Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
Grant Wilson, John Fiske and Stanley L. Klos. Six volumes, New York: D. Appleton
and Company, 1887-1889 and 1999. Virtualology.com warns that these 19th Century
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PATERSON, John, mathematician, born in Paterson, New Jersey, 11 January, 1801; died in Albany, New York, 31 July, 1883. His father removed to Hamilton, Ontario, and died while the son was a boy. He received only two terms of schooling, was employed during his youth by a druggist, found a place in a printing-office at Niagara Falls, and went thence to New York city, and in 1825 to Albany, where he worked as a compositor for more than forty years. Meanwhile he devoted his leisure to the study of mathematics, and learned French and German in order to read mathematical and philosophical treatises in those languages. From 1851 till his death he held the office of superintendent of weights and measures, and from 1862 till he was incapacitated by a stroke of paralysis in 1874 he was employed by the state insurance department in calculating life annuities. He published a work on the " Calculus of Operations" (Albany, 1850), to which was added a supplemental volume; papers on "Weights and Measures" (1864) ; and "Re searches in the Theory and Calculus of Operations" (1872), printed in the "Transactions" of the Albany institute; and a pamphlet announcing a new theory of gravitation (1874); also mathematical papers in the "Cambridge Mathematical Journal," the "American Journal of Science," and other scientific periodicals.
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