Thursday, January 03, 2013

1833 James L. Freeman book

James L. Freeman, 1809*-1892, is the great-great-grandfather of the Ballantyne-Dailey-Uible cousins, being the father of Virginia Irene Freeman Ballantyne, 1840-1906, and the grandfather of Nathaniel Wallace Ballantyne.  He married Priscilla Gamble, 1821-1840, who died in December 1840, the month their daughter was born.  He never remarried.  More about Virginia Irene can be found in this blog post about her husband and family, Alexander Bell Ballantyne 1841-1885.

1833 James Freeman's Course of Lessons in Mensuration - Title Page
 According to oscience.info/math-formulas/mensuration-formulas/, Mensuration is the branch of mathematics which deals with the study of geometric shapes, their area, volume and different parameters in geometric objects.  This is more commonly known as a branch of measurement for those of us less mathematically inclined.

Whether this is a school textbook or a workbook is unknown.  It all appears to be done in ink and has 28 numbered pages followed by another 44 pages, for a total of 72 pages.  There are occasional illustrations as shown on the title page above which don't seem to fit with the book's theme.  Though other illustrations, e.g. a picture of a worm on a page with a word problem about apples, appear more relevant.  There are also occasional notes (doodles) done in the same handwriting, e.g. "Snow 5 inches deep and sleighing on this day" surrounded by squiggle marks. On a blank page are the names of Miss Birdie Ballentine and Alex Ballentine along with names of two other boys.  The oldest of James' grandchildren (Nathaniel's older sister) was Virginia "Byrd" Ballantyne Walmer Daley 1865-1947.  Alex – Charles Alexander Ballantyne, 1875-1957, was Nathaniel's youngest brother.  Seems somewhat strange that Ballantyne is misspelled, though may have been written by one of the other boys.  Irene and children's last name is spelled Balentine in the 1880 census.
1833 James Freeman's Course of Lessons in Mensuration - Frontispiece.  
Note the sewn binding on the right margin.  
Transcription follows.

Two fifths of a liquid that in Egypt is found
One fourth of a fruit that grows not far from the ground
One third of an article that useful to man
Two thirds of a fluid that use on the ocean
One fifth of a fruit that in Asia doth grow
One sixth of a river that in Europe doth flow
One seventh of a bird that is rare to be found
One third of a fruit grown on american ground
These letters taken compactly and put in a row
will spell a celebrated and virtuos hero

Three fifths of a name that is plenty
One eight of a river that is in kentucky,
One fourth of a fruit not far from the ground doth grow
Two sevenths of a lake that in America doth flow
These letters taken and put in a row
Will spell a celebrated and virtuos Hero

Will spella celebrated a [in another hand?]

* * * * *
Anyone care to solve this riddle/poem?  Please let me know if you know the answer.

In an effort to be a better transcriber, I'm trying to provide a "true" transcript – one that doesn't correct the spelling or grammar, etc.  This does not help with my typos or sometimes poor efforts of proofreading, so please forgive any errors on my part or in the original.  I need to correct the erros of my ways, if I intend to become a Board-certified genealogist.

*Another family tree on ancestry.com lists 1820 as the birth year of James L. Freeman, probably based on the 1880 census which shows James 60, as head of household living with his daughter [Virginia] Irene, and her four children, Birdie 12, Nathaniel 10, James 9, and Alex B. [Charles Alexander] 4.  I need to look through our family history records (may have a copy of his obituary) and/or talk to our 2nd cousins, Pat Kessel or Mary Frances Gavey to see what verification of James Freeman's dates can be found.

3 comments:

Mary Crowson said...

Upon googling the first couple of lines, it pulled up Connolly's Math (or something of that nature). http://books.google.com/books?id=C9E2AAAAMAAJ&pg=PA204&lpg=PA204&dq=Two+fifths+of+a+liquid+that+in+Egypt+is+found+One+fourth+of+a+fruit+that+grows+not+far+from+the+ground&source=bl&ots=kFXzK3RFr2&sig=83XlflvOOOT_CjbRKhl-ARoT8kI&hl=en&sa=X&ei=Kz_mULz4OYic9QSZ44DIAw&ved=0CDcQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=Two%20fifths%20of%20a%20liquid%20that%20in%20Egypt%20is%20found%20One%20fourth%20of%20a%20fruit%20that%20grows%20not%20far%20from%20the%20ground&f=false

Catherine Uible Morgan said...

Thanks, MV! From that link I found a book called The Western Arithmetic, or Pennsylvania and Ohio Accomptant: being a plain practical treatise with a complete system of mensuration (available as a Google eBook, for anyone who is interested) which provides the answer giving words needed to solve each line of the first riddle. The second riddle - a seven letter word - has not yet been solved.

Also found it interesting that these type of mathematical riddles are referred to in the Connolly book and the Western Arithmetic book as a "rebus" which is supposedly using pictures to represent words such as depicting “I can see you” by using the pictographs of “eye—can—sea—ewe.”

Catherine Uible Morgan said...

Two fifths of a liquid that in Egypt is found - WAter
One fourth of a fruit that grows not far from the ground - Sloe
One third of an article that useful to man - Hat
Two thirds of a fluid that use on the ocean - INk
One fifth of a fruit that in Asia doth grow - Grape
One sixth of a river that in Europe doth flow - Thames
One seventh of a bird that is rare to be found - Ostrich
One third of a fruit grown on american ground - Melon
These letters taken compactly and put in a row
will spell a celebrated and virtuos hero - WASHINGTON

Still looking to solve this one:
Three fifths of a name that is plenty -
One eight of a river that is in kentucky,
One fourth of a fruit not far from the ground doth grow
Two sevenths of a lake that in America doth flow
These letters taken and put in a row
Will spell a celebrated and virtuos Hero

Note: spelling is based on original document

Items from Uible photo album