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The Jeffersonian cyclopedia;

a comprehensive collection of the views of Thomas Jefferson classified and arranged in alphabetical order under nine thousand titles relating to government, politics, law, education, political economy, finance, science, art, literature, religious freedom, morals, etc.;
3 occurrences of jefferson cyclopedia
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2168. DELUGE, Arguments against the.—
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3 occurrences of jefferson cyclopedia
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2168. DELUGE, Arguments against the.—

Near the eastern foot of the NorthMountain
[of Virginia] are immense bodies of
Schist, containing impressions of shells in a
variety of forms. I have received petrified
shells of very different kinds from the first
sources of Kentucky, which bear no resemblance
to any I have ever seen on the tide-waters. It
is said that shells are found in the Andes, in
South America, fifteen thousand feet above the
level of the ocean. This is considered by many,
both of the learned and unlearned, as a proof
of an universal deluge. To the many considerations
opposing this opinion, the following May
be added: The atmosphere, and all its contents,
whether of water, air, or other matter, gravitate
to the earth; that is to say, they have
weight. Experience tells us, that the weight of
all these together never exceeds that of a column
of mercury of 31 inches height, which is
equal to one of rain water of 35 feet high. If
the whole contents of the atmosphere, then
were water, instead of what they are, it would
cover the globe but 35 feet deep; but as these
waters, as they fell, would run into the seas,
the superficial measure of which is to that of the
dry parts of the globe, as two to one, the seas
would be raised only 52½ feet above their present
level, and of course would overflow the
lands to that height only. In Virginia this would
be a very small proportion even of the champaign
country, the banks of our tide waters
being frequently, if not generally, of a greater
height. Deluges beyond this extent, then, as
for instance to the North mountain or to Kentucky,
seem out of the laws of nature. But
within it they may have taken place to a greater
or less degree, in proportion to the combination
of natural causes which may be supposed to have
produced them.—
Notes on Virginia. Washington ed. viii, 275. Ford ed., iii, 116.