FYI February 21, 2017

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On this day:

1245 – Thomas, the first known Bishop of Finland, is granted resignation after confessing to torture and forgery.
Thomas (Finnish: Tuomas) is the first known Bishop of Finland. Only a few facts are known about his life. He resigned in 1245 and died in Visby three years later.
The only reference to Bishop Thomas during his episcopate in Finland is a letter signed by him in Nousiainen in 1234, which granted certain lands around the parish to his chaplain Wilhelm.[1] The lands may be related to the papal permission from Pope Gregory IX in early 1229 that authorized the church to take over all non-Christian places of worship in Finland.[2] The letter is the oldest surviving letter written in Finland.

No further information on the bishop’s activities has survived before he was granted resignation by Pope Innocent IV on 21 February 1245.[3] According to the Pope, Thomas had admitted committing several felonies, such as torturing a man to death, and forging a papal letter.[4] Church representatives to oversee the resignation were the Archbishop of Uppsala and the Dominican prior of the Dacian province.[5] Thomas donated his books to the newly established Dominican convent in Sigtuna[6] and went on to live his last years in the Dominican convent in Visby, Gotland. He died there in 1248,[7] shortly before the Second Swedish Crusade, which cemented Swedish rule in Finland for more than 550 years.

During Thomas’ episcopate, Finland is listed among the lands under the papal legate in the Baltic region, originally the Bishop of Zemgale, Baldwin, and then William of Modena, first on 28 January 1232 and last on 15 July 1244.[8] This was a radical realignment of the bishopric’s position, since the Pope had earlier used Swedish bishops to assist the Finnish church, as evident from papal letters from 1171 (or 1172), 1221 and 1229. On 24 November 1232, the Pope even asked the Livonian Brothers of the Sword to provide forces for the unnamed Bishop of Finland to defend the country against the Novgorodian attacks.[9]

After Thomas had resigned in 1245, there was no immediate successor to him. The diocese was overseen by William at least until 5 June 1248.[10] Finland is not listed among the Swedish dioceses in surviving documents from 1241 and 1248, but appears among them in 1253.[11]

Even though Thomas is the first known Bishop of Finland, it is certain that he was not the first bishop overall. An unnamed Bishop of Finland is mentioned dead in a letter by Pope Innocent III already in 1209.[12] A 15th-century chronicle names bishops Henry, Rodulff and Folquinus before him, but no indisputable records survive of them.



1828 – Initial issue of the Cherokee Phoenix is the first periodical to use the Cherokee syllabary invented by Sequoyah.
The Cherokee Phoenix (Cherokee: ᏣᎳᎩ ᏧᎴᎯᏌᏅᎯ, translit. Tsalagi Tsulehisanəhi) was the first newspaper published by Native Americans in the United States and the first published in a Native American language.[1][2] The first issue was published in English and Cherokee on February 21, 1828, in New Echota, capital of the Cherokee Nation (present-day Georgia). The paper continued until 1834. The Cherokee Phoenix was revived in the 20th century, and today it publishes both print and Internet versions.

In the mid-1820s the Cherokee tribe was being pressured by the government, and by Georgia in particular, to remove to new lands west of the Mississippi River, or to end their tribal government and surrender control of their traditional territory to the United States (US) government. The General Council of the Cherokee Nation established a newspaper, in collaboration with Samuel Worcester, a missionary, who cast the type for the Cherokee syllabary. The Council selected Elias Boudinot as the first editor.[3]

Named Galagina Oowatie (ᎦᎴᎩᎾ ᎤᏩᏘ) in the Cherokee language, Elias Boudinot was born in 1804 at Oothcaloga, Cherokee Nation, near present-day Chatsworth, Georgia.[3] He chose the name of Elias Boudinot after meeting the statesman, while on his way to the Foreign Mission School in Cornwall, Connecticut, where he graduated. There Boudinot married Harriet Ruggles Gold, daughter of a prominent Congregational family. They returned to live at New Echota. Boudinot edited the newspaper for its first four and a half years.[citation needed]

