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    Re: Sumner and the Smalls lighthouse.
    From: Frank Reed CT
    Date: 2006 Apr 2, 01:36 EST

    George H, you wrote:
    "The end-result of all  this is to prove what I had suspected; that the old
    Smalls lighthouse that  Sumner saw, and its replacement in 1861, are within a
    few feet of the same spot  on the same rock, the only rock that's always above
    sea level."
    Nice to  know. Thanks for pursuing that.
    And you wrote:
    "And it's all of 5  miles away from the spot that Sumner showed it on his
    sketch map. Unless Sumner  happened to possess a chart or light-list that showed
    the light 5 miles North of  where it really was, it seems that he falsified
    the position of the light so as  to make a more dramatic story out of the first
    "Sumner line". In my eyes, that  rather diminishes
    the stature of Captain Thomas Sumner."
    That doesn't  make much sense as a story of "falsification" to me. If he was
    making up a  story, completely fictional and "falsified", then why would the
    details be wrong  in the most obvious parameter that he could have looked up in
    a book? And what  would be the motive?? It strikes me much more as a case of
    someone attempting to  re-construct the events long after they happened.
    Clearly he spent years  experimenting with his methods after the initial experience
    in 1837. If he had  remembered the general circumstances but not the exact
    numbers involved in his  sights in that year, he would naturally have started by
    working backward from  the position of Small's Light. He puts this down a
    plotting chart, introducing  some small error, and then works backward to the
    details of the sight that gave  the line of position. This seems like a probable
    scenario to me. Navigators in  that era rarely kept all the details of their
    calculations. Sights were often  worked up in chalk on a slate.
    Of course, I would add that it's  literally possible that he made up every
    bit of the story and he had never even  been to sea. The logic works regardless.
    42.0N 87.7W, or 41.4N  72.1W.

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