Thomas Jefferson Papers

To Thomas Jefferson from Mathew Carey, [on or before 29 June 1801]

From Mathew Carey

[on or before 29 June 1801]


Amidst the numerous objects which demand from you unceasing attention, it requires an apology to obtrude on you any business of a private nature. However your regard for the interests of literature will probably induce you to excuse me in the present instance.

I have in the press an American pocket Atlas, which I expect to be able to publish early next month. In the former edition I gave the Census of the United States; and am desirous of enriching the present one with the recent Census.—I should regard it as a very particular favour, if you would be pleased to give directions to have a copy taken by any of the clerks in the office where the statements are recorded.

I am, with the sincerest esteem, Your obt. hble. servt

Mathew Carey

RC (DLC); undated; at head of text: “Thomas Jefferson, President of the United States”; endorsed by TJ as received 29 June and so recorded in SJL.

In 1796 Mathew Carey first published a smaller version of his American maps as Carey’s American pocket atlas. Touched-up copper plates from which the maps were printed could be used over again, so that his atlases were reissued with fresh title pages frequently over the next 20 years. Publication of the 1801 atlas was delayed until October while the publisher awaited the census returns for Tennessee, which did not arrive in time for inclusion (James N. Green, Mathew Carey Publisher and Patriot [Philadelphia, 1985], 17; Carey’s American Pocket Atlas [Philadelphia, 1801; 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. 277]).

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