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The terms of approbation with which you mention my Lecture and Museum , afford me much gratification; since I have scarcely a thought not devoted to the perfection of my scheme. From my knowledge of the Interest which you have always felt in whatever concerned the comfort of Man or the Benefits of Society, I am induced to think that even in the important Station to which our Nation has called...
While offering to your acceptance the two enclosed Publications, I am prompted by my knowledge of your attachment to the Arts & Sciences, to intrude upon a few of your leisure moments. I remember in an early stage of the Museum, your obliging recommendation to my attention of the works of Buffon; and since I have been obliged to gain a more critical knowledge of Natural history, his writings...
It gives me pleasure to inform you that I am so far on my return to the Museum with the Bones which were lately dug up at Shawangunk, in the county of Ulster. with the purchase of these I have also the right from the owner of the land to take up the remainder, when I can be prepared to undertake so important a work. I have viewed the Grounds, and have laid my plan, or rather plans to overcome,...
Believing you would be pleased in knowing my success in a trip up the north river, by the purchase of the Bones in the possession of Mr. Mastens. Although an object of great importance to me, in undertaking the journey I had very faint prospects of the issue. On my return to New York elated with the hopes of seeing the Skeleton of the Mamoth put togather, I hastily wrote to inform you of my...
Your favour of the 29th. July I did not receive until I had reached the place of bones, when I should have been pleased to have answered it, had it been possible or proper to have taken my attentions from engagments so earnest & constant. The use of a powerful Pump might have saved me 50 or 60 Dollars expence, but perhaps the obligation to return one belonging to the Public in a limited time,...
The laborious, tho’ pleasing task of mounting the Mammoth Skeleton being done, gives me leisure to attend to other Interests of the Museum. The constant accumulation of articles not only of this but also of other Countries—increasing my imbarrisments to know how to dispose them for exhibition and public utility—these difficulties I expect will be greatly encreased after my Sons have visited...
The time is now fully arrived when it has become expedient to decide the fate of the Museum to which Pennsylvania has given birth. It has commanded every exertion in my power for 16 years, and meeting with public approbation has certainly arrived to considerable Maturity; but from the uncertain tenure of human life it may not long continue in the same circumstances in which it has progressed,...
Receive my assurances of obligation for the politeness and punctuality with which you have answered my question .—Altho’ I conceived it proper, without any loss of time, to make such applications as might insure the preservation and advancement of the Museum, particularly as at the present moment many of the articles are piled in confusion on each other for want of Room; Yet I have determined...
Your obliging letter wrote at the moment you were setting out for Monticello,—I sent to my Son Rembrandt at New York, and I doubt not he will profit by your hints of different times and prices, to seperate and accomodate the Variety of Company that probably will desire a sight of the Skeleton. In order to improve and fit my Son Rubens to conduct my Museum, I have permited him to accompany his...
The Bone from Mr Jno. Brown I have received to day, and great was my surprise to find it in form corrisponding to the ox, which the enclosed drawing will best explain. It is a proof that the Indian Tradition has a good foundation. It certainly must have been a Buffalo of vast size , for compairing this fragment with the same parts of a common Ox and its size may pretty nearly be computed to be...
View of the Upper Part From the Suter H the center of the Head to root of the horn I 7 Inches From the place of Insertion of the muscles of the Neck K to the fore part of the upper head broke off at L 10 Inches. The weight of this piece is 35 ℔ MS ( DLC : TJ Papers, 124:21495); in Peale’s hand.
View of the Back part that Joins the neck From A to B 2 feet 5 Inches. Circumference at C 21 Inches. { The Hollow part above F I believe is part of the Cavity to receive the muscles that lift the under Jaw. at G is the inner surface corrisponding, measurement across 9 Inches. That part which should join the hind part comprising the Ear is defficient. ditto at D 17 Inches— E hole for the spinal...
When I wrote last, the 10th. Ult., the head of a Common Ox then before me was so imperfect as to lead me into an error about the width of the horns—since I have procured a head from a Butcher, who did not brake the Scull, which cleaned and free’d from the horns, I find the measurement from pith to pith of the Horns is Inches. I also observe that the difference of form between this head and...
