<br /> Lee Letter: wl010

Washington and Lee University

Sender: William H. Parker
Recipient: Robert E.Lee


Having seen by the papers that it is proposed to institute four more Professorships at Washington College & thinking that one of the nine Chairs might relate to Practical Astronomy I venture to address you these few lines.

Practical Navigation is not taught at any of our Schools or Colleges, I believe tho’ in these days of Steam a knowledge of Navigation almost fits a man to command a steamer.

I was four years at the U. S. Naval Academy as Ass’t Prof. of Mathematics and Astronomy. I carried the 1st Sec. of the Senior Class thru’ the entire course of Practical & Nautical Astronomy, Navigation, etc. and taught the practical use of the sextant, theodolite, Transit instrument, Meridian Circle and Equatorial.

I may mention that I am the Author of several works on Professional subjects – Harbor Routine,Naval Light Artillery,Gunnery Catechism,Seamanship and Naval Tactics – Two of the above are now Text Books at the U. S. Naval Academy &#8212;I also organised and was Sup’t of the C. S. Naval Academy.

I respectfully refer to Commodores Forrest, S. S. Lee and Tucker, Captains R. L. Page Pegram, Barron and indeed most of the old Navy Officers –

Having seen a letter from you to Mr Caskie of Richmond I am assured of your sympathy, at least, for us of the old Navy & am emboldened to write you.

I respectfully request that I may be remembered by your Board of Trustees in case of more App’ts. being made & close with the remark that my only claim upon the State is that I responded promptly to her Call; have no regrets, and would do the same thing again – With much respect

Yr Ob’t Serv’t

Wm H. Parker

My address is: Care of B. B. Mosely Norfolk Va

I expect to go in the P.M.S. S. Ca’s service but this will not interfere with my accepting a position ashore.


Robert E. Lee CollectionLeyburn Library, Washington and Lee University

Endorsed by Lee: “Capt W. H. Parker Applies for Professorship of Practical Astronomy Ansd 30 Dec ’65.”