Thomas Jefferson Papers

To Thomas Jefferson from Jonathan Williams, 20 June 1796

From Jonathan Williams

Mount Pleasant on schuylkill June 20. 1796.

Dear Sir

Some time since I conveyed to you, through the medium of Mr. Maddison, a transcript of my barometrical Journal over some of the mountains in Virginia. As the philosophical Society are about publishing another Volume, and as the Committee of selection have put my paper on the list for publication, I am extreemly desirous of receiving your answer to my last, that I may avail myself of your friendly advice whether to permit this publication or not. I found the calculated heights of these mountains to be so much below the Ideas that travellers have formed of them, that I had determined not to bring my Journal forward, but the advice of such Friends as Dr. Rittenhouse and Mr. Patterson, overcame my scruples; and I was much encouraged by a passage in your Notes on Virginia, page 18, where you suppose the highest peak of Otter to be about 4000 feet, “from data, which may found a tolerable conjecture.

I should be highly gratified to know what these data are, and whether, by them, my calculations are supported or not; and if at the same time you would enrich the proposed Volume by the result of your philosophical Observations during your late retirement, the Society would be highly sensible of your remembrance of the Object of its Institution. I am with great Respect & esteem Dear sir Your obedient Servant

Jona Williams

RC (MoSHi: Jefferson Papers); at foot of text: “Hon Mr. Jefferson”; endorsed by TJ as received 2 July 1796 and so recorded in SJL.

Conveyed to you: see Williams to TJ, 24 Jan. 1796, and enclosures.

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