Samuel M. Talley trigonometry notebook and account book
Held at: University of Delaware Library Special Collections [Contact Us]181 South College Avenue, Newark, DE 19717-5267
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Overview and metadata sections
Samuel M. Talley was the fifth son of William Talley and Ann Day Talley. He was born on December 27, 1815, at the family’s large farm in Brandywine Hundred, an area near Wilmington, Delaware.
After receiving a thorough education and teaching for several years in the Brandywine Hundred public schools, Talley began farming family land after his father’s death. He married Sarah Aldred Day and had six children: Ellen A., Harriet J., Winifield Scott, Francis D., V. J. Harley, and Samuel M., Jr.
Samuel M. Talley died on August 23, 1896.
Biographical and Genealogical History of the State of Delaware, vol. 1 (Chambersburg, PA: J. M. Runk, 1899), 648.Talley, George A. A History of the Talley Family on the Delaware, and Their Descendants. Phialdelphia: Moyer & Lesher, 1899.
This trigonometry and surveying notebook belonged to Samuel M. Talley, who lived in Brandywine Hundred, near Wilmington, Delaware, in the nineteenth century. The notebook features mathematical problems and solutions related to the principles of trigonometry and the surveying of land. The latter part of the volume contains an account book listing wages due for farm labor.
Approximately eighty percent of this volume consists of the trigonometry and surveying notebook of Samuel M. Talley. In it, Talley wrote numerous problems and solutions illustrating principles of trigonometry and surveying. Colored ink drawings and figures accompany the problems. Talley took pains to present this copy book in a neat and attractive way. He used various colors of ink and wrote in a variety of scripts for different headings. Some of the examples are labeled with dates ranging from December 18, 1833, through February 24, 1844. Because Talley wrote "The end at last" on the final page of this section of the volume, it seems likely that he was a student and not a teacher at the time.
Sets of related problems are arranged under headings. The headings are "Practical Rules for Solving all the Cases of Plane Trigonometry," "The Application of Plain Trigonometry To the Mensuration of Distance and Highths[sic]," and, after the label "January 14 / Surveying / 1834," "Chapter I. On the dimensions of a Survey," "Chapter II On supplying omissions in the dimentions of a survey [sic]," "Chapter III Problems finding the Content of Land," "Chapter IV Laying. Out. and. dividing. Land.," and "Miscellaneous Questions."
The inside of the front cover and first pages of the volume contain an account of the cost of building an unknown object out of wood; penciled notes including the date March 7, 1848; and some arithmetic.
From 1851 to 1863, Talley used the pages at the end of the volume as an account book. He labeled the first page of the notebook section "Samuel M. Talley 1851." In the back, he recorded wages for his own "road work" including overseeing, plowing, and performing other manual labor. He also listed the wages due to the workers he oversaw in Brandywine Hundred. He often wrote the date, location, and the full name of the worker.
- Item 0112: Shelved in SPEC MSS 0097
Processed by Kate Hand, October 2007. Encoded by E. Evan Echols, May 2014.
- Agriculture--Delaware--History--19th century
- Education--Curricula--History--19th century
- Trigonometry--Problems, exercises, etc
- University of Delaware Library Special Collections
- Finding Aid Author
- University of Delaware Library, Special Collections
- Finding Aid Date
- 2014 May 13
- Access Restrictions
The collection is open for research.
- Use Restrictions
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