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This article reproduces and discusses the significance of a lengthy letter written by Charles Babbage to an unknown recipient on 2 August 1835. The latter not only gives an early description of the Analytical Engine but also provides some insight into Babbage's frame of mind at the time. Evidence is presented to indicate that the recipient was Nathaniel Bowditch, a prominent American scientist. In addition, some insight into Babbage's personal life and his connection with the American scientific community.
Date of Publication: July-Sept. 1987