Thomas Jefferson Papers

Thomas Jefferson to John Preston, 19 August 1816

To John Preston

Monticello Aug. 19. 16.


The Lancastrian system of education was proposed w[hen?] I was too much engaged in business to attend to it; and after my retirement I considered it as the commencement of a system which was to go into operation with another generation and with which of course I should have nothing to do. I have therefore neve[r] read a sentence on the subject, nor know a single element of [it?] consequently am totally unqualified to recommend it to others, an[d] were1 it moral to recommend what I know nothing about, it would only degrade myself without honoring your bo[ok.] under these circumstances you must be so good as to excus[e] my declining it, and with my best wishes for it’s success if it b[e] really useful, I tender you the assurance of my respect

Th: Jefferso[n]

PoC (MHi); on verso of portion of a reused address cover from George Logan to TJ; mutilated at seal and edge trimmed; at foot of text: “Mr John Preston”; endorsed by TJ.

1TJ here canceled “I to do it.”

Index Entries

  • books; for children search
  • books; on mathematics search
  • books; school textbooks search
  • children; books for search
  • education; elementary search
  • education; Lancasterian model search
  • education; textbooks search
  • education; TJ on search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Books & Library; receives works search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Opinions on; education search
  • Lancaster, Joseph; educational system of search
  • mathematics; elementary education in search
  • Preston, John (ca. 1755–1842); letter to search
  • Preston, John (ca. 1755–1842); writes Lancasterian textbooks search
  • schools and colleges; textbooks for search