From the Earth to the Moon HTML version
Chapter 12. Urbi Et Orbi
The astronomical, mechanical, and topographical difficulties resolved, finally came the
question of finance. The sum required was far too great for any individual, or even any
single State, to provide the requisite millions.
President Barbicane undertook, despite of the matter being a purely American affair, to
render it one of universal interest, and to request the financial co-operation of all peoples.
It was, he maintained, the right and duty of the whole earth to interfere in the affairs of its
satellite. The subscription opened at Baltimore extended properly to the whole world--
Urbi et orbi.
This subscription was successful beyond all expectation; notwithstanding that it was a
question not of lending but of giving the money. It was a purely disinterested operation in
the strictest sense of the term, and offered not the slightest chance of profit.
The effect, however, of Barbicane's communication was not confined to the frontiers of
the United States; it crossed the Atlantic and Pacific, invading simultaneously Asia and
Europe, Africa and Oceanica. The observatories of the Union placed themselves in
immediate communication with those of foreign countries. Some, such as those of Paris,
Petersburg, Berlin, Stockholm, Hamburg, Malta, Lisbon, Benares, Madras, and others,
transmitted their good wishes; the rest maintained a prudent silence, quietly awaiting the
result. As for the observatory at Greenwich, seconded as it was by the twenty- two
astronomical establishments of Great Britain, it spoke plainly enough. It boldly denied
the possibility of success, and pronounced in favor of the theories of Captain Nicholl. But
this was nothing more than mere English jealousy.
On the 8th of October President Barbicane published a manifesto full of enthusiasm, in
which he made an appeal to "all persons of good will upon the face of the earth." This
document, translated into all languages, met with immense success.
Subscription lists were opened in all the principal cities of the Union, with a central office
at the Baltimore Bank, 9 Baltimore Street.
In addition, subscriptions were received at the following banks in the different states of
the two continents:
At Vienna, with S. M. de Rothschild.
At Petersburg, Stieglitz and Co.
At Paris, The Credit Mobilier.
At Stockholm, Tottie and Arfuredson.
At London, N. M. Rothschild and Son.
At Turin, Ardouin and Co.
At Berlin, Mendelssohn.
At Geneva, Lombard, Odier and Co.
At Constantinople, The Ottoman Bank.
At Brussels, J. Lambert.