Thomas Jefferson Papers

From Thomas Jefferson to George Caines, 21 March 1801

To George Caines

Washington Mar. 21. 1801.


The desire you express to prefix my name to the work you are about to publish is gratifying to me as an additional testimonial of that approbation of my fellow citizens which is so consoling to me. the matter of your work possesses too much self importance to need any adventitious aid from external circumstances. it cannot fail to recommend itself to a very general attention. I ask the favor of you to consider me as one of the subscribers to it, & to accept my friendly & respectful salutations.

Th: Jefferson

PrC (DLC); at foot of text: “George Caines esq. N. York.”


Desire you express: see Caines to TJ, 10 Mch.

Caines proceeded to dedicate his work on commercial law to TJ and included a letter to the president in the front matter of his initial volume: “As that which might be of some utility to these States, whose welfare I know you have so truly at heart, I begged leave to dedicate to you the following sheets. For the obliging manner in which the permission was accorded, you have long had my private, and I am happy now to offer my public acknowledgments. In affixing your name to this publication, it is very possible, Sir, I may preserve the title-page long after the work itself is forgotten” (An Enquiry into the Law Merchant of the United States; or, Lex Mercatoria Americana, on Several Heads of Commercial Importance [New York, 1802]; Shaw-Shoemaker description begins Ralph R. Shaw and Richard H. Shoemaker, comps., American Bibliography: A Preliminary Checklist for 1801–1819, New York, 1958–63, 22 vols. description ends , No. 1978).

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