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Newfoundland 1761 - trials of a June Transit

Newfoundland 1761 - trials of a June Transit

Professor John Winthrop, Harvard College’s Hollisian Professor of Mathematics and Philosophy, successfully observed the 1761 transit from "Venus Hill", now thought to be somewhere in the vicinity of St. John's (Kenmount Hill?). One of the most memorable images in his report recounts his experience with small but determined coastal fauna: "… in order fully to examine and verify the meridian and adjust our clock, we repeated these operations every fair day, and many times in a day; and continued them with an assiduity which the infinite swarms of insects, that were in possession of the hill, were not able to abate, tho’ they persecuted us severely and without intermission, both by day and by night, with their venemous stings"; RELATION of a VOYAGE from Boston to Newfoundland, for the Observation of The Transit of VENUS, June 6, 1761 (Boston: Edes & Gill, 1761), p.10. Image courtesy of Specula astronomica minima (©Specula astronomica minima).