Mathematical manuscript of Samuel Griffin, 1783-1784

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Content Notes

This notebook consists of Griffin's mathematical exercises for the measurement of solids, heights and distances, geometry, and trigonometry completed while he was a student at Harvard College. Many of the exercises are illustrated by carefully hand-drawn diagrams, several of which are colored. The volume includes Griffin's drawings depicting the mathematics involved in land surveying and the construction of mariners' compasses and moon dials. Color illustrations in this volume include drawings of geographical locations in New England including the Massachusetts coast from Scituate to Beverly and views from Hollis Hall at Harvard.|Two larger color drawings of Harvard and the surrounding community created by Griffin while he was a student at Harvard are also classified with this volume. The drawings, "A northerly perspective view from a window in Massachusetts Hall" and "A westerly perspective view of part of the town of Cambridge" were previously removed from the volume and housed separately in oversized folders. Additional copy prints of these two drawings made in 1900 and 1920 are also available.

Biographical Notes

Samuel Griffin (1762-1812), A.B., 1784, Harvard, was a physician in Chester, N.H. and Billerica, Mass., and later a planter in Bedford County, Va. Griffin was born in 1762 to Ebenezer and Mary (Colcord) Griffin in Hawke (now Kingston), N.H. While a student at Harvard, Griffin was a waiter for the lower tables and also served as the curator of college buildings during school vacations in 1781. Griffin was allegedly killed by one of his slaves in Virginia 1812.