Thomas Jefferson Papers

To Thomas Jefferson from Anthony Gerna, 2 September 1795

From Anthony Gerna

Dublin, Septr. 2d. 1795


The reccollection of the kind reception, that you were pleased to give me, when in Paris, affords me a pleasure equal to any other; and inspires me with a hope, that I may be still so fortunate as to remain in your remembrance and favour. I therefore take the liberty of addressing you these few lines, accompanied with a small bundle of Books, which will be presented to you by Mr. Isaac Weld, a young Gentleman, whose gentle manners, and other excellent qualities, may entitle him to your notice. The abovemention’d little bundle contains in particular, a Sett of Fenn’s Euclid and Arithmetic, of which I have sent 581 setts to America; and consigned to Messrs. James & Clibborn, merchants in Philadelphia in order to be disposed, at so low a price as to make it worth the attention of the public: And on such an Occasion, I humbly sollicit your Countenance.

The present awfull State of the World has induced me to retire from Business; and had I found the terms of passing to America, more moderate (being now here at twentyfive guineas per Person) I would perhaps have brought thither my Family in order to cultivate with their own hands, a small spot of ground of your sacred Continent. May Heaven preserve you for a long time, that you may contribute to whatever may tend to the advantage of Mankind. And may The Omnipotent infuse into the mind of men a Love of Truth and Justice, and keep them from the three infernal monsters, Ambition, Voluptuosness, and Avarice; that they may finally look upon each other as belonging to the same great Family, as they really are. I remain with great Sincerity and respect, Sir, your very humble most Obedient and Obliged Servant

Anthony Gerna

RC (DLC); endorsed by TJ as received 8 May 1796 and so recorded in SJL.

Isaac Weld was the Irish topographer whose 1795–97 journey to America was the subject of his Travels through the States of North America and the Provinces of Upper and Lower Canada, during the Years 1795, 1796, and 1797 (London, 1799). An excerpt from this work describing Weld’s May 1796 visit to Monticello is in Merrill D. Peterson, ed., Visitors to Monticello (Charlottesville, 1989), 18–20.

Fenn’s Euclid and arithmetic: Joseph Fenn, who also compiled and wrote separate works on geometry and algebra, surveyed both subjects in his Instructions Given in the Drawing School Established by the Dublin-Society …, 2 vols. (Dublin, 1769–72).

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