Autograph Letter Signed ('F. R. Hassler') from the surveyor Ferdinand Rudolph Hassler, head of the United States Coast Survey, to Hon. John C. Spencer, Secretary of the US Treasury, regarding 'the plan of Operation for the Coast Survey'.

Ferdinand Rudolph Hassler (1770-1843), Swiss-born American surveyor, head of the United States Coast Survey and the Bureau of Weights and Measures [John Canfield Spencer (1788-1855), politician]
Publication details: 
Washington City; 28 May 1843.
SKU: 11349

1p., 4to. Good, on lightly-aged paper. Hassler begins: 'The peculiar position in which I am, will plead my excuse for addressing you the enclosed papers, and the cold which I have, for not coming personally in the present bad weather, as I intended, and shall do soon as admissible.' He asks Spencer to visit 'this Office before Your ultimate decision upon the plan of Operation for the Coast Survey'. The American National Biography casts light on the context of this letter, written within months of Hassler's death: 'Although he resisted interference from government officials and opponents in Congress more successfully than before, his lack of tact and his insistence that scientists should be properly paid embroiled him in continual strife and eventually sapped his strength. Hassler continued to work until his health gave out; he died in Philadelphia.'