Thomas Jefferson Papers

To Thomas Jefferson from Andrew Ellicott, 2 November 1801

From Andrew Ellicott

Lancaster Novbr. 2. 1801

Dear Sir

I have forwarded by the bearer Mr. Brown the notes to accompany the map which I informed you some weeks ago was finished:—from these notes you will be able to judge in some degree of the value of the map, and whether it will be worth sending on to Washington;—I have it enclosed in a tin case Six feet 2 inches long.—

I have the honour to be with great esteem your Hbl. Servt

Andw. Ellicott.

P.S. I intend observing the occultation of ε♓ on the 16th. if not prevented by clouds.

A. E.

RC (DLC); above postscript: “President of the United States”; endorsed by TJ as received 16 Nov. and so recorded in SJL; also endorsed by TJ: “referred to the Secretary at war to be answered as he thinks proper Th:J.”

Mr. Brown was probably a relative of Ellicott’s wife, Sarah Brown Ellicott, originally of Newton, Pennsylvania (ANB description begins John A. Garraty and Mark C. Carnes, eds., American National Biography, New York and Oxford, 1999, 24 vols. description ends ).

Ellicott hoped to observe the occultation of the star Epsilon Piscium (that is, the fifth-brightest star of the constellation Pisces) by the moon, which was in that constellation in the middle of November. Ellicott made various astronomical observations during his residence at Lancaster, Pennsylvania, with the particular intention of determining the town’s longitude. Earlier in the year he sent TJ details of his observation of another star’s occultation, which Ellicott used along with other data to find the longitude of Washington, D.C. (An Almanack, for the Year 1801; Containing, Besides the Usual Astronomical Calculations, the Gardener’s Calendar [Frankfort, Ky., 1800?]; Evans description begins Charles Evans, Clifford K. Shipton, and Roger P. Bristol, comps., American Bibliography: A Chronological Dictionary of All Books, Pamphlets and Periodical Publications Printed in the United States of America from … 1639 … to … 1820, Chicago and Worcester, Mass., 1903–59, 14 vols. description ends , No. 36804; APS description begins American Philosophical Society description ends , Transactions, 6 [1809], 61–9, 113–19; APS description begins American Philosophical Society description ends , Proceedings, 22, pt. 3 [1884], 321; Vol. 33:580–2).

Index Entries