View of the back part of the Scull of the common Ox. MS ( DLC : TJ Papers, 124:21492); in Peale’s hand, with a line and notation indicating “passage to the Brain.”
View of Bone from Kentucky, presented the American Philosophical Society. MS ( DLC : TJ Papers, 124:21493); in Peale’s hand, with a line and notation on the lower left side of the diagram indicating “Hollow to recieve the Angle of the under Jaw,” a line and notation on the lower right indicating “Passage to the Brain,” and a label across a portion of the diagram, “broken.”
MS ( DLC : TJ Papers, 124:21494); in Peale’s hand; his label on the larger angle in the diagram is “The Angle of the head of fossil Bone from Kentucky”; his label on the smaller angle is “Angle of the profile of the Top of the head and the part joining the atlass and neck of the common Ox”; his label near the bottom of the diagram is “NB The dotted lines the curving of each profile.”
A Gentleman from Virginia lately viewing the Skeleton of the mammoth, told me that 9 miles from the sweet Springs in Green bryer County, a few months past, was found in a Salt petre cave some large Bones, which they supposed, from the hole in one of Vertebræ’s, measuring 9 Inches in circumference, was of a larger species of the Mammoth than my Skeleton, and that a bone of one of the claws...
Mr. Hunter is returned from Kentucky and tells me that the account of the upper part of the Skull of the Mammoth being found at Barry’s Salt lick in Kentucky, is altogather a fabrication, no such bone found there—A New Englander detailed to me the same account except the difference of 2 pounds of the weight, as was afterwards published in a Virginia paper. I am infinitely obliged to you for...
9 January 1803, Museum. At the request of his friend John I. Hawkins, writes to inform JM of Hawkins’s invention of a machine to multiply copies of writing or music. Hawkins “some time past pondered whether he ought to take a Patent, as one had already been granted for similar purposes,” but inquiry showed “his invention is totally different, being a simple movement of paralell Rulers with...
I have received letters from my Sons dated Octr 14th, about two weeks after they had opened their exhibition of the Skeleton of the Mammoth. They inform me, although but little company had visited the Room yet they were respectable and seemed pleased. my Sons had not then published in the news papers, and probably not known to the Public. they had only thrown out a few hand-bills Enclosed I...
The Physiognotrace invented by Mr. Hawkins is made strong, because subject to be handled by all sorts of People that visit the Museum—The enclosed drawing and explanation of it, is rough, but correct—and I hope will give you a perfect Idea of all the essential parts of it. Mr. Hawkins has also contrived another Index, which is designed to give the lines of a ¾ face; the lines of the hair,...
14 February 1803, Museum. “Be pleased to accept the inclosed. Should you ever meet me in the Museum I may then tell you to whom the letter was originally intended. … It would give me pleasure to be able to trace out the probable progress of the museum while under my care, and to Devise with you the best means for its permanent Establishment.” FC ( PPAmP ). 1 p. Printed in Miller, Selected...
The enclosed essay on health is dressed to render it more worthy of your acceptance, and in this neither seeking compliments on it, or supposing it can give you any light, but knowing you will appreciate my Motive for making the Publication, that of bringing some of my acquaintance to reflection and then reformation. Should that be the case in a single instance my labour will not be thrown...
At last I have received Letters from my Sons in London—their neglect of writing, as I expected, was in part caused by an unwillingness to give me uneasiness at their want of success in their exhibition —but having lowered the price of 2/6 to one shilling for each Visitor, their income is greatly increased; nearly tribled, and some Gentleman who had visited their Room twice since the date of...
After a long silence Rembrandt again communicates to me, dated London March 28th.—1803. “ The best news I can tell you , is that we are all well from, Influenza, coughs & colds, and feel the balmy breath of Spring; Nothing but a tempory Fog obscures the morning Sun, our Parlour fire is extinguished, the buds are bursting & the fragrant Hyacinth is drest in all her gaiety: such a pleasing...
