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    • Briggs, Isaac
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As a member of the American Philosophical Society I take the liberty of addressing its President. Although I feel much diffidence when, from an obscure and private station, I look up to that eminence upon which abilities and honors have placed thee; yet when I consider thee as the known friend and patron of useful Arts and Science, I am encouraged to solicit thy attention to some hints on a...
Will the President do me the favor to accept the enclosed pamphlet ; and the additional one to inform me of the title of Arthur Young’s performance, alluded to in a late conversation, so particularly as to enable me to procure the book? With deep impressions of esteem and respect, I am thy friend RC ( DLC ); endorsed by TJ as received 31 Jan. and so recorded in SJL ; also endorsed by TJ: “near...
It was with a high degree of satisfaction, I observed in a letter I lately received from my friend Dr. Saml L. Mitchill of New York, the following paragraph:—”In consequence of a suggestion of the President of the United States, I had previously written to Mr. L’Hommedieu an account of the Project of attempting to mature a National Agricultural Society. I hope these communications will have...
Wilt thou condescend to inform me, if a letter I wrote, dated 26th. of the 4th. Month 1802, ever reached thee? I meant it to be expressive of deference and respectful esteem; if I unfortunately used terms not adequate to that purpose, I have no other plea, in extenuation, than ignorance. I have not, nor have I had any views to office or emolument;—were I worthy, I think I know that I possess...
Agreeably to my promise , I have investigated thy Problem for finding the longitude by lunar observation. In reducing the operation to a practical formula, in every modification which I have been able to give it, a knowledge of the time of observation appears essential. Without a knowledge of the time, the Moon’s right ascension, or longitude may be found, and, from the Nautical Almanac, the...
Thy letter, dated 20th. of April, I received yesterday. I have had several applications for employment under me, to which my standing answer has been, that I shall make no appointments until I arrive at the scene of operation, and that those who wish a clerkship or deputyship must make their application to me there, where evidence of their suitableness, in all respects, will be my standard and...
Permit me to introduce to thee my youngest brother, Joseph Briggs, who is going with me to the Mississippi Territory, and whom I mean to employ as a clerk. I enclose a copy of a letter which I wrote to thee from Philadelphia, lest the original should have miscarried. I must have misunderstood Henry Voight, or he must have deceived himself, in the probable time when my Transit Instrument would...
On the 12th. of the month just past, I arrived at Natchez;—on the day following I waited on Governor Claiborne, who had provided for me an office in this place, and from whom I have experienced the highest proofs of friendship. In a few days after my arrival here, I was attacked with an intermittent fever; a greater prostration of strength, than I ever remember to have felt, was the...
Some time ago—very long after its date—the mail brought me thy favor of the 11th. of August. I had, as soon as it was possible for me, after my arrival in the Missisippi Territory, to give information which might be of any service to Gideon Fitz, taken the necessary care, by addressing a letter to him at Monticello. I have lately received a letter from him, dated at Louisville in Kentucky,...
I am here, with Robert Williams, on my way to the seat of Government. We expect to sail for Baltimore, within three or four days, in the Schooner Experiment, being the first vessel that offers. She is said to be a swift sailer; our hopes are therefore sanguine that we shall arrive in Washington before the end of next month. On the 10th. instant, by the mail, I wrote to the Secretary of the...
I had intended to be in the City this day—but my aged Father having come one hundred and thirty miles on a visit to me, and considering that two days delay would increase the probability of my meeting with the Secretary of the Treasury, I have ventured to remain at home until the day after tomorrow. On that day, I expect to be in the City. Accept my respectful esteem. RC ( DLC ); at foot of...
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...
No doubt it is matter of surprise that we proceed so slowly. Indeed when I undertook this journey and the astronomical survey, I had no adequate anticipation of the difficulties, fatigues and even dangers through which we have so far struggled. They principally arise from the inauspicious season of the year in which we have made the attempt. Had I been gifted with foreknowledge, I think it...
