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Abstract

New evidence suggests that David Rittenhouse (1732–1796) may have been a more mathematically sophisticated scientist than has previously been thought. Based on his correspondence with Jefferson, some of the scratch work in his diary, and a new examination of some of the mathematical literature known to have passed through his hands as Librarian of the American Philosophical Society (APS), Rittenhouse’s mathematical papers appear in a different light.

Notes

Acknowledgements

V. Frederick Rickey and James T. Smith deserve credit for the suggestions they have made which have improved this paper.

Thanks to the librarians and archivists in the reading room at the APS Library for their kind patience. Their influence extended all the way to Texas, in the form of Houston Community College Librarian, Erica Hubbard, who once worked in Benjamin Franklin’s office in Philadelphia at the APS Library; her support was critical.

My research at the APS was funded by the Franklin Grant I received in 2015 from the APS. I would not have applied for that grant, if had not been for the encouragement of the late Edwin Gallaher, poet and math department secretary of the Central Campus of the Houston Community College system, in the fall of 2014.

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Houston Community CollegeHoustonUSA

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