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Robert Patterson - Philadelphia, PA
Posted by: Groundspeak Regular Member Math Teacher
N 40° 00.234 W 075° 11.372
18T E 483822 N 4428207
Quick Description: Robert Maskell Patterson was a professor of mathematics, chemistry & natural philosophy at the University of Pennsylvania and professor of natural philosophy at the University of Virginia before serving as director of the US Mint from 1835 to 1851.
Location: Pennsylvania, United States
Date Posted: 9/1/2009 4:44:26 AM
Waymark Code: WM74MP
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member rangerroad
Views: 3

Long Description:

In his academic and professional life, he followed in the footsteps of his father, Robert Patterson, who was also a professor at the University of Pennsylvania, and who served as director of the US Mint from 1805 to 1824. His mother was Amy Hunter Ewing and he was one of eight children of that marriage. The younger Patterson was elected a member of the American Philosophical Society in 1809 and eventually became its vice-president (his father was elected in 1783) and (again, like his father) was interested mainly in astronomy and geophysics. He was asked by a committee of the APS in 1836 to write a brief report on recommendations for astronomical and physics observations to be carried out by the United States Exploring Expedition, or US Ex Ex, which sailed in 1838. SOURCE

Recently in the news, Robert Patterson became newsworthy, 155 years after his death. It seems he created a special cipher which he regularly used, exchanging coded correspondences with Thomas Jefferson. One of Patterson's ciphers included in a December 19, 1801 dated letter to Jefferson was finally decoded in 2007 by Dr. Lawren Smithline. The cipher source? Why the Declaration of Independence of course, what else!

This burial marker is shared with Thomas Leiper, Revolutionary War soldier. On the Patterson side of the obelisk, there is an inscription which reads:

Robert & Amy Patterson
Born March 23, 1787
Professor in the University
of Pennsylvania 1814-28;
Professor in the University
of Virginia. 1828-55;
Director of the Mint of
the United States, 1835-1851
President of the American
Philosophical Society 1840-53
Died Sep. 5. 1854.

Daughter of
and wife of
Born April 20, 1792
Died Dec. 17, 1874

Beneath this is an indecipherable biblical quote which the elements have worn down.

Obviously, after reading the inscription, there is not much more to say about this historically important fellow. There are many members of his family as well as family in-laws buried in this immediate area.

Please refer to the long description for an in depth examination of his life and accomplishments.

Date of birth: 3/23/1787

Date of death: 9/5/1854

Area of notoriety: Medicine

Marker Type: Monument

Setting: Outdoor

Visiting Hours/Restrictions: Monday-Friday 8:00am-4:30pm Saturday-Sunday 9:30am-5:00pm Closed Major Holidays

Fee required?: No

Web site: [Web Link]

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