I am just arrived here in safety and good health after a journey, of the unavoidable delays, embarrassments, and fatigues of which I had no anticipation. I wrote to thee, on the 2nd. of the 10th. mo. from the southeastermost projection of Tallapoosa River, which I call Point Comfort Next morning (3d) we left Point Comfort, and proceeding on the Southeast side of Alabama River nearly parallel...
Although still in state of convalescence, and but just able to attend to business a few minutes at a time, I am fortunate enough to have finished a map of my route from the City of Washington to this place. I send it in a tin case by the same mail with this letter. Several weeks ago it wanted but the labor of a few hours of health to complete it. Having written to thee (on the 26th. of last...
By last mail, I sent my report of the Post Road—by the present I send a duplicate. I have not yet recovered my health sufficiently to be able to ride; but the day after tomorrow if I continue to mend, although at the very slow rate I have done, I intend to make the attempt—and leave this place for the Mississippi Territory. By the Brigg Friendship, Captain Donne, I send addressed to thee, the...
From New-orleans I sent by mail my report of the Post Road dated 22nd. of the 12th. mo. 1804, and by the next mail a duplicate, together with my account of expenses. On the 19th. instant I arrived here in good health. I avail myself of the first mail, to offer my ideas on the political situation of this Territory. The Legislature has been in session seven weeks, but owing to the political...
My last letter to thee was dated at this place, 29th. of the month just past, a few days after my arrival here from New-Orleans. In that letter I ventured some hints on the political situation of this Territory. Having since acquired more certain knowledge of the subject, and more in detail, I think it my duty to communicate it to the President with that candor and simple truth which I have...
Being informed that the office of United States’ Attorney for the district of Orleans is now vacant, I presume to mention for that appointment Lewis Kerr now resident in New-Orleans. He is a man of genius and very handsome acquirements—of sound integrity and pure republican principles. So far as I am capable of judging, he possesses considerable and competent professional skill, having been...
Some time ago I received thy acceptable letter of March 14. ’05. I have written to Governor Claiborne on the subject of La Fayette’s lands—be assured I will sedulously attent to it. I intended to have written to thee fully by the present mail, on several subjects, but am compelled by a press of business to defer most of them to the next, or to treat them more superficially than I wish to do.—...
By last mail, on the 11th. instant, I wrote to thee acknowledging the receipt of thy acceptable favour of March 14. ’05. During my short Stay with Colonel Hawkins, on my way through the Creek Nation, I endeavoured to discover his sentiments respecting a removal of the Indians to the West of the Mississippi. I soon found that with a man of his talents and accuteness of penetration, I had...
Having heard that the Commissioners for adjusting and reporting the evidences of claims to land in the Territory of Orleans had passed down the River, and considering it important that I should make some immediate arrangements for surveying lands claimed; on the 14th. instant, I departed for New Orleans, in order to consult the Board and make the necessary appointment of deputies. On the 22nd....
I am apprehensive that what I am about to write would by a mind less benevolent than thine be deemed at the present moment intrusive. I am aware of the important concerns which probably at this crisis must fill thy mind with anxiety, yet I venture to interrupt thee with a tale of my private affairs . I am no stranger to thy benevolence. I have been accustomed to commune with thee as with a...
About 12 days ago, I returned from an excursion up the Mississippi river. The object of this expedition was to ascertain, by celestial observation, the point where the Parallel of 33 degrees of north latitude intersects the western shore of the river; and also the longitude of that Point—to cause to be traced, marked and measured, as far, at Present, as the Ouachitta river the Boundary between...
Thy friendly dated April 26. 06 I received some time ago—I intend to reply to it fully by next mail—at present I can only request thy acceptance of all the thanks that gratitude and affection can feel. The object of this is to present to thee the bearer, my esteemed friend, Joseph Chambers, agent to the Chactaw trading house on Tombigbee River. I believe I have mentioned him to thee in some of...
I have before me thy favor dated April 26. 06. Thy own benevolent heart can estimate more justly than I can describe the grateful feelings excited in my mind by thy generous offer of reimbursing from thy private purse my expenses in exploring the Post-route to New Orleans. Although even this sum would be very convenient to me; yet, if due to me at all, it is due from the general purse of my...
