Thomas Jefferson Papers

T. H. Pasley to Thomas Jefferson, 12 August 1816

From T. H. Pasley

Chatham 12 Augt 1816


I have taken the liberty to enclose you a Statement of the possibility to attain a Natural Standard for Weights & Measures that appears more perfect & determinate than that the Pendulum is capable of—The Subject has been under partial consideration here but nothing has been concluded on respecting it And Nothing proposed at the time but ye Pendulum

Should the Opinions I have formd on the Subject be correct1 they will no doubt under your Auspices2 be converted to the Public good—

With Sentiments of the greatest respect I remain

Sir Your Most Obedt Humb Servt

T H Pasley

RC (MHi); dateline at foot of text; adjacent to closing: “To Thos Jefferson Esq”; endorsed by TJ as received 5 Mar. 1817 from “Chatham Dockyard” and so recorded in SJL. Enclosure not found.

T. H. Pasley was probably with the Corps of Royal Engineers stationed at Chatham, England, the site of major British naval and military bases and the location of the Royal Dockyard. His publications on a wide variety of scientific topics included A Treatise on Heat, Flame, and Combustion (London, 1820), A Paper on the Dry Rot in Timber (Chatham, 1820), A Theory of Natural Philosophy on Mechanical Principles, divested of all immaterial Chymical Properties, Showing for the First Time the Physical Cause of Continuous Motion (1836), A Paper Showing the Use of the Spleen (1839), and The Philosophy which shows the Physiology of Mesmerism, and explains the Phenomenon of Clairvoyance (1848). In later years Pasley evidently resided on the isle of Jersey (Pasley to J. C. Robertson, 12 Aug. 1842, Mechanics’ Magazine, Museum, Register, Journal, and Gazette 37 [1842]: 183).

1Manuscript: “correect.”

2Manuscript: “Auspics.”

Index Entries

  • Jefferson, Thomas; Books & Library; works sent to search
  • Pasley, T. H.; identified search
  • Pasley, T. H.; letter from search
  • Pasley, T. H.; on natural standard for weights and measures search
  • pendulum; as basis for system of weights and measures search
  • weights, measures, and coinage; T. H. Pasley’s work on search