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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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6330. PALEONTOLOGY, Mammoth.—
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3 occurrences of jefferson cyclopedia
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6330. PALEONTOLOGY, Mammoth.—

It is well known, that on the Ohio, and in
many parts of America further north, tusks,
grinders, and skeletons of unparalleled magnitude,
are found in great numbers, some lying
on the surface of the earth, and some a little
below it. A Mr. Stanley, taken prisoner near
the mouth of the Tennessee, relates, that after
being transferred through several tribes, from
one to another, he was at length carried over
the mountains west of the Missouri to a river
which runs westwardly; that these bones
abounded there, and that the natives described
to him the animal to which they belonged as
still existing in the northern parts of their
country; from which description he judged it
to be an elephant. Bones of the same kind
have been lately found, some feet below the
surface of the earth, in salines opened on the
North Holston, a branch of the Tennessee,
about the latitude of 36½° north. From the
accounts published in Europe, I suppose it
to be decided that these are of the same kind
with those found in Siberia. * * * It is remarkable
that the tusks and skeletons have
been ascribed by the naturalists of Europe to
the elephant, while the grinders have been
given to the hippopotamus, or river horse. Yet
it is acknowledged, that the tusks and skeletons
are much larger than those of the elephant, and
the grinders many times greater than those of
the hippopotamus, and essentially different in
form. * * * We must agree, then, that these
remains belong to each other, that they are of
one and the same animal, that this was not a
hippopotamus, because the hippopotamus had
no tusks, nor such a frame, and because the
grinders differ in their size as well as in the
number and form of their points. That this
was not an elephant, I think ascertained by
proofs equally decisive. * * * I have never
heard an instance, and suppose there has been
none, of the grinder of an elephant being found
in America. From the known temperature and
constitution of the elephant, he could never
have existed in those regions where the remains
of the mammoth have been found. The
elephant is a native only of the torrid zone
and its vicinities. * * * No bones of the mammoth,
have ever been found farther south than
the salines of Holston, and they have been
found as far north as the Arctic circle. * * * For my own part, I find it easier to believe that
an animal may have existed, resembling the
elephant in his tusks, and general anatomy,
while his nature was in other respects extremely
different. From the 30th degree of south latitude
to the 30th degree of north, are nearly
the limits which nature has fixed for the existence
and multiplication of the elephant
known to us. Proceeding thence northwardly
to 36½° degrees, we enter those assigned to the
mammoth. The farther we advance north, the
more their vestiges multiply as far as the earth
has been explored in that direction; and it is
as probable as otherwise, that this progression
continues to the pole itself, if land extends so
far. The centre of the frozen zone, then, May
be the acme of their vigor, as that of the torrid
is of the elephant. Thus nature seems to have
drawn a belt of separation between these two
tremendous animals, whose breadth, indeed, is
not precisely known, though at present we May
suppose it about 6½ degrees of latitude; to
have assigned to the elephant the regions south
of these confines, and those north to the mammoth,
founding the constitution of the one in
the extreme of heat, and that of the other in
the extreme of cold. * * * But to whatever
animal we ascribe these remains, it is certain
that such a one has existed in America, and
that it has been the largest of all terrestrial
Notes on Virginia. Washington ed. viii, 286. Ford ed., iii, 134.