Jacob Bell Cornell Notebook

Manuscript Collection #1206
Cornell, Jacob Bell
Physical description
0.023 Cubic Feet, 1 archival box, consisting of a notebook
Preferred Citation
Jacob Bell Cornell Notebook (#1206), East Carolina Manuscript Collection, J. Y. Joyner Library, East Carolina University, Greenville, North Carolina, USA
ECU Manuscript Collection
No restrictions

This notebook is an 1870 student's notebook containing field notes of a Survey of the Coast of North Carolina done for the United States Coast Survey. It was likely kept by Jacob Bell Cornell (1848-1897), a member of the Class of 1872 at Rutgers College in New Brunswick, New Jersey. Of specific interest are a diagram and calculations associated with a lighthouse in the Pamlico Sound and references to Portsmouth Island and Swan Quarter.

Biographical/historical information

Jacob Bell Cornell (1848-January 20, 1917) was a member of the 1872 graduating class from Rutgers College in New Brunswick, New Jersey. He graduated from the College of Physicians and Surgeons, New York City, in 1878. Dr. Cornell was the son of Rev. Frederick Frelinghuysen Cornell and Elizabeth Clockbell and he is buried in the New Somerville Cemetery in Somerville, New Jersey.


Journal of the Medical Society of New Jersey, March 1917, page 135.

Find A Grave Memorial http://www.cemeteryrecordsonline.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GSln=Cornell&GSiman=1&GScnty=1924&GRid=101880326&

Scope and arrangement

This notebook contains field notes recorded by Jacob Bell Cornell during a U.S. Coastal Survey conducted for the U.S. Coast Guard in May of 1870. The notes contain measurements, calculations and illustrations intended to develop useful maps of the United States Coastal Survey. Of specific interest are notes on Portsmouth Island and Swan Quarter in North Carolina (pp. 25-30) as well as a diagram and calculations associated with the lighthouse in the Pamlico Sound of North Carolina (p. 31).

The first seven pages indicates that this is a continuation of a U.S. coastal survey begun in 1836. Cornell explains the English, French, and Russian systems used in geographic studies precluding the explanation of the geodetic technique using triangulation employed for the U.S. coastal survey (pp. 1-4). He then gives a description of the three orders of triangulation and the selection of stations for measurements (pp. 5-6).

The remainder of the notebook contains a description of the methodological approach to surveying. He clarifies the signals and signs used during the survey (pp. 7-8), and discusses station marks (pp. 8-13), the measurement of baselines (pp. 13-14), and the temperature of rods (pp. 14-17). Cornell lists the jobs of the crew/survey party's nine members (pp. 17-18), gives the measurements of horizontal angles (pp. 18-23), and discusses the office work of the U.S. Coast Survey (p. 24). The bulk of the notebook consists of measurements, calculations, diagrams, and illustrations (pp. 25-57).

Administrative information
Source of acquisition

Purchased with funds from the Bodo Nischan Endowment from Ian Brabner Bookseller of Wilmington, DE.

Processing information

Processing completed 11/30/2015 by Mateusz Polakowski.

Copyright notice

Literary rights to specific documents are retained by the authors or their descendants in accordance with U.S. copyright law.

Container list
Box 1 Folder a Jacob Bell Cornell's notebook containing field notes for a survey of the coast of North Carolina conducted for the U.S. Coast Guard in May 1870. (Pages 1-57)