A Community Devoted to the Preservation and Practice of Celestial Navigation and Other Methods of Traditional Position-Finding
From: Roger W. Sinnott
Date: 2018 Jul 30, 12:50 -0400
A friend of mine, Rebecca Karo, is an art historian and also works as an archivist in Exeter, NH. She wrote me with this question:
"The American Independence Museum in Exeter, NH, has a
letter from the Marquis de Condorcet to a royal minister
(I have to find out who) about acquiring 600 copies of
François Coudraye, 'Dissertation sur la manière de
déterminer les longitudes à la mer, couronnée par la
société des arts et métiers d'Utrecht,' 1783. He asked
the minister to also confer with Charles de Borda,
another interesting mariner/mathematician, about acquiring
the book. Condorcet wrote that the book was clear and
methodical and would be good for mariners who are unused
to calculating their position while at sea. The book is
small -- an octavo of 94 pages -- so it would be easy to
take on board!"
Charles de Borda's lunar-distance clearing method is described in the books of Cotter, and he is mentioned in connection with testing chronometers at sea in The Quest for Longitude (William J. H. Andrewes, ed.) and in The Marine Chronometer by Rupert T. Gould.
But I can find very little about François Coudraye, although a page in the French Wikipedia confirms that he wrote the 1783 dissertation on longitude at sea: https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fran%C3%A7ois-C%C3%A9lestin_de_Loynes_de_La_Coudraye .
Does anyone here know anything more about François Coudraye (1743-1815) or his 94-page book?