Thomas Jefferson Papers

To Thomas Jefferson from Isaac Briggs, 2 September 1804

Clarksborough in Georgia
2nd. of the 9th. mo. 1804

My dear Friend,

Attending to the necessary observations, under the frequent interruptions of clouds—keeping a regular series of notes—and the rest absolutely requisite to repair the fatigues of travelling in weather so extremely hot as we have had it—have prevented us from making a more rapid progress on our journey, and have compelled me to be a much less attentive correspondent than I expected or intended to have been.

By our reckoning, Franklin courthouse is 567 miles from the City of Washington, and the arch of a great circle from thence to New-Orleans about 475 miles. In order to obtain some important information respecting our route from General Meriwether, we are here about twenty miles to the left of our course.

In consequence of the labor of making astronomical observations, and of the hot weather—I have found this, I think, both to body and mind, the most fatiguing journey I ever undertook—however, if I shall be so fortunate as to give satisfaction to my friend, the President, it will be a rich reward.

Accept assurances of my respect and esteem

(Signed) Isaac Briggs


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