Dec. 26th 1865
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 - AHarbor Routine,@ ANaval Light Artillery, A Gunnery Catechism,@ Seamanship and Naval Tactics@ - Two of the above are now Text Books at the U. S. Naval Academy - 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
I expect to go in the P. M. S. S. Ca=s service but this will not interfere with my accepting a position ashore.
Notation on upper right corner of first page in General Lee=s handwriting:
Capt W. H. Parker
Applies for Professorship of
Ansd 30 Dec >65