David Peck Todd of Amherst MA
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David Peck Todd7, (Sereno E.6, Josiah5, Abner4, Ithamar3, Michael2, Christopher1) born March 19, 1854, married March 5, 1880, Mabel, only child of Eben Jenks and Mary Alden (Wilder) Loomis, who was born Nov. 10, 1856, in Cambridge, Mass.
He is a graduate of Amherst College and a descendant of the celebrated divine, Jonathan Edwards. After graduation he was appointed to a position at the Naval Observatory, Washington, D. C. He was afterwards appointed Prof. of Astronomy and Director of the Observatory at Amherst, Mass., and also Prof. of Astronomy and Higher Mathematies at Smith College, Northampton, Mass. He received the degree of Ph. D. and has been placed in charge of eight scientific expeditions, including, among others, those relating to the transit of Venus, the study of Mars, and eclipses of the sun.
Prof. Todd being made chief of numerous astronomical expeditions, Mrs. Todd began to accompany her husband to many and unusual parts of the world. Spending several months in Europe in 1885, they went in 1887, to Japan, Prof. Todd conducting thither a scientific expedition to observe the eclipse of Aug. 19th. Several other expeditions intervening, they returned again to the flowery kingdom in 1896, sailing there in the schooner yatch Coronet, and making observations of the eclipse of Aug. 29th, from the extreme northern part of the empire, bordering on the Sea of Okhotsk, among the hairy Ainus, aborigines of Japan. Mrs. Todd, on this occasion, reached a point farther north in the Japanese possessions than any foreign woman had ever attained. And here she made special study, ethnological and otherwise, of the Ainu. In 1900, Prof. Todd was once more in charge of an eclipse expedition; she accompanying him to Barbary in northern Africa, making headquarters at the rarely visited city of Tripoli, where a wonderful view of the sun’s corona (May 28th) was observed through the cloudless desert air. Here she made a study of desert life, women in the harems and Roman remains. In 1901, Prof. Todd conducted an expedition to a small island (Singkep) off the east coast of Sumatra, where the longest eclipse ever observed occurred on May 18th. On this occasion a complete circuit of the world was made, going via Atlantic and Mediterranean and returning by the Pacific, visiting on the way, Borneo, Siam, the Philippines, China, Japan, and the Hawaiian Islands. In 1905, Tripoli was once more the scene of an eclipse when both took an active part in its operations. In 1907, Prof. Todd conducted an expedition (taking with him the great 18-inch Amherst equatorial telescope) to the elevated pampa of Chili, for the purpose of studying Mars at opposition, in that exceptional steady air; and on this occasion Mrs. Todd made a special study, in addition to the main purpose of the expedition, of the remains of old Inca civilization, especially in Peru and at high regions among the Andes.
Each are the authors of numerous publications on astronomical subjects, and write articles relating to astronomy for various magazines.
Mrs. Todd gives drawing room talks, and for private Schools, Clubs and Colleges, on popular astronomy, travel and literary subjects, some fifty to eighty each season. She founded the Amherst Chapter, Daughters of the American Revolution, and founded also the Amherst Historical Society, of which she is President.
1771. Millicent, b. Feb. 4, 1880.