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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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8114. STANDARD (Measures), Pendulum.—
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8114. STANDARD (Measures), Pendulum.—

But why leave this adoption to the
tardy will of governments who are always, in
their stock of information, a century or two behind
the intelligent part of mankind, and who
have interests against touching ancient institutions?
Why should not the college of the
literary societies of the world adopt the second
pendulum as the unit of measure on the authorities
of reason, convenience and common
consent? And why should not our Society
[American Philosophical] open the proposition
by a circular letter to the other learned institu
tions of the earth? If men of science, in their
publications, would express measures always in
multiples and decimals of the pendulum, annexing
their value in municipal measures as
botanists add the popular to the botanical names
of plants, they would soon become familiar to
all men of instruction, and prepare the way
for legal adoptions. At any rate, it would render
the writers of every nation intelligible to
the readers of every other, when expressing the
measures of things.—
To Dr. Patterson. Washington ed. vi, 12.
(M. 1811)