National Geographic : 1913 Jan
beacons, buoys and pub lic piers erected, placed, or sunk before the pass ing of this act, at the entrance of, or within any bay, inlet, harbor, or port of the United States, for rendering the navi gation thereof easy and safe, shall be defrayed out of the Treasury of the United States." Thus the Lighthouse Service was one of the earliest established by the Fed eral government, though it has been conducted under several different forms of administration. The maintenance of lighthouses, buoys, and other navigational aids was, at the organization of the government,placed under the Treasury De partment, and the details of lighthouse work were directed personally by the Secretary of the Treasury - Alexander Hamilton - by whom many of the earlier pa pers are signed. This AN ENDORSEMENT BY PRESIDENT JEFFERSON, IN HIS OWN HANDWRITING Expressing his opinion of the responsibility of light-keepers (see page 15) work was during two later periods placed under the Commis sioner of Revenue. In 1820 the administration of the light houses devolved upon the Fifth Auditor of the Treasury, who was popularly known as the general superintendent of lights. Mr. Stephen Pleasonton dis charged these duties for 32 years. In 1852 Congress established the United States Lighthouse Board, composed of three naval officers, three army engineers, and two civilians, with the Secretary of the Treasury as ex-oficio President of the Board. The Chairmen of this Board were Admirals in the Navy, with the single exception of Prof. Joseph Henry, who was Chairman from 1871 to 1878. In 1910 the present Bureau of Light houses was established by Congress, under charge of a Commissioner of Lighthouses and other executive officers appointed by the President. The Light house Service is now a part of the De partment of Commerce and Labor, to which it was transferred from the Treas ury in 1903. Under the act of 1789, 13 lighthouses were ceded to the United States by the several States, though apparently but eight of these were in actual operation at the date of the act (these are the eight first named in the list). The following are the lighthouses ceded, most of which are standing at the present time, although much altered: Portsmouth Harbor, N. H. Boston, Mass. Plymouth (Gurnet), Mass. Brant Point, Nantucket Island, Mass. Beavertail, Newport, R. I. Sandy Hook, N. Y. Cape Henlopen, Del. Charleston, S. C. Portland Head, Maine. Newburyport Harbor, Plum Id., Mass. Cape Ann, Thatcher Island, Mass. New London Harbor, Conn. Tybee, Ga.