Letter from Charles S. Peirce to Carlile P. Patterson
(New York, 18.05.1877)

Spanish translation & annotations


New York, 1877 May 18

C. P. Patterson Esq.
Supt. U. S. Coast Survey
Washington D. C.

Dear Sir,

Thank you for inserting the Note on the Economy of Research in the '76 report.

The abstract account of my experiments abroad was written to afford a basis for what was to be said of the matter in the Report. It was lost in Mr. Cooper's office as you are aware & when it was found again, it appeared that a piece had already been written to go into the report. That piece might be improved in accuracy, but it covered somewhat different ground from what I had written & I then


wrote a couple of pages to cover that ground. Of course, it is not my business to say what should go into your report, but what I first wrote was about my conception of what you were likely to want, and what I send last, was in consequence of a modified idea I obtained of what you wanted from what I saw was ready for insertion. What I have sent contains all the facts.

By the way, a very small point. Are not our ministers abroad called Excellencies? If not it is strange that America should insist on less respect being paid to


her representatives than is paid to these of other countries, France & Switzerland & the South American republics, for instance.

I have received back the French article without note or comment. I beg to hear whether my father did not say something about it. I will now add a piece to it showing the different length of the seconds pendulum obtained when it was supported on a slab between heavy masonry; together with the difference of flexure. These results are now got out, all but the measurement of the flexure of the stiffer support. My pendulum



relay did not work at all well on this support because it was on a separate table. The shrinking & swelling of the wood of which even in a short time would alter the position of the relay enough to give bad results. Still, I have one set of pretty good results, which will be sufficient for the purpose.

I am now getting a new support constructed which will be free from these inconveniences. The flexure even of the stiffest stand is considerable.

We are working pretty hard & I am sometimes in the field 12 or 18 hours in a day. If I had a tent in the grounds there, it would save some fatigue, but would probably be troublesome. I have made some observations of the vibrations at Columbia College but they are not decisive.

Very respectfully,

C. S. Peirce


Transcription by Sara Barrena (2016)
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: 9 de enero 2017
Última actualización: 17 de agosto 2017

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