Thomas Jefferson Papers

To Thomas Jefferson from Caleb P. Wayne, 17 September 1802

From Caleb P. Wayne

Philadelphia, September 17. 1802.


Enclosed you will receive Proposals for publishing by Subscription, a History of the late General George Washington; your presenting it to any of your friends, will greatly oblige me, and should you think proper to sanction it with your own name, it will be duly appreciated

By Sir, Your most obedient Servant,

C. P. Wayne

RC (DLC); printed, with date and signature in Wayne’s hand; endorsed by TJ as received 23 Sep. and “subscribed 1. copy.” Enclosure not found, but see below.

Caleb P. Wayne (1776–1849) published the short-lived Boston Federal Gazette in 1798 before moving to Philadelphia and assuming control from 28 May 1800 to November 1801, of the Gazette of the United States. After more than two years of negotiations, in September 1802, he reached agreement with Bushrod Washington, the trustee of George Washington’s papers, on the terms for publication of a multi-volume work on the Life of George Washington to be written by John Marshall in five octavo volumes, with the first to be published in January 1803 (Brigham, American Newspapers description begins Clarence S. Brigham, History and Bibliography of American Newspapers, 1690–1820, Worcester, Mass., 1947, 2 vols. description ends , 1:295, 2:913; Marshall, Papers description begins Herbert A. Johnson, Charles T. Cullen, Charles F. Hobson, and others, eds., The Papers of John Marshall, Chapel Hill, 1974–2006, 12 vols. description ends , 6:220–1; Alexandria Advertiser, 6 Sep. 1802; Gazette of the United States, 22 Sep. 1802; New York Daily Advertiser, 25 Sep. 1802).

SANCTION IT WITH YOUR OWN NAME: TJ subscribed to one copy of Marshall’s work and made corrections and marginal annotations to it. He had previously proposed that Joel Barlow write a Republican history to counter Marshall’s Federalist interpretation (Sowerby, description begins E. Millicent Sowerby, comp., Catalogue of the Library of Thomas Jefferson, Washington, D.C., 1952–59, 5 vols. description ends No. 496; Vol. 37:401).

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