Boudinot named the Cherokee Phoenix as a symbol of renewal, for the mythical bird that rose to new life from ashes of fire. The Nation founded the paper to gather support and to help keep members of the Cherokee Nation united and informed. The newspaper was printed in English and Cherokee, using the Cherokee syllabary developed in 1821 by Sequoyah. According to Langguth, those who could only read Cherokee received the paper free, while those who could read English paid according to a sliding scale:$2.50 a year if they paid in advance and $3.50 a year if they waited a year.[4] It served as the primary vehicle of communication among the many Cherokee townships that constituted the Cherokee Nation. The Nation occupied parts of what are now Virginia, North Carolina, Alabama and Georgia.[citation needed]

The first issue appeared February 21, 1828. It contained five columns on each of its four pages. The editor announced that, because translation between English and Cherokee was slow, initially the paper would print only three columns each week in the Cherokee language. The first issue covered a variety of subjects. Samuel Worcester wrote an article praising Sequoyah’s invention of the syllabary, and Boudinot’s first editorial criticized white settlers wanting Cherokee land. As the issue of removal attracted attention in the United States (US), the newspaper arranged a fund-raising and publicity tour, which attracted new subscribers from almost all areas of the US and Europe. Boudinot gradually published mostly in English, trying to reach that larger audience.[3]

In 1829, Boudinot renamed the Cherokee Phoenix as the Cherokee Phoenix and Indians’ Advocate, reflecting his intention to influence an audience beyond the Cherokee. He addressed issues which Indians across the United States and its territories faced related to assimilation and removal from their traditional homelands. The paper no longer related solely the Cherokee tribe. The paper also offered stories about debates over Indian removal and U.S. Supreme Court cases that affected Indian life.[5]

Boudinot believed removal was inevitable and that the Cherokee should protect their rights by treaty. He was allied with Major Ridge in this view. His views were opposed by the majority of the Cherokee, including Principal Chief John Ross, elected by the constitutional republic in 1828. The Council forced Boudinot to resign in 1832.[citation needed]

Elijah Hicks, an anti-removal Cherokee, replaced Boudinot as editor. When the federal government failed to pay the annuity to the Cherokee in 1834, the paper ceased publication. In August 1835 a contingent of the Georgia Guard took the printing press to prevent any further publication. The real objective was to prevent the newspaper from falling under the influence of John Ross.[6] The state militia was organized to police the Cherokee territory which the state had claimed.[3]
Recent developments

The Cherokee Phoenix published intermittently after Cherokee removal to Indian Territory. Since the late 20th century, it has been revived and is now published by the Cherokee Nation as a monthly broadsheet in Tahlequah, Oklahoma. The newspaper has modernized. It publishes on the Internet and is available on the iPhone, and there is a print version.[7]

A digitized, searchable version of the paper is available through the University of Georgia libraries and the Digital Library of Georgia.[8] Transcriptions of the English-language portions of the 19th-century newspaper can be found at Western Carolina University’s Hunter Library’s Web site.[9]

Artists Jeff Marley and Frank Brannon completed a collaborative project on October 19, 2013, in which they printed using Cherokee syllabary type in the print shop at New Echota. This was the first time syllabary printing type was used at New Echota since 1835.[10]

Born on this day:

1556 – Sethus Calvisius, German astronomer, composer, and theorist (d. 1615)
Sethus Calvisius or Setho Calvisio, originally Seth Kalwitz (21 February 1556 – 24 November 1615), was a German music theorist, composer, chronologer, astronomer, and teacher of the late Renaissance.
He was born into a peasant family at Gorsleben in present-day Thuringia. By the exercise of his musical talents he earned money enough for the start, at Helmstedt, of a university career, which the aid of a wealthy patron enabled him to continue at Leipzig. He became director of the music-school at Pforta in 1572. In 1594 he was transferred to Leipzig in the same post, including directing the Thomanerchor at the Thomaskirche.[1] He retained this post until his death in Leipzig, despite the offers successively made to him of mathematical professorships at Frankfurt and Wittenberg.

