Letter from Charles S. Peirce to Carlile P. Patterson
(Paris, 21.11.1875)

Spanish translation & annotations


Paris, 1875 November 21



C. P. Patterson Esq.

Superintendent U. S. Coast Survey

Washington D. C.



Dear Sir,

I have received your telegram of the 20th ultimo in which you say that you have written on that day. I have also received a letter from Mr. Hawkins in which he gives a statement of my account. But I have not received the simple information for which I have asked so often. I will restate my inquiry & state why it is essential that I should have it. You might telegraph it to me in a single word. If I do not hear by the end



of the year I shall (…) passage to America by the first steamer, as I have a right I believe always to visit the office for necessary information.

The information I desire is this: Suppose I spend 1000 francs for party expenses, for which 1000 francs I pay $200 in gold or $235 in currency. In my vouchers, am I to charge $200 or $235 as expended?

I will now give some reasons why it is essential to one to know how this is.

1. If my vouchers were in, I have no doubt that Mr. Hein would be indebted to me and consequently I could draw upon him. Now I must draw upon him or go without money because I have no further


credit. But at present I do not dare to do so so that I am in a very bad position, indeed. So much so that unless you will extricate me from it by simply telegraphing to me gold or currency, it is doubtful whether I shall have the money to get home.

2. I have constantly expected this information because the last day I saw you, you promised to make the necessary application to the secretary the next day & to let me know the result & because I have been constantly asking for it & in consequence of always expecting this needful information, I have deferred putting my accounts in order, until they have fallen into a state of confusion which must be a great loss to me. Is it too much to ask that I should know how to make out my vouchers?

3. The matter makes a great difference in the amount I have to spend, & I wish to know


where I am.

4. I can of course have no vouchers signed for all the instruments etc. which I am purchasing which is very distasteful to me & contrary to the regulations.

5. Possibly there may be some fault to be found with some habit of mine about my expenses or the mode of making them out. There might be a desire to require a different method but when I can get no information in, in consequence of your unwillingness to give me the information I have asked for so many times, I take it you will guarantee that everything of the kind I mention shall be paid.

I really cannot believe that you have read the many letters in which I have repeated this inquiry.

Yours very respectfully,

C. S. Peirce




Transcription by Sara Barrena (2015)
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: 11 de marzo 2015
Última actualización: 11 de marzo 2015

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