ABBADIE, Antoine Thomson d’. 18876



Autograph Letter Signed ‘Antoine d’Abbadie’, to James Yates, about his work on weights and measures, the different units in use, and much else. In English. 1 page 8 x 5 inches, with the integral blank leaf, in fine condition. Behobie (Basses Pyrenees), 7 October 1859. Uncommon. Antoine Thomson d’Abbadie (1810-1897), was a French explorer, geographer and basque scholar, notable for his travels in Ethiopia during the first half of the 19th century. He travelled in Ethiopia with his younger brother, Arnaud Michel d’Abbadie. The general account of the travels of the two brothers was published by Arnaud in 1868 under the title of Douze ans dans la Haute Ethiopie. Basque through his father, Abbadie developed a particular interest about the Basque Language after meeting the Prince Louis Lucien Bonaparte in London. He started his academic work on Basque in 1852. “When you adopt decimal measures in England, I beg you to invent two new ones forgotten in France during that revolution which has given us no other good thing besides the decimal weights, measures, & coins. The first new measure ought to be one for steam power, for we are all puzzled to define horse-power & nominal horse-power. The second should be for supplies of water …”