Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Today's Bizarre Primary Source

ST. LOUIS, (Missouri Territory,)
NORTH AMERICA, April 10, A. D. 1818.
I declare the earth is hollow and habitable within; containing a number of solid concentrick spheres, one within the other, and that it is open at the poles 12 or 16 degrees; I pledge my life in support of this truth, and am ready to explore the hollow, if the world will support and aid me in the undertaking.
Jno. Cleves Symmes.
Of Ohio, Late Captain of Infantry.
N. B. -- I have ready for the press, a Treatise on the Principles of Matter, wherein I show proofs of the above positions, account for various phenomena, and disclose Doctor Darwin's Golden Secret.
My terms are the patronage of this and the new worlds.
I dedicate to my Wife and her ten Children.
I select Doctor S. L. Mitchill, Sir H. Davy, and Baron Alex. de Humboldt, as my protectors.
I ask one hundred brave companions, well equipped, to start from Siberia in the fall season, with Reindeer and slays, on the ice of the frozen sea: I engage we find a warm and and rich land, stocked with thrifty vegetables and animals if not men, on reaching one degree northward of latitude 82; we will return in the succeeding spring. J. C. S.

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