Four Math Problems and a Question

(Fig. 1) Question 32: “In the rectangle Triangle ABC is given the base AB=9 and the difference of the other sides that is the segment BD=3. Required the sides AC and BC severaly[sic].” Question 33: “In the Rectangle Triangle ABC is given the base AB=5 and the sum of the other sides AC+BC=25. Required the sides AC·BC ¬¬¬severaly[sic].” The Cabell Family Papers, Series 2, Box 11, Msv#15.

(Fig. 1) Question 32: “In the rectangle Triangle ABC is given the base AB=9 and the difference of the other sides that is the segment BD=3. Required the sides AC and BC severaly[sic].” Question 33: “In the Rectangle Triangle ABC is given the base AB=5 and the sum of the other sides AC+BC=25. Required the sides AC·BC ¬¬¬severaly[sic].”
The Cabell Family Papers, Series 2, Box 11, Msv#15.

Interspersed among the survey notes of Dr. William Cabell (1699-1774) within the Cabell Family Papers, 1693-1913, are mathematical problems ranging from standard arithmetic to algebraic equations. The majority of the inscriptions are in an unknown hand, possibly one of Dr. Cabell’s children, but we cannot be certain.

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A Sculptor’s Sketches

While his family was busy with operating the Eastern State Hospital in Williamsburg, Norfolk-born Alexander Galt, Jr. (1827-1863) possessed artistic aspirations. His main ambition was to become a first-rate sculptor—and indeed he completed several sculptures in his brief life of 36 years—yet Galt’s sketchbook, housed in the Special Collections archives, is a testament to his mastery of drawing not only portraits and the human form, but also animals, architecture, and landscapes. In 1860, Alexander took the sketchbook with him on a trip to Florence, Italy to study sculpting, and in it he produced numerous beautifully detailed pencil drawings of men, women and children, many whom he names. A detailed sketch of a sitter’s hair falling above her ear reveals Galt’s careful attention to the most intricate curves and details of his subject.

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