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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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8116. STANDARD (Measures), Pendulum.—[further continued].
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8116. STANDARD (Measures), Pendulum.—[further continued].

[The standard based on] the dimensions of the globe, preferred ultimately
by the French, after first adopting the
other [that founded on the time of the diurnal
revolution of the earth on its axis], has been
objected to from the difficulty, not to say impracticability,
of the verification of their admeasurement
by other nations. Except the
portion of a meridian which they adopted for
their operation, there is not another on the
globe which fulfills the requisite condition, to
wit, of so considerable length, that length too
divided, not very unequally, by the 45th degree
of latitude, and terminating at each end in the
ocean. Now, this singular line lies wholly in
France and Spain. Besides the immensity of
expense and time which a verification would
always require, it cannot be undertaken by any
nation without the joint consent of these two
powers. France having once performed the
work, and refusing, as she may, to let any
other nation reexamine it, she makes herself
the sole depositary of the original standard for
all nations; and all must send to her to obtain,
and from time to time to prove their standards.
To this, indeed, it may be answered, that
there can be no reason to doubt that the mensuration
has been as accurately performed as
the intervention of numerous waters and of
high ridges of craggy mountains would admit;
that all the calculations have been free of error,
their coincidences faithfully reported, and that,
whether in peace or war, to foes as well as
friends, free access to the original will at all
times be admitted.—
To John Quincy Adams. Washington ed. vii, 88.
(M. 1817)

See Pendulum.