Letter from Charles S. Peirce to Carlile P. Patterson
(London, 27.07.1876)

Spanish translation & annotations


London 1876 July 27

Dear Sir

I have your letter of the 10th. My work is substantially finished and is well done. I am detained a little longer but some small but indispensible matters. During my European campaign I have had between 90 & 100 days of recorded observations & about 250 in all of actual work with the apparatus. To that is to be added much time spent on seeing people & instruments and making arrangements. I have also devoted much energy to the study of the theory of the whole business from its most general to its most special aspects. Not very much of my personal time has been given to computations. What has made my work so hard has really been my photometry book. It was all ready for the press when I left America but two important books were published which made it necessary for me to do a great deal on it, & then I looked up some


manuscripts in London & Paris & bought some rare books  which enabled me to make great improvements. I also foolishly undertook some recomputations without any resulting advantage & all that made an immense amount of work for me.

However, it is not chiefly overwork that I am suffering from. It is mental distress about my accounts and about certain private matters. It is true that I had been working very hard & in a dark room a good deal at the time my nervous attacks became so noticeable. But since then I have been taking matters easier & am now perfectly able to work at my pendulum business. I therefore don’t want any vacation on my return beyond a few days. But I am suffering from extreme sensitiveness of the nerves & consequently find everything which excites me very hard to do. Letters, for instance. What I need is to work calmly if I can manage it.

To complete my work I must swing my reversible pendulum in at last one American station. Better at 3 –Cambridge, Washington,


& New York. And I must make comparisons of standards of length & determinations of coefficients of expansion. Then the reductions. And then the report is to be written. It will be quite long, over 100 pages of C. S. report.

I expect to draw upon Mr. Hein for $400 more, in paper, before my return. Unless certain expenses in Kew of which I haven’t yet the bills are more than I expect that should be all.

My accounts up to July 1, 1876, will be forwarded in a few days.

The year has been a very unfortunate one to me in various ways, but the work which I came abroad to do has been successfully accomplished.

I feel very grateful to you for all your indulgence to my shortcomings & I am going to set to work & finish up this work & get it ready for publication as soon as I can & I hope you will find that it is well done.

Yours respectfully,

C. S. Peirce




C. P. Patterson Esq.

Supt. U. S. Coast Survey

Washington D. C.



Traducción de Sara Barrena (2014)
Una de las ventajas de los textos en formato electrónico respecto de los textos impresos es que pueden corregirse con gran facilidad mediante la colaboración activa de los lectores que adviertan erratas, errores o simplemente mejores transcripciones. En este sentido agradeceríamos que se enviaran todas las sugerencias y correcciones a sbarrena@unav.es
Proyecto de investigación "Charles S. Peirce en Europa (1875-76): comunidad científica y correspondencia" (MCI: FFI2011-24340)

Fecha del documento: 14 de enero 2015
Última actualización: 20 de enero 2015

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