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    Re: ? ? ? Re: Lewis & Clark
    From: Bruce Stark
    Date: 2004 May 26, 15:57 EDT

    You say you think Jefferson's advice (that Lewis not bother with the calculations) was seriously in error. Before reading your posting I wouldn't have been able to take that idea seriously. But you have presented a powerful argument. I'm convinced you are right.

    Your posting has a good deal else of interest and value, which I hope to get to later.

    The only part I can't understand is where you say " . . . takes
    only 6 or 7 and does the
    long division). They use these values to determine the true distance
    for that particular time (this is the D value that Thompson writes
    down in his notebook; it is not the cleared distance as assumed by
    Jeff Gottfred in his Northwest Journal article). They clear the
    distance (using Witchell's method) and then use the difference
    between their cleared distance and the true distance to update their
    longitude by account."

    In my mind the average of the sextant distances is not
    the true distance. The cleared distance is. Also, I'd like more explanation of ". . .use the difference between their cleared distance and the true distance to . . ."

    Everything else you say fits exactly with my notions of how the old nautical astronomy worked.

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