SCIENTIST WRITES FOR PAPER THAT WAS FOUNDED ON THE PRINCIPLE OF VIEWING RELIGION ON THE BASIS OF SCIENCE AND THAT IS AT THE TIME OF THIS LETTER HAS ITS FOUNDING EDITOR, BENJAMIN FRANKLIN UNDERWOOD, BEING RELIEVED OF HIS EDITORSHIP BECAUSE OF A MAJOR DIFFERENCE OF OPINION WITH THE PUBLISHER, ZINC TYCOON, EDWARD CARL HEGELER
ASTRONOMER RICHARD A. PROCTOR HANDWRITTEN LETTER SIGNED, "Richard A. Proctor", 4-pages, 4.5 x 7.25, with embossed shield, Corona Lodge/Orange Lake Fla, to B. F. Underwood, December 26, 1887, regarding the publication of some of his scientific papers with "The Open Court", a famous 'free-thought' journal that had been established in 1887 to view religion on the basis of science. Proctor opens the handwritten letter with comments about his health and then goes on to discuss the changes that were taking place with "The Open Court". In part: "...I hear with great sorrow that the 'Open Court' has passed from your management - & into just that section of it's former management...some of the papers sent to you seemed such as I cousl hardly imagine you would yourself consider - & I was disposed to wonder sometimes whether you were not yielding unduly to the suggestions of the less thoughtful...readers...as Mr. Hegeler's own papers were among those about which I felt somewhat doubtful...the paper under his control seems to me unfortunate...the issues discussed [about his articles]...Those raised by Mr. Hegeler...seemed indirect and impersonal...Such papers as would be wanted I should have no interest in supplying...the combined influence...of yourself & Mrs. Underwood seemed to me just what the paper wanted- & wanted in even increased degree..." Comes with an original newspaper obituary column on Proctor. A collector's ink notation on the bottom of the last page, edge toning, bit of edge wear, otherwise in fine condition.
Richard Anthony Proctor (23 March 1837-12 September 1888) was an English astronomer. He is best remembered for having produced one of the earliest maps of Mars in 1867. A crater on Mars is named after Proctor. Elected a fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society in1866, he became honorary secretary in 1872, and contributed eighty-three separate papers to its Monthly Notices. He attained a high degree of popularity, and his numerous works had a wind influence in familiarizing the public with the main facts of astronomy.
Benjamin Franklin Underwood and Sara Underwood were founding editors of "The Open Court" and took a more secularist, materialistic, agnostic, and anticlerical view than did Edward Carl Hegler, the founding publisher.
Edward Carl Hegeler was a zinc tycoon, the inventor of a zinc smelter, the Hegeler Furnace, and the founding publisher and bankroller of "The Open Court.
"The Open Court" published many mainstream thinkers/writer including, according to this letter, Richard A. Proctor, who was a very famous astronomer of his day. The content of this letter discusses a critical point in the founding of an important publication that proposed to deal impartially with scientific and moral as well as religious questions.