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    • Peale, Charles Willson
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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...
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...
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,...
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...
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...
Your Polygraph will be put into the Mail Stage on tomorrow.   Desiring to make it as correct as possible prevented me from sending it sooner. one small deviation from your directions will I hope have your approbation; the top and bottom projecting so much beyond the Gallows as to shew the Riband. That you may have a choice of Pens, I have sent all the variety of Pen-cases. The Polygraph you...
Polygraph for Mr. Volney $60.— The Polygraph at Washington & that at Monticella being 60$ Instruments, 50$ on each of which having been paid, There remains a ballance of 10$ Each 20.—
When I was writing the other day on the preservation of Furs, it was my intention to have mentioned the method of taking away the Smell from them, and as many kinds of them are very offensive, I have thought it deserving another letter—but perhaps when the Furriers make up dresses they may have followed the practice of taking away the disagreable Scent, by some means or other, of which I am...
I have just received yours of the 3d instant, and regret that it did not arrive sooner, as it is not in my power to have one finished for tomorrows post, yet I will endeavor to have it sent by fridday’s Mail—The Desk is made and part of the Machinery done, the puting it together, fixing the Ink pots &c &c, especially as it is a novel size, will engage all our attentions tomorrow, I did not...
I have only time to inform you that the Polyh. is sent by this Mail Stage—that the Boxes for paper & Pens &c was made, but on tryal found a little too large, and we could not in time make others—my desire to give all possible Room for paper was cause of the mistake of ⅛ of an Inch in length. I did not attemp making lines on the Cloath, for that will be best done on your tryal of the machine &...
I have not been unmindful of the conversation we had on Stone ware for the purpose of cookery, and in Baltimore I went to the manufactory of such ware and obtained a list of their prices with the intent of sending it to you, under the Idea that you might wish to order some covered stew pans for the use of your Kitchen in lieu of those made of copper, which may at times be neglected to be tined...
Your Model for a very small Polygraph is now before me, to give a proper answer on it, I must first make some machinery to try if it is possible to write to the bottom of 8. vo Paper, and then find room within the Gallows when put down with said machinery. At present it really appears to be impossible for want of height in the perpendicular as well as lengths of the horizontals. however it is...
The Polygraph made for your use at Monticella has not yet arrived here, finding it did not come I went to the Stores where goods are deposited that come from Richmond &c, under the Idea that it might have been stored and no notice further taken on it, but I cannot get any intelligence about it. That which Mr. Beckley had and the Small one are received. we have machinery in readiness and as...
The Polygraph intended for your Secretary and that for Mr. Volney were shippd yesterday, and the other which you are pleased to order is now in hand; having one ready made of the same board of which your Polygraph top is made, with a black and white string on the edge, it has a neat look, but not so rich as those with a variety of strings of different colours—it is about ¾ of an Inch longer...
The small Polygraph mentioned in my letter of the 13th. has now the Machinery to it and will write to the bottom with ease—but at the same time, that I put this machinery in the hands of the workman, my Cabenet Maker began one which I am certain is of a better size, yet it is my wish that you should make your choise which may be done by the time that the several boxes for paper, Pens, Wafers...
By tomorrows mail-stage I mean to send in one packing-case, two Polygraphs; one that you ordered for your friend, and the other in exchange for the 8vo. Size. If, on tryal, you should like the larger better than the other, be so obliging as to inform me, and I will have one made, send it to you & take the other back. I beg you not to be afraid of giving me trouble in the exchange of the...
Your favor of the 12th. ult. enclosing the payment of Sixty Dollars for your small polygraph, received in a time of great hurry, I posponed answering as I ought to have done, but by this delay I can answer it to better effect, and the failling to write correctly in the first 4 or 5 lines of the Machine we think we can account for. My Sons having examined the machine for making the Pivot holes...
I have just returned from the Country, where my young family was during the late fever, and found with my Son Rubens here your favors of the 6th and 9th Instant   with latter he received the Fox Skins and the living Marmotte, it is a handsome little Animal, smaller and much more gentle than our Monax & I expect like it will not eat during the Winter, for this eats but little at present. It...
Yesterday I received the Articles by Captn. Elwood, the Polygraph has the Pivot piece, connecting the horizontal parralells to the Pen-bar, broken, and the Pen-arm on the right wanted to be Screwed up—This is a part of the Polygraph which may render it very faulty; if too much play is allowed in the conic points of the Screws that connect the Pen-arm to the Pen-bar. It was well judged in Mr....