Thomas Jefferson Papers

To Thomas Jefferson from John Conrad & Co., 16 December 1802

From John Conrad & Co.

Philada Decemb 16th 1802


Beleiving that it will afford you pleasure, to see that we may soon expect to rival any European nation in the elegance of one of our principal manufactures, and proud of what can be done in our country, we have taken the liberty of forwarding to you (as the person who has done most for the encouragement of our manufactures) a specimen in Mr Linns poems, of American Type foundery, Paper making, engraving & printing not inferior to the best English productions—

We hope you will not put yourself to the trouble of acknowledging this. it is sent by post & will undoubtedly reach you, which is all we wish for—

With the highest Respect We are Sir &c

John Conrad & Co.

RC (MHi); at foot of text: “President of the United States”; endorsed by TJ as received 20 Dec. and so recorded in SJL.

John Conrad (1777–1851), a Philadelphia publisher and bookseller, was in business by 1800 under the name John Conrad & Co. at 30 Chestnut Street. He was also a partner in the Washington, D.C., bookstore and printing office of Rapine, Conrad, and Co. In November 1803, he sent TJ “the first number of our American Magazine Review,” to which the president subsequently subscribed. In the spring of 1807, he contracted with Meriwether Lewis to publish the journals of the Lewis and Clark expedition, but was unable to complete the project by 1812, when the firm, by then operating as C. & A. Conrad & Co., failed (Jackson, Lewis and Clark description begins Donald Jackson, ed., The Letters of the Lewis and Clark Expedition, with Related Documents, 1783-1854, 2d ed., Urbana, Ill., 1978 description ends , 393–4n; RCHS description begins Records of the Columbia Historical Society, 1895-1989 description ends , 25 [1923], 199; New York Weekly Herald, 31 Jan. 1852; RS description begins J. Jefferson Looney and others, eds., The Papers of Thomas Jefferson: Retirement Series, Princeton, 2004- , 8 vols. description ends , 1:412, 668–9; Vol. 35:489n; Conrad and Co. to TJ, 28 Nov. 1803 and TJ to Conrad and Co., 2 Dec.).

mr linns poems: John Blair Linn, a co-pastor of the First Presbyterian Church in Philadelphia, wrote The Powers of Genius, A Poem, in Three Parts, which was published in a second enlarged and corrected edition by John Conrad & Co. in 1802 (Sowerby, description begins E. Millicent Sowerby, comp., Catalogue of the Library of Thomas Jefferson, Washington, D.C., 1952-59, 5 vols. description ends No. 4469).

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