I have just received a letter from my Son Raphaelle at Norfolk, in which he says, a Doctr. Willson has promissed him “on his word of honour, that he will have conveyed to me a great many of the Bones of the Magalonic—Legs—feet—thighs—Vertebræ &c. he hopes the remainder may ere this have been dug from the Salt Petre cave, they are in colour and texture like those belonging to the A.P.S.—he...
Yesterday General Proctor called on me with the enclosed Letter to make what use I pleased with it, only reserving him a copy, which I have done. A knowledge of the upper part of the head, is indeed very desirable—The Cranium and Nasal bones particularly, as being wholly deficient in my Skeleton. I marval what are the teeth which he says weighs 19 or 20 pounds, can they be grinders—The largest...
I have just received the enclosed Pamphlet with Letters from my Sons —they closed their Exhibition of the Skeleton of the Mammoth the 18th. of June, and with every exertion have not been able to pay all their expences in London, are gone to Reading, 40 miles distant from London, The Mayor had been so obliging as give them the use of the Common Counsel Hall; prepairing to put up the Skeleton...
Such Instruments as we are daily in the habit of using should be made as perfect as possible, or as human invention can make them, not only the facility of use but also their durebility must constitute a great part of their value in the economy of time, (so precious to a thinking man) that a moderate expence of first cost, will weigh light in comparison with the estimate of a constant saving....
Yours of the 27th. Ult. and 1st. Instant I have received.—A Polygraph with the alterations you desire, and also Brunelle’s, which I have borrowed for your inspection, will both be sent by a Packet, said to sail on wednesday next. The defects of the Pens in that which Mr. Latrobe lent you, I can readily account for, therefore it is easily cured. I have much to say on this subject, and doubt not...
Yours of 9th. Instant I received to day, and by the enclosed you will see that I have shiped two Polygraphs for you: No. 2 is Brunelle’s. The Brig is now in the stream, and will sail early tomorrow. The present appearance of the weather promises her a good wind, and I hope she will arrive before your departure for Monticello. The Captain promises me, that as soon as he reaches Alexandria, he...
A french-man; an Indian trader from new Orleans, brought here in the sickly season last summer a Grisley- bear to exhibit. enclosed is one of his Bills—he expected to make a fortune by the Animal, but he was disappointed, altho’ it differed considerably from the common, yet nevertheless it was a Bear, & as such did not excite much curiosity. I bought his Bear, and intended keeping him untill...
Your drawings of a Polygraph I received in due time. It was my intention to have wrote, that you might have received the letter soon after your arrival at Monticella, as about that time I made the discovery, that the fault of incorrect writing with the Polygraphs ought not to have been attributed to the boards the paper rested on, but to the incorrectness of the drilling machine. Having made a...
Yours of the 15th Instant received yesterday. The Cabinet work of your Polygraph is nearly complete, it is a neat and good piece of work but without any ornaments of fineering. I am now making tryal of the machinery and finding some advantage by a different length of the horozontal part. I have ordered such to be made as I think will best suit the desk; something shorter than that you have in...
Your Polygraph was nearly finished before I received your favor of the 21st. Instant, and your improvement to command the pull of the spiral Spring shall be made to it. The Machine appears on a short tryal of it, to perform with great accuracy & considerable freedom. The joints are made to fit close without being stiff, and I have thought it best, not to use a single drop of oil in puting it...
The Baron requests me to present his compliments that he will do himself the pleasure to wait on you with Messrs. Bonpland & Montufar. Doctr Woodhouse also desires me to include his respects that he will also wait on you. Doctr Fothergill is not at present within, but I shall see him this afternoon—& I believe he will isteem your invitation, an honour not to be neglected—& therefore I answer...
My Sons here are very desireous of having the outline of your profile taken in the size which the argand Lamp will give on the wall, resting the head against a beer or other long Glass. It will only be the loss of one minute of time to sit, while Mr Burrill might trace the shadow with a Pencil, from which my Son Raphaelle can cut it out, and with his Physiognotrace produce numbers. The...