Calvisius was also a significant astronomer: in his Opus Chronologicum (Leipzig, 1605, 7th ed. 1685) he expounded a system based on the records of nearly 300 eclipses. An ingenious, though ineffective, proposal for the reform of the calendar was put forward in his Elenchus Calendarii Gregoriani (Frankfurt, 1612); and he published a book on music, Melodiae condendae ratio (Erfurt, 1592). He composed choral pieces including Unser Leben währet siebzig Jahr.[1]




1788 – Francis Ronalds, British scientist, inventor and engineer (d. 1873)
Sir Francis Ronalds FRS (21 February 1788 – 8 August 1873) was an English scientist and inventor, and arguably the first electrical engineer.[1] He was knighted for creating the first working electric telegraph.
Upbringing and family
Born to merchants Francis Ronalds and Jane née Field at their cheesemonger business in Upper Thames Street, London, he attended Unitarian minister Eliezer Cogan’s school before being apprenticed to his father at the age of 14. He ran the large business for some years. The family later resided in Highbury Terrace Islington, at Kelmscott House in Hammersmith, Queen Square in Bloomsbury, at Croydon, and on Chiswick Lane.[2]

Several of Ronalds’ eleven brothers and sisters also led noteworthy lives. His youngest brother Alfred authored the classic book The Fly-fisher’s Entomology (1836) before migrating to Australia and their brother Hugh was one of the founders of the city of Albion in the American Midwest. Their sisters married Samuel Carter[3] – a railway solicitor and MP – and sugar-refiner Peter Martineau of the famous Martineau family. Another sister Emily epitomised the family’s interest in social reform through her collaborations with early socialists Robert Owen and Fanny Wright.

Chemistry professor Edmund Ronalds and artist Hugh Carter[4] are two of Ronalds’ nephews and his nurseryman uncle Hugh Ronalds published the revered book Pyrus Malus Brentfordiensis: or, a Concise Description of Selected Apples (1831).[5]
Early electrical science and engineering
Ronalds was conducting electrical experiments by 1810: those on atmospheric electricity were outlined in George Singer’s text Elements of Electricity and Electro-Chemistry (1814).[6] He published his first papers in the Philosophical Magazine in 1814 on the properties of the dry pile, a form of battery that his mentor Jean-André Deluc helped to develop. The next year he described the first electric clock.[7]

Other inventions in this early period included an electrograph to record variations in atmospheric electricity through the day; an influence machine that generated electricity with minimal manual intervention; and new forms of electrical insulation, one of which was announced by Singer.[1][2] He was also already creating what would become the renowned Ronalds Library[8] of electrical books and managing his collection with perhaps the first practical card catalogue.[9]

His theoretical contributions included an early delineation of the parameters now known as electromotive force and current; an appreciation of the mechanism by which dry piles generated electricity; and the first description of the effects of induction in retarding electric signal transmission in insulated cables.[1][2][10]
Electric Telegraph
Elements of the subterranean electric telegraph built by Francis Ronalds in 1816

Ronalds’ most remembered work today is the electric telegraph he created at the age of 28. Foreshadowing both a future electrical age and mass communication, he wrote:

electricity, may actually be employed for a more practically useful purpose than the gratification of the philosopher’s inquisitive research… it may be compelled to travel… many hundred miles beneath our feet… and… be productive of… much public and private benefit…

why… add to the torments of absence those dilatory tormentors, pens, ink, paper, and posts? Let us have electrical conversazione offices, communicating with each other all over the kingdom…
give me materiel enough, and I will electrify the world.[11]

He complemented his vision with a working telegraph system built in and under the family’s garden at Hammersmith.[12] It was infamously rejected on 5 August 1816 by Sir John Barrow, Secretary at the Admiralty, as being “wholly unnecessary”. Commercialisation of the telegraph only began two decades later in the UK, led by William Fothergill Cooke and Charles Wheatstone, who both had links to Ronalds’ earlier work.[12][13]

Grand Tour
The period 1818–20 was Ronalds’ “Grand Tour” to Europe and the Near East. Embarking on his trip alone, he met up with numerous people along the way, including his friend Sir Frederick Henniker,[14] archaeologist Giovanni Battista Belzoni, artist Giovanni Battista Lusieri, merchant Walter Stevenson Davidson,[15] Revd George Waddington, Italian numismatist it:Giulio Cordero di San Quintino and Spanish geologist es:Carlos de Gimbernat. Ronalds’ travel journal and sketches have been published on the web.[16] On his return, he published his atmospheric electricity observations made in Palermo, Sicily, and near the erupting crater of Vesuvius.[11]
Mechanical design and manufacture
Ronalds next focussed on mechanical and civil engineering and design. Two surveying tools he designed and used to aid the production of survey plans were a modified surveyor’s wheel that recorded distances travelled in graphical form and a double-reflecting sector to draw the angular separation of distant objects. He also invented a forerunner to the fire finder patented in 1915 to pinpoint the location of a fire and various accessories for the lathe. Some of these devices were manufactured for sale by toolmaker Holtzapffel.[2]
Perspective machines and tripod stand

