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    Re: Lewis and Clark lunars: more 1803 Almanac data
    From: Fred Hebard
    Date: 2004 Apr 21, 18:13 -0400

    Jefferson did some surveying when younger in the Blue Ridge Mountains
    west of Charlottesville, so he was not unacquainted with the art.  The
    goals of the expedition were more than just surveying.  Lewis and Clark
    brought back and sent back numerous botanical specimens, and other
    types of specimens.  They also negotiated with and gathered information
    about the various American Indian tribes along the way.  Furthermore,
    the captains, the army rank of both Lewis and Clark, presumably were at
    least acquainted with basic military use of surveying instruments, such
    as for direction of artillery fire.
    On Apr 21, 2004, at 5:43 PM, Frank Reed wrote:
    > Kieran K wrote:
    >  "I would however ask our American colleagues why Jefferson did not
    > send a trained expert like Ellicott out on the expedition. If
    > Jefferson's intent was to map the West this would have seemed a
    > logical thing to do, particularly as he had the earlier exemplary work
    > of M & D as a guide."
    >  This is a really interesting question. I suspect it has something to
    > do with Jefferson's over-confidence. Thomas Jefferson was a brilliant
    > man with wide-ranging interests including extensive knowledge of the
    > sciences, much of it self-taught. But sometimes a little knowledge can
    > be a dangerous thing. A great leader has to know when to seek expert
    > advice and make decisions based on that advice rather than on his own
    > personal base of knowledge. I don't think Jefferson was a "great
    > leader" in this sense, despite (or even because of) his intellect. If
    > he had asked experts in exploration, navigation, and surveying, they
    > probably would have told him that a few weeks of training might not be
    > sufficient for this task. But Jefferson would have made his decision
    > based on his own approach to science. A self-taught genius may assume
    > that things are easier than they really are.
    >  This is my personal speculation based on my recollection of
    > Jefferson's biography. Nothing more.
    >  Frank E. Reed
    >  [ ] Mystic, Connecticut
    >  [X] Chicago, Illinois

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