Letter from Charles S. Peirce to Carlile P. Patterson
(New York, 06.09.1877)

Spanish translation & annotations


New York, 1877 Sep. 6

My dear Sir,

Yours of the 29th went astray so that I did not receive it until this morning. I will send you tomorrow a memorandum of the reasons for sending me to Stuttgart and Berlin. Meantime permit me to explain that the full account which you



desire of the details of my flexure investigation has already passed through your hands & has been sent out for publication. It was asked for in consequence of lack of precise information at the last meeting. I have not heard that it has been received and it is possible that it has been lost in the mail. I will immediately have another copy made and sent to you and I think you had better for-



ward it to Gen. Ibañez in case I am not sent in person. If I go, I shall be armed with a copy of course. General Baeyer’s inability to give an account of the matter was not due to want of information, as he witnessed the experiments, but to the unreadiness of memory of old age.

You will therefore see that the paper by me has already been submitted to you & sent by you for publication; but allow

me to suggest that the meetings of the Association resemble the deliberations of a committee and that the important things are not so much papers (which are only written by persons whose minds are made up) as they are the discussions & deliberations which in my opinion are likely this year to be of a nature to affect greatly the future of pendulum work. The reductions of the Berlin work are nearly complete and


will be ready to take with me. Meantime I have made a preliminary reduction which is supposed to be correct to 5 places of decimals, perhaps a little more. This gives as the time of oscillation, in sidereal seconds, at 13.7º of the thermometer used as follows: (3 pages of calculus)

This gives as the correct value of the length of the seconds pendulum at Berlin

0.994232 (preliminary) (with a probable error of 4 in the last place)



C. S. P. and Bessel found 0.m9942318 an agreement really surprising. This result will be considered at Stuttgart as a strong confirmation of the truth of my position.

Yours very respectfully,

C. S. Peirce


C. P. Patterson Esq.
Sup't U. S. Coast Survey

I have a long letter to you now in the hands of a clerk & shall write another tomorrow in order to supply you with all you ask.

My final result for Berlin will have a probable error of less than 0m.000002, which is very small.


Transcription by Sara Barrena (2017)
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 "La correspondencia del tercer viaje europeo de Charles S. Peirce (septiembre-noviembre 1877)"

Fecha del documento: 3 de octubre 2017
Última actualización: 16 de octubre 2017

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