Correspondence Between Sellwagen and Bache

Correspondence from Lt. Commander Henry Stellwagen (U.S. Navy on loan to the U.S. Coast Survey) to Superintendent Alexander Bache (U.S. Coast Survey)

H.S. Stellwagen to A.D. Bache
Boston October 22, 1854
Dear Sir:

I consider I have made an important discovery in the location of a 15 fathom bank lying in a line between Cape Cod and Cape Ann — with 40 & 50 fathoms inside and to North of it and 35 fathoms just outside of it — It is not on any chart I have been able to procure — Blunt's shows deep water in all directions from it.

We have traced nearly 5 miles in width and over 6 miles in length it no doubt extending much further.

It is an important thing for a vessel bound in, particularly in thick weather determining position with great accuracy.

We are all very much interested in pursuing the discovery still further to determine if it be a continuous Bank or detached knolls–in either case I consider the delineation of it as of more importance to the Mercantile world than the erection of a lighthouse.

Should you agree with me & determine that I shall prosecute the work with dispatch please let me know the quickest manner possible as it will be necessary to hasten to get in coal.

I remain very Respectfully in Yr Obed. Servant
H.S. Stellwagen
Lt. Comg.

A.D. Bache to H.S. Stellwagen
Oct. 24, 1854
near Camden, Me.

Do not leave Boston without receiving explicit instructions, except to determine this bank. On your way to the Delaware some deep sea & temperature work could very well be done. I will send specific instructions to-morrow, so that if you think it best not to return after doing the bank you can make such arrangements. It would be better however, I think, to make a specific report to me at once after completing the work.

Can this be connected with Jeffrey's Bank?

Telegraph me what is the least sum that the boilers can be fitted for use for this season.

Yours truly
A.D. Bache