Nathan Spencer's account of Godfrey, 1809


Date: 1809 | Size: 1 volume(s), 1 volume, 38 p., copy


This account of Thomas Godfrey was prepared "with a view of having it inserted in Rees Cyclopedia," and is preceded by an essay concerning Godfrey and his quadrant taken from the "American Magazine" (1758). Also included in this volume is a copy of James Logan's communication to the Royal Society, and a letter from Spencer to Alexander Wilson, editor of the "Cyclopedia" (1809), which discusses Godfrey and the sources for this account.

Background note

Nathan Spencer was a Pennsylvania farmer, and is identified as "a farmer who owns the place that was once Godfrey's."

Collection Information

Physical description

1 volume, 38 p., copy.


Received and accessioned, 1911 (1911 47259).

Early American History Note

This volume contains an essay, apparently written by Pennsylvania farmer Nathan Spencer, about Thomas Godfrey. There are also copies of James Logan's correspondence. Some believe Godfrey invented the quadrant, and Spencer's biography argues this point. Spencer also claims to live on the same farm that Godfrey had owned.

Indexing Terms

Corporate Name(s)

  • Royal Society (Great Britain)


  • Essays.
  • Manuscript Essays

Personal Name(s)

  • Godfrey, Thomas, 1736-1763
  • Logan, James, 1674-1751
  • Spencer, Nathan.
  • Wilson, Alexander, 1766-1813


  • Astronomy.
  • Hydrographic surveying.
  • Navigation.
  • Quadrant.
  • Science and technology