James Madison Papers

Ferdinand Rudolph Hassler to James Madison, 6 February 1833

Washington City 6th Febry 1833

Excellent Sir 

In taking the Liberty to address to You herewith Copies of my Reports upon Weights and measures, I again make use of the priviledge, which I have often assumed to continue to give You some account of my employment of my time. The object of the present is most likely not without some Interest for You, the manner in which I have treated the subject is in many respects new, and I hope however satisfactory. Communications of it are made to Europe from which I hope a return of accounts upon the manner in which the corresponding operations were made by the different Governments, who have mostly all of late remodelled their metric Systems; the Secretary of State has also directed by means of our foreign legation a collection of authentic Standards to be made which I shall in time compare, and obtain by it a very interesting and authentic collection of results, such as I believe have not yet been made to that extent.

I shall be happy if my work meets Your approbation I take the Liberty to avail myself of Your free postage and Your Kindness to join 2 Copies for the Virginia University, one for, I believe, our Common friend Senator Cabel, and one left free to Your disposition to any authority or Gentleman where it might usefull to introduce Uniformity in Weights and Measures thro the United States by occasioning calls from the States to have Standards furnished to them by the Treasury Department establishment under my direction. As has been introduced already by Pensylvania.

The Law for the Survey of the Coast of the Un: St: as framed in 1807. having been revived last Winter or rather, Session of Congress, I have again charge of that work, and have therefore last fall replaced such of my signals from my work of 1817. as I had need for the further prosecution of my task, which has become rather more difficult in its accessories, and by the deterioration of the Instruments, procured under Your administration, has lost of those means, that had been provided for it. Even my farther advanced period in life may be considered an increase of difficulties as I shall have to manage a less able phisical power to the same aim, therefore with more calculation, which I shall try to make as efficient as possible

Allow me Sir with this occasion to present You again my respects and best wishes & to claim Your Kind remembrance for Your obedt St

F: R: Hassler


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