Letter from Charles S. Peirce to Carlile P. Patterson
(New York, 24.01.1877)

Spanish translation & annotations


New York, 1877 Jan 24


Dear Sir,

In regard to my papers for the Report I think it important to publish as soon as possible my paper on the flexure of the pendulum stand. But for that I need a few more observations & to make those I need a little thing from an instrument maker which I have not yet succeeded in getting done. I think however that that paper will be ready in 3 weeks. My paper on the arrangement of observations only needs to be copied. As for the synopsis of my book, I have been working a


great deal over it without any very satisfactory results. The truth is that it is next to impossible to write mathematics down to the level which seems to be regarded as necessary for a Coast Survey Report. And when the difficult feat has been accomplished the result is excessively disagreeable to me. Now it is impossible to publish a synopsis of my book until the contents of the whole are pretty accurately known & the style to be adopted is quite decided on. I doubt if that can be done in time for the 75 report. I will send you a piece of the book written in two different ways & you can pronounce


your judgment upon the matter.

I have some thing else which you might possibly like to insert in the Coast Survey Report. When I was in Paris I found that the best MS of Ptolemy's catalogue of stars had never been properly transcribed. This I did & have set them down on a modern atlas & have the materials for new & improved identifications of them. I therefore propose to make a new edition of Ptolemy’s catalogue with identifications & notes. Also with a planisphere showing the stars & the figures of the ancient constellations, which I carefully studied some years ago & had laid down on my globe. I have considered the projection of the sphere to be adopted



&, setting out with the following conditions, I have invented two means of satisfying them. The conditions are:

1. The map must preserve the angles, like Mercator's and the Stereographic projection.

2. It must put the whole sphere on one finite map.

3. It must bring the sphere into an oblong shape, suitable for a page.

Both methods involve Elliptic Integrals. Perhaps you would like a brief description of these projections of the sphere (as well as some others of my invention) even if you don't want the Catalogue of Ptolemy.

Yours very respectfully

C. S. Peirce

Transcription by Max Fisch, revised 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: 2 de noviembre 2016
Última actualización: 17 de agosto 2017

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