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Thoreau the Land Surveyor$
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Patrick Chura

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780813034935

Published to Florida Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.5744/florida/9780813034935.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM FLORIDA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.florida.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University Press of Florida, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in FLASO for personal use.date: 26 September 2021

Walden, Cape Cod, and the Duty of the Coast Survey

Walden, Cape Cod, and the Duty of the Coast Survey

Chapter:
(p.45) 3 Walden, Cape Cod, and the Duty of the Coast Survey
Source:
Thoreau the Land Surveyor
Author(s):

Patrick Chura

Publisher:
University Press of Florida
DOI:10.5744/florida/9780813034935.003.0003

The first superintendent of the Coast Survey was Swiss-born mathematician Ferdinand Hassler, who directed the project from its inception in 1816 until his death in 1843. Hassler was one of the most skillful measurers in history and the ingenious method he conceived for implementing the vast survey was his greatest achievement. He devised a plan to measure the Atlantic seaboard by laying out a network of enormous consecutive triangles, the sides of which ranged from ten to sixty miles in length. Admiring descriptions of the Coast Survey appeared frequently in scientific journals and popular literature during the period immediately prior to Henry Thoreau's 1846 survey of Walden Pond.

Keywords:   Coast Survey, Ferdinand Hassler, triangles, Walden Pond, Henry Thoreau, Cape Cod

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