Notes on St. George Tucker’s Measurements of the Natural Bridge
|Mr. Tucker’s measures of the Natural bridge.
Sep. 9. 1795.
|height from top of bridge to1 bottom of water||196–9|
|the water 2. I. deep.|
|conjectural thickness of the arch near middle||56–10|
|from abutment to abutment across the stream|
|under upper side of bridge||70–9|
|under lower side of do.||54–2|
|narrowest part (a little below middle)2||48–8|
MS (DLC); written entirely in TJ’s hand on one side of a small parallelogram-shaped sheet; endorsed on verso: “Natural bridge.”
Tucker’s computations, like his observations of the heights of mountain peaks, are evidence of the jurist’s avocational interest in the measurement of natural features during this period, testifying to his bent for scientific investigation epitomized by the years of effort he devoted to the astronomical problem of the precession of the equinoxes (TJ to Jonathan Williams, 3 July 1796; Hans C. von Baeyer, “The Universe According to St. George Tucker,” Eighteenth Century Life, vi , 67–79; Mary Haldane Coleman, St. George Tucker: Citizen of No Mean City [Richmond, 1938], 124–6).
1. TJ here canceled “surf.”
2. Closing parenthesis supplied.