To St. Lambert
Aug. 8. 1786.
Mr. Jefferson has the honour of presenting his compliments to Monsieur le marquis de St. Lambert, and of thanking him for his very excellent translation of the act of the Virginia assembly. An opportunity having occurred, before the receipt of it, of forwarding the act to some foreign courts where it was thought it would be well received, Mr. Jefferson had been obliged to print copies from a translation prepared for the Encyclopedie. He shall endeavor as soon as possible to avail the public of the better one of M. de St. Lambert. He begs leave to present to him, and also through him to Madame la Comtesse d’Houditot the homage of his respects.
St. Lambert’s translation of the Act for Establishing Religious Freedom may have been enclosed in his to TJ of 27 July 1786, though it is not mentioned therein. The translation prepared by Démeunier for the Encyclopédie (see notes to Démeunier’s article on the United States, printed under 22 June 1786) that TJ sent to some foreign courts must have been printed and dispatched to the unnamed embassies during July; subsequently TJ caused St. Lambert’s translation to be printed separately for similar use. He also obtained an Italian translation (perhaps through Mazzei) and sent it to some foreign ministers (see note to TJ to Tronchin, 1 Aug. 1786).