Weston The First Documented Meteorite in the New World
Fairfield County, Connecticut
Communication issues during the time of the French Revolution contributed to the belated acceptance by French scientists that rocks fell from the sky. As a result of an even greater difficulty in transmitting scientific findings to the New World, the acceptance of meteorites by American scientists was further belated. Just as there were many skeptics outside of Italy following the Siena meteorite shower of 1794, there were still skeptics in the U.S. following the first American meteorite shower investigated by American scholars. Following the lAigle meteorite event of 1803 (see lot 8), renowned scientist and president of the United States, Thomas Jefferson, wrote to a friend, in part, I find nothing surprising about the rain of stones in France. There are in France more real philosophers than in any country on Earth; but there are also a great proportion of pseudo-philosophers there. The reason is the exuberant imagination of a Frenchman gives him greater facility of writing, and runs away with his judgment unless he has a good stock of it. It even creates facts for him which never happened, and he tells them with good faith.
Until a meteorite shower occurred on December 14, 1807 over the town of Weston, Connecticut, many American scientists dismissed the idea of meteorites. Upon learning of the event from two Yale professors who published their findings, President Jefferson reputedly responded, I would more easily believe that two Yankee professors would lie than that stones would fall from heaven. Rocks did fall from heaven, and although its difficult to obtain samples from that day in 1807, this is a fine cube-like fragment with one broad face of fusion crust. The first documented meteorite fall in the New World, Weston is arguably the historic American meteorite.
18 x 15 x 15mm and 8.92 grams