Making use of a Polygraph which is placed in the Room of my Sons Exhibition of the Skeleton of the Mammoth, that had one of the steel pens broke (a case which may often occur by philipping them against a table to free them of Ink) and a quill pen having been substituted, it appears to me an improvement. The advantages are, that from the quill which hold more, the ink flows more readily; the...
I Send enclosed a clumsey pen-case, the want of a clamp machine for making screws (which cannot be had at present in Philadelphia) obliged him to use the Clockmakers screw plate, which has too strong a thread to admit the pieces screwed, to be made thinner. But if this invention is found to be useful I shall then endeavor to get made the proper tools for making fine threads to screws of large...
My son Rembrandt now at Baltemore exhibiting his Skeleton of the Mammoth, writes me as follows. “Saterday there was a young man here, lately (4 weeks) from Pittsburg, who saw Reeder and his Bones. He gave me a very accurate description of them. He has a very fine thigh bone much like mine, an underjaw not so large as mine but a good deal broken, a great number of back bones of different...
22 July 1804, Museum. “I was at New York preserving the Fishes of that Market for my Museum, when your letter respecting the Polygraph was received by my Son Rubins, who has not been inatentive to that business, and by this time one would have been sent, but the workmen had been imployed in finishing one, like the Presidents, ordered for Mr. John Armstrong to be sent without delay to New York....
Your Polygraph is in the Schooner Charming Mary, Captn. Potter, now on his passage to Richmond—It is in a tight packing case agreable to your directions. I have fortunately found an ingenious invention of Mr. Stansbury Junr. of New York for making several pens of a single quil, which will apply well to the Polygraph, I send enclosed a specemen of his Pens—and as soon as I can have made a pr....
The enclosed pen-cases I flatter myself will be found very convenient, the slits are made longer for the stay-pin to moove a greater distance, & therefore will require less attention to the length of the quill.   on reconsidering the last paragraph of my letter of the 22d, I have thought that a sketch in addition would have better illustrated Mr. Latrobes improvement of the cover of the...
This morning my son Rembrandt shewed me his invention of Pens to hold a greater quantity of Ink than Pens made in the common fashion—with the hope that you will be as pleased with it as myself, I hasten to send you the enclosed Pens, and as every trifle which tends to the economizing of time must be valuable to those of industrous habits, I beleive I am in my line of duty in not delaying this...
Inclosed are the spiral springs you desire in yours of the 19th. instant The loop is easily made thus, cut off the spring to the length desired with cutting-nippors—with a knife open two rings, and then with Plyers twist them to a right angle. I am much pleased by your approbation of this invention, and hope that others will also find the utility of it. The wire netting is certainly an...
Your letter of the 15th. also the Model I have received—and I doubt not by clamping the boards with pieces 3 Inches wide, to prevent the warping—which boards will ever do if pieces are put one on the other with the grain in opposite directions—and provided the joints are made without the least shake, That such a Machine may be made very useful to travelers—several of whom visiting the Museum...
Several days I have been meditating to write and give you a description of Mr. Hawkins’s improvements on the Polygraph, but as you have returned to Washington, where I will send one as soon as it can be completed for the Secretary of States office, as one has been ordered some time past—I am not sorry for the delay I made—for while I was making some additional improvements to it, that from Mr....
By the Mail Stage I have sent you two Polygraphs in one Box. The ease with which writing may be done with either of them, I hope will determine you to send me your Polygraph by the same conveyance, in order that I may put new Machinery to it, which may be done in a few days and returned to you. I have made some improvements in the manufacture of the Machinery to render it more durable and less...
The Polygraph you desire for Mr. Volney is in the hands of my Workmen, who are pleased in the Idea of shewing their skill in nice American workmanship. I will inform you when it is complete, and shortly send you a Polygraph in Mr. Hawkins mode with the addition of the screw pens. The one you now use may then be despossed off to some Person in Washington who may wish to have it. Your Letter...
Puting some of the Machinery togather will complete the Polygraph you intend for Mr. Volney—It is very handsome, I expect will perform better than that you have, and may be esteemed a princely present.   One for your use is in hand, and will be made according to the desire expressed in your Letter of the 17th. Instant—the workmanship will be a specimen for you to judge of the merrits of the...