John B. Nicolson Lunar Tables, 1826: Finding Aid
Published in February 2021
- Publisher: United States Naval Academy. Special Collections & Archives.
- Publisher Address:
589 McNair Road
Annapolis, Maryland 21402-5029, USA
- Call number: MS 27
- Location: Special Collections & Archives Department - Manuscripts
- Title: John B. Nicolson Lunar Tables
- Dates: 1826
- Size: 0.09 linear feet
- Container Summary: 1 folder containing 1 volume of 113 leaves
- Collector: Nicolson, John B., 1783-1846
- Language(s) of material: English
- Abstract: John B. Nicolson was an officer in the United States Navy. The John B. Nicolson Lunar Tables were written or transcribed in 1826 by an unknown author and presented to Nicolson on board U.S.S. Ontario (Sloop-of-war). The volume consists of tables, and their accompanying instructions, for use in celestial navigation.
Biographical Chronology of John B. Nicolson
- Born in Richmond, Virginia.
- On July 4, joins the United States Navy as a Midshipman.
- On May 20, promoted to Lieutenant.
- As of January 1, serving aboard U.S.S. Nonsuch (Schooner) in the West Indies, where he remains until at least 1818.
- On March 5, promoted to Master Commandant.
- Serving aboard U.S.S. Constellation (Frigate).
- Serving aboard U.S.S. Washington (Ship-of-the-line) at New York.
- Commanding U.S.S. Ontario (Sloop-of-war) in the Mediterranean.
- On April 24, promoted to Captain.
- Serving on a Board of Examination.
- On leave of absence.
- Waiting orders.
- Commanding U.S.S. United States (Frigate) in the Mediterranean.
- Commanding U.S.S. Delaware (Ship-of-the-line), flagship of Commodore D. T. Patterson's Mediterranean Squadron.
- Appointed to command the Brazil Squadron.
- On May 18, appointed to serve as a Commissioner on the Board of Navy Commissioners.
- Waiting orders.
- Serving as Commandant of the Boston Navy Yard.
- Waiting orders.
- On November 9, dies while in service.
Description of Contents
The John B. Nicolson Lunar Tables, comprising a single volume of 113 leaves of text, were written or transcribed in 1826 by an unknown author and presented to Nicolson on board U.S.S. Ontario (Sloop-of-war). The volume consists of tables, and their accompanying instructions, for use in celestial navigation.
The John B. Nicolson Lunar Tables bear the full title of Lunar Tables For clearing from the Effect of Parallax & Refraction, the Observed Distance of the Sun & Moon or Moon & Star with practical Remarks On finding the Longitude by, & Rate of a Chronometer with Examples from Observations made on board the U.S.S. Ontario. Following the title page is an inscription "To Jn. B. Nicolson, Esq. of the U.S. Navy. This Book of Lunar Tables Is respectfully Inscribed with Gratitude by his most Obdt. & hble Svt. [signature illegible]. U.S.S. Ontario, Port Mahon, March 1st, 1826. The following three leaves of text consist of an explanation and rules for the use of the tables. The remainder of the volume is devoted to the seven tables themselves. Table 1 is entitled "For correcting the Moon's Semidiameter & P. L. of Horizontal Parallax." Table 2 "Lesser Altitude, Greater Altitude, and Apparent Distance," and Table 3 "For correcting the Correction in Table 2," combine to clear the apparent distance for the effect of refraction. Table 4 and 5 are used to clear the apparent distance for the effect of parallax. Finally, Table 6 and 7 are used to clear the distance for the final effect of parallax.
The covers of the volume, which is bound in green leather, feature a gilt border with anchors at the corners. The front bears the name I. B. Nicolson U.S.N in gilt lettering. The spine features gilt stars and crescent moons, with the spine title Lunar Tables.
The John B. Nicolson Lunar Tables comprise a single volume.
Access and Use
Access is unrestricted.
Copyright and Permission
The John B. Nicolson Lunar Tables are the physical property of Nimitz Library. Copyright belongs to the authors or creators of the works, or their legal representatives. For further information, consult the Head, Special Collections & Archives.
It is the responsibility of the researcher to secure written permission to publish, reprint, or reproduce material from Special Collections & Archives. The researcher assumes responsibility for infringement of copyright or literary or publication rights. Please contact the Head, Special Collections & Archives for permission to publish and for further information.
Acquisition and Appraisal
Provenance and Acquisition
Accession No. 1490.
Related Archival Material
Additional material in this repository from the career of John B. Nicolson can be found in Remarks and Occurrences on Board the U.S. Ship of the Line Delaware, MS 16.
Materials Cataloged Separately
No materials have been removed from this collection and cataloged separately.
Processing and Other Information
The John B. Nicolson Lunar Tables were originally cataloged as a book under the call number VK559.B53.
John B. Nicolson Lunar Tables, MS 27
Special Collections & Archives Department
United States Naval Academy
The following sources were consulted during preparation of the biographical note:
Callahan, Edward William. List of Officers of the Navy of the United States and of the Marine Corps, from 1775 to 1900. New York: L.R. Hamersly & Co., 1901.
United States. Bureau of Naval Personnel. Register of Commissioned and Warrant Officers of the United States Navy and Marine Corps. Washington: Government Printing Office, 1805-1847.
This collection was processed by David D'Onofrio in February 2021. Finding aid written by David D'Onofrio in February 2021.
Name and Subject Terms
- Longitude -- Tables
- Moon -- Tables
- Navigation -- Tables
- Nicolson, John B., 1783-1846
- Tables (documents)