Thomas Jefferson Papers

To Thomas Jefferson from R. Schaer, 25 March 1819

Washington City the 25th March, 1819.


Having learned from several news papers, that a university is forming, under your patronage, in Virginia, and presuming, that the founders thereof will be desirous of providing the same with every object necessarily appartaining to institutions of this nature, I hereby take the liberty to offer you respectfully the following articles presently in my possession.

I. A philosophical apparatus, consisting of

one telescop, 8 feet 10 inches by 6½ inches,

one solar microscop

one simple—do

an air-pump

an electric machine

a hydrostatic balanse

a set of instruments to demonstrate the powers of mechanics


The lever

The pulley, simple, & different systems of pullies.

Axis & wheel


Tailored plan

wedge & screw (This sett of instruments is made of brass & Ivory)

one pentograph

II A mineralogical cabinet, consisting of about three thousand specimens of minerals from France, Spain, Italy, Germany, England & other countries of Europe, also minerals from different parts of the U. States. This cabinet contains likewise a collection of 120 different sorts of polished marbles & alabasters from Europe, it is accompanied with a complete mineralogical apparatus, & particularly intended for lecturing

III A small collection of European shells,

IV. A collection of anticks 1320 specimens.

V. A collection of books & prints, comprising

Thusnepell, system of botany, 5 vols. fol. plants volumes

Tehteology by Black, 2 vol. fol. fish volumes

natural history of Surinam, 3 vol. fol. with figures

History of insects by Geoffing, a vol. 4to

Animeaux sans vertebre by Lamark, 1 vol. 8vo

Fableau J. la Suisse, or a collection of the most interesting views of Swizzerland, 2 vol. foll.

Architecture by Inigo Johns, 1 vol. fol.

Modern italian and Ancient architecture, 1 vol. fol.

A collection of engravings of different subjects

Chimistry by Housesoid, Chaptal, Lagrange, Terill, Hapworth &c.

Experimental philosophy by Sigan, Hayes, Bossott &c—

mineralogy by Delamathesie, Brevehall, Flearetautt &c—

Mathematics by Bossott, Laervial, Clairent &c

Astronomy, by Newton & Delambre

Geography consisting of several atlases & a number of separate maps.

Also different works on history & other subjects, the whole of which I wish to dispose of, if possible before the first of mai, at the moderate price of five-thousand dollars. Terms of payment would be easy & acceptable

The favour of a few lines from your hand, in answer to the above would completely oblige

Dear sir, your very humble servant

R. Schaer


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