Having fully ascertained the fact that I cannot continue my residence in the Southern Territories of the United States without abandoning the endearing Society of a beloved Wife and five promising children, or tearing my bosom-companion, invincibly reluctant, from her numerous relations deservedly dear to her, I earnestly request leave to resign my commission as Surveyor of the lands of the...
Permit me to introduce to thee the bearer, Joseph Dunbar, a respectable citizen of the Mississippi Territory. The family of which he is a member and his connexions are extensive and respectable. He is now on his way home, expressed a desire to see thee, and will think himself honored and obliged by any commands thou mayst have to that Territory. I duly received, at Brookville, thy note of the...
A few days since, I returned from the Eastward, where I had been viewing and examining in operation the various machinery for manufacturing cotton.    Thy favor of the 12 ultimo came to Brookeville during my absence, and remained there until my return. This will account for my not sooner attending to thy request. I am so far from feeling it a trouble, that to have the power and opportunity of...
I have accompanied to this City my friend Jesse Kersey, a minister of our Society, who is desirous to have a religious meeting with such of the inhabitants of this place as are willing to attend. The place appointed is the Baptist Meeting house at the intersection of 18 Street W and J Street N. Meeting to commence at 6 o’clock this evening. Jesse Kersey is a Minister in high esteem not only...
May I intrude on that retirement where from a dignified elevation the mind looks over the extensive scene of a well spent life, and nothing meets the vision but the placid images of an approving conscience? Yes, there the voice of friendship will be heard—the incidents of former days will be remembered—and the faultering tongue of humility will not plead in vain. I have again petitioned...
Thy kind letter of 27 Ultimo , I received on the 2 instant. It was like a healing balm to my wounded mind. I immediately called on the Secretary of the Treasury —He shewed me thy communication to him —on perusing it, his presence was scarcely a restraint sufficient to prevent my tears, the warm effusions of gratitude. On the 4, I wrote to my wife and children, now in Wilmington , a narrative...
Thy kind favor, of Apr 17. 16 , had been forwarded from Brookeville to this place, my present residence, during a second journey I have made to Washington City . I returned yesterday. While in the Metropolis, I conceived an expectation, which is not still exists, of an employment s either in the survey of the line between the United States and the British possessions, from the source of S t
I feel myself treading on sacred ground when I approach the scenes illuminated and made glorious by the mild lights of a long life uniformly dedicated to usefulness and to virtue. With veneration I approach the Wisdom of age—with love I approach my friend—yet with these delightful feelings is mixed some reluctance, when, for an object quite selfish, I invade the tranquility of thy retirement...
I arrived here the day before yesterday—and I have this day received the appointment of surveyor for the contemplated grand Canal. My friend Thomas Eddy of this City, who has generally been in the first rank amongst his fellow citizens as an active and efficient promoter of useful and benevolent works, who has long been one of the commissioners for this particular object, and who , though he...
On the 15 or 16 instant I wrote to thee from New York , informing thee that I had received an appointment from the Canal commissioners for employment in the mathematical department for making the grand Canal between the Western and Northern Lakes and the Atlantic Ocean . In that letter I expressed my decided opinion that if the Commissioners could avail the public of the talents and services,...
Be pleased to accept the enclosed little pamphlet as a small testimony of that esteem and love for thee which will, I hope, never end. I am employed as Engineer of on the Grand Canal from Lake Erie to New York . Its progress is auspicious. Some miles of it are already finished. RC ( MHi ); at foot of text: “ Thomas Jefferson ”; endorsed by TJ as received 23 Dec. 1817 and so recorded in SJL ....
Permit me to introduce to thee my young friend Herman Boye. He is by birth a Dane, very modest and unassuming, yet possessing a handsome stock of science. He has been appointed to complete the map of Virginia left unfinished by Wood, and I think the appointment a good one. I need not say more, as he will present himself to thy observation. I will speak now of myself. The Board of Public Works...