Ferdinand Hassler

A biography of Hassler is available.

There is a wonderful history at

Hassler taught at Union College


Founded in 1793, this would be a good school to compare with USMA. Is
this our Allen?

I printed both of these.



HASSLER, Ferdinand Rudolph,  Comparison of Weights and Measures of Length and Capacity, reported to the Senate of the United States, by the Treasury Department in 1832. [Doc. No. 299.]. ;Wahington: ptd by Duff Green, 1832. 8vo in fours. iv, 120pp, 4 multifolding plts, text tables. Disbound, sewn, sprinkled leaf edges. Tp spotted and almost detached, first gathering browned, random spotting. Please quote: 17723 Keywords: Metrology, Weights & Measures; Decimalisation. U.S.A.: History, Law, Institutions, Politics, Social. Offered for sale by John Turton at 22.00


Letter from Dearborn to Hassler, March 2, 1807, acknowledging acceptance of job at West Point.

1820-07-14. Hassler in Newark N.J. to John C. Calhoun, Secretary of War. In  a month he will move his family to Northern NY and wants to deliver the government instruments in his possession to someone. He also reminds Calhoun that he has offered to sell his library to the US. [Calhoun Papers, V, p. 259]

1820-10-18.  John C. Calhoun to Hassler in Newark NJ. "I have examined the catalogue of your Books, and though they are extremely valuable, yet they are not of the kind at present required to complete the Library at the Military Academy, nor are they suitable to the libraries of the executive department of the Gov[ernmen]t." Besides there is no money, so he declines the purchase. [Calhoun Papers, V, p. 401; The signed letter is in the New York Public Library, Ford Collection, Ferdinand Rudolf Hassler Papers. Should look for the list of papers.]

1820-02-06. John C. Calhoun to Walker K. Armistead. "Major Roberdeau, besides his topographical duties, which are numerous and arduous, has in charge the Topographical Bureau, which involves a responsibility for the safety and preservation of the maps, the charts, books on engineering, and the instruments belonging to the War Department, of which it is the depository. Among the instruments ar those imported for an observatory , and for the service of the triangulation survey of our coast, which were collected and fabricated under the superintendence of Mr. [Ferdinand Rudolf] Has[s]ler, who was during Mr. [James] Madison's administration sent to Europe for the purpose, and which cost $17,167.61. These, on account of intricacy and delicacy of construction, have been especially confided to Major Roberdeau, who, by long experience in the use, together with a mechanical knowledge of instruments, is fully qualified to understand and preserve them." [Calhoun Papers, V, p. 595]



Hassler Papers, 1816-1840. Summary: Engineer, professor, U.S. Miitary Academy, 1807-1810. Report, 13 May 1816, Philadelphia to Alexander J. Dallas secretary of the Treasury entitled: "Report of the measures to be taken at present relative to the survey of the coast". There includes the recommendation that "a few promising cadets" be trained in this type of operation along with the Corps of Engineers; contemporary copy of the report; letter, Philadelphia, 23 December 1840 regarding storage of equipment. At USMA.

Translation from the German of the memoirs of Ferdinand Rudolph Hassler, by Emil Zschokke, pub. in Aarau, Switzerland, 1887. With supplementary documents pub. 1882.  Nice, Printing Office V.E. Gauthier and Co., 1882.  Copy in NYPL.

F.R. Hassler correspondence, 1804-1847.  0.8 linear foot (3 boxes). Swift letters: 1 microfilm reel. Apply in Special Collections Office of NYPL. Summary: Collection consists of correspondence chiefly relating to Hassler's position as instructor at the United States Military Academy at West Point, N.Y., and to his service with the United States Coast Survey. Ferdinand Rudolph Hassler (1770-1843), American geodesist and mathematician, was superintendent of the United States Coast Survey.