Cherokee Phoenix


Published January, 7, 1829

Page 2 Column 5a


Among the many subjects, which have occupied the attention of the scientific world, perhaps there is none more curious and more interesting, than that of the Meteoric stone; which have been know to fall, at various times, since the Christian era, from the atmosphere. Many of the literatic [sic] have formed theories, and have endeavored to illustrate this interesting phenomenon; but after all their exertions, not having sufficient dates upon which to found their theories, they consequently could not say 'Tued erat demonstration.' Some have thought that these meteoric bodies have been hurled headlong from the moon or other planets; but they do not recollect, that these planets have centers and attractions of their own, and that no force or power could be employed on the moon to send a metallic substance of 100 or even a thousand pounds so far from it surface that the moon's attraction could not bring it back again. Consequently it would be utterly impossible for anybody to escape from the satellite and finally reach our Earth. Others have thought that the asteroids ceres, pallas juno, and vesta once composed a planet, and that; by some accident it burst asunder, and has finally formed four distinct bodies; and that these meteoric stones were the offals of those asteroids at the time of their separation, which have been revolving round the earth ever since. If this notion be correct, it would seem that the planet, from which these asteroids are supposed to have come, must have been an Iron as the meteoric stones are chiefly composed of that mettle [sic]. But the use of such a planet is a query as difficult to solve as to explain the phenomenon of the meteoric stone itself; unless it was the habitation of Vulcano [sic] before he was kicked out of haven [sic];

Others again have thought that these stones were ejected from some unknown Valcano [sic] on the surface of our globe; but they do not pretend to account for the manner in which these stones have been conveyed to the different parts of the Earth. For if they were ejected; the ejection would be mostly in a perpendicular manner; consequently the attraction of the earth would convey them back towards the crater from which they were discharged; hence it would be impossible that these metallic stones could fall on so many different countries as they have been known to do. But if this position were true, and the volcano could be found, it would be almost as valuable to the blacksmith as the Elixir of life would be to the physician, or the philosopher's stone, to the Chemist.

But others are of opinion that these meteoric stones are formed in the atmosphere; but how this operation is performed they have not thought proper to inform us. However, as these stones are found to consist chiefly of Iron, some mackel [sic] chrome, oxide of iron, sulphur, selex [sic], lime, magnesia, and alumine [sic] perhaps it may not be the wildest idea in the world, to suppose this last position is nearly correct. That they are formed from the exhalation, vapors, and gasses which arises from various substances, such as the fusing of mettle [sic] or the eruption of a volcano 'c. is most probable. It is evident that at such time there is a quantity of matter thrown up in a state of vapor which may be suspended than the atmosphere; until it undergoes some chemical change with the nature of which wee are not acquainted, and by the attraction of composition it may be instantaneously combined into a solid mass, which by the close union of its constituent particles has become much heavier than the atmospheric air and consequently the attraction of gravitation tends towards the surface of the earth. If this idea be correct it might serve, to some degree, to explain one of the most mysterious phenomena that has ever appeared.