James Madison Papers

To James Madison from Benjamin Silliman, 3 March 1818

From Benjamin Silliman

New Haven March 3d 1818.


I beg leave to apologize for the liberty I am taking while I request your kind influence in favour of this first effort to concentrate American Science on a general plan;1 & should both the scheme & execution in any good degree merit your approbation I should feel much honoured by receiving your countenance & favour. With sentiments of great respect & consideration I am Sir your very obt & obliged servt

B Silliman2


1The enclosure (DLC: James Madison Pamphlet Collection, Rare Book and Special Collections Division) was a prospectus for the quarterly periodical, the American Scientific Journal ([New Haven, Conn.], 1818; Shaw and Shoemaker description begins R. R. Shaw and R. H. Shoemaker, comps., American Bibliography: A Preliminary Checklist for 1801–1819 (22 vols.; New York, 1958–66). description ends 43902), edited by Silliman. For the background of this publication, see Chandos Michael Brown, Benjamin Silliman: A Life in the Young Republic (Princeton, N.J., 1989), 304–10.

2Benjamin Silliman (1779–1864) was a graduate of Yale College and served as its first professor of chemistry and natural history, 1802–53. By his teaching, writing, public lecturing, and editing of a scientific journal, he established himself as an influential man of science in the United States in the first half of the nineteenth century.

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