 1830–2000. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
- Gould, Benjamin Apthorp (1877). “Memoir of James Melville Gillis.” Biographical Memoirs, National Academy of Sciences 1: 135–179.
- Gillis, James Melville
- Reference Work Title
- Biographical Encyclopedia of Astronomers
- p 813
- Print ISBN
- Online ISBN
- Springer New York
- Copyright Holder
- Springer Science+Business Media New York
- Additional Links
- eBook Packages
- Editor Affiliations
- 1. Department of Earth Science, University of Northern Iowa
- 2. University of California, Irvine School of Physical Sciences
- 3. Rice University
- 4. Whitman College
- 5. York Univesity
- 6. University of Wisconsin
- 7. University of Oklahoma
- 8. Harvard University
- Thomas R. Williams (735)
- Author Affiliations
- 735. Rice University, Houston, TX, USA
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