Thomas Jefferson Papers

To Thomas Jefferson from William Read, 11 February 1806

Charleston So. Carolina February 11th. 1806


Observing you attentive to natural Philosophy as well as to other branches of science, I take occasion to present you with a fossil which you may consider a curiosity, & not unworthy of your contemplation. It was found on Rice-hope Estate on Cooper River, in forming a Canal, 20 feet under the surface of the Earth, & 10 feet above the level of the River swamp.

It lay with several others of similar form in a stratum of Earth resembling decay’d shells, two hundred feet distant from the swamp—I likewise send you a broken one least your Excellency should chuse to direct a chimical analysis on it—From my experiments they prove dentous—The curious & learned here have concluded them to be the Teeth of some Monster unknown at this day.

I remain with all due respect & the highest consideration your Excellencys very hum Svt.

William Read


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