Thomas Jefferson Papers

From Thomas Jefferson to David Rittenhouse, 19 March 1791

To David Rittenhouse

Saturday. Mar.1 19. 1791.

Dear Sir

I have to regret that having rode into the country yesterday afternoon, I did not return till it was too late either to take tea with you, or to go to the society, where I should have been pleased to hear Mr. Barton’s paper read. Will you be so good as to express to him my regrets?

I send for your acceptance some sheets of drawing-paper, which being laid off in squares representing feet, or what you please, saves the necessity of using the rule and dividers in all rectangular draughts and those whose angles have their sines and co-sines in the proportion of any integral numbers. Using a black lead pencil the lines are very visible, and easily effaced with Indian rubber to be used for any other draught. I am Dear Sir Yours affectionately,

Th: Jefferson

RC (Miss Elizabeth Sergeant Abbot, Philadelphia, 1954); addressed: “Mr. Rittenhouse.” Not recorded in SJL.

The paper that William Barton read before the American Philosophical Society on the 18th was in the form of a letter to David Rittenhouse, dated 17 Mch. 1791, and published in the Society’s Transactions, m (1793), 25–62, under the title “Observations on the probabilities of the Duration of Human Life and the Progress of Population in the United States.” See TJ to Rittenhouse, 21 Mch. 1791.

1TJ first wrote “evening” and then altered it to read as above.

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