In 1825, he patented two drawing instruments for producing perspective sketches.[17] The first produced a perspective view of an object directly from drawings of the plan and elevations. The second machine enabled a scene or person to be traced from life onto paper with considerable precision; he and Dr Alexander Blair used it to document the important Neolithic monuments at Carnac, France, with “almost photographic accuracy”.[18][19] He also created the ubiquitous portable tripod stand with three pairs of hinged legs to support his drawing board in the field. He manufactured these instruments himself and several hundred of them were sold.[2] One of his first customers was mining engineer John Taylor.

Kew Observatory
In 1842, Ronalds set up the Kew Observatory for the British Association for the Advancement of Science and he remained Honorary Director of the facility until late 1853. It was through the quality of his achievements there that Kew survived its early years and it went to become one of the most important meteorological and geomagnetic observatories in the world. This was despite ongoing efforts by George Airy, Director of the Greenwich Observatory, to undermine the work at Kew.[20]
Continuously recording camera
Ronalds’ most noteworthy innovation at Kew, in 1845, was the first successful camera to make continuous recordings of an instrument 24 hours per day.[21] The British Prime Minister Lord John Russell gave him a financial award in recognition of the importance of the invention for observational science.[22]

He applied his technique in electrographs to observe atmospheric electricity, barographs and thermo-hygrographs to monitor the weather, and magnetographs to record the three components of geomagnetic force. The magnetographs were utilised by Edward Sabine in his global geomagnetic survey while the barograph and thermo-hygrograph were employed by the new Met Office to assist its first weather forecasts. Ronalds also supervised the manufacture of his instruments for other observatories around the world (the Radcliffe Observatory under Manuel John Johnson and the Colaba Observatory in India are two examples) and some continued in use until late in the 20th century.[2]
Meteorological instruments and observations
Further instruments created at Kew included an improved version of Regnault’s aspirated hygrometer that was employed for many years; an early meteorological kite; and the storm clock used to monitor rapid changes in meteorological parameters during extreme events.[20]

To observe atmospheric electricity, Ronalds created a sophisticated collecting apparatus with a suite of electrometers; the equipment was later manufactured and sold by London instrument-makers. A dataset of five years’ duration was analysed and published by his observatory colleague William Radcliffe Birt.[23]

The phenomenon now known as geomagnetically induced current was observed on telegraph lines in 1848 during the first sunspot peak after the network began to take shape. Ronalds endeavoured to employ his atmospheric electricity equipment and magnetographs in a detailed study to understand the cause of the anomalies but had insufficient resources to complete his work.[2]
Last years
Ronalds’ final foreign sojourn in 1853-62 was to northern Italy, Switzerland and France, where he assisted other observatories in building and installing his meteorological instruments and continued collecting books for his library. Some of his ideas documented in this period concerned electric lighting and a combined rudder and propeller for ships that was honed in the 20th century.

He died at Battle, near Hastings, aged 85, and is buried in the cemetery there. The Ronalds Library was bequeathed to the newly formed Society of Telegraph Engineers (soon to become the Institution of Electrical Engineers and now the Institution of Engineering and Technology) and its accompanying bibliography was reprinted by Cambridge University Press in 2013.[24]

Ronalds had a very modest and retiring nature and did little to publicise his work through his life.[25] During his last years, however, his key accomplishments became well known and revered in the scientific community, aided in particular by his friends Josiah Latimer Clark and Edward Sabine and his brother-in-law Samuel Carter. He was knighted at the age of 82. Colleagues at the Society of Telegraph Engineers regarded him as “the father of electric telegraphy”,[26] while his continuously recording camera was noted to be “of extreme importance to meteorologists and physicists, and… employed in all first-rate observatories”.[27] His portrait was painted by Hugh Carter.[28] Commemorative plaques have been installed on two of his former homes[29] and a road was named after him in Highbury.




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