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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.;

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5174. METEORIC STONES, Origin.—
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5174. METEORIC STONES, Origin.—

[With respect] to the stone in your possession, supposed meteoric, its descent from the atmosphere
presents so much difficulty as to require
careful examination. But I do not know that
the most effectual examination could be made
by the members of the national Legislature, to
whom you have thought of exhibiting it.
* * * I should think that an inquiry by
some of our scientific societies, * * * would be likely to be directed * * * with
such knowledge of the subject, as would inspire
a general confidence. We certainly are not to
deny whatever we cannot account for. A thousand
phenomena present themselves daily which
we cannot explain, but where facts are suggested,
bearing no analogy with the laws of
nature as yet known to us, their verity needs
proofs proportioned to their difficulty. A cautious
mind will weigh well the opposition of
the phenomenon to everything hitherto observed,
the strength of the testimony by which
it is supported, and the errors and misconceptions
to which even our senses are liable. It
may be very difficult to explain how the stone
you possess came into the position in which it
was found, but is it easier to explain how it got
into the clouds from whence it is supposed to
have fallen? The actual fact, however, is the
thing to be established, and this I hope will be
done by those whose situations and qualifications
enable them to do it.—
To Daniel Salmon. Washington ed. v, 245.
(W. 1808)