From Nicholas Gouin Dufief
Philada March 17. 1817
I have to acknowledge the receipt of your favour with its inclosure and shall attend to your commands as soon as the work is published.1 The deviation from the rule you have adopted in regard to publications as you explained to me in your letter impresses me with a high sense of the honor conferred on my work. I entertain well grounded hopes that the American discovery of a new principle of tuition, offerring incalculable advantages for the liberal education of the poor: a desideratum the most sanguine friends of humanity thought could never have been obtained, will increase the usefulness of the new edition, and thereby warrant the very flattering exception you have been pleased to make in my behalf. My warmest wishes for your prosperity, and of those dear to you, follow you in your retirement. With sentiments of the highest respect I remain, Sir, Your very humble servant
N. G. Dufief2
RC (ViU: Madison Papers). Addressed by Dufief to JM at “Washington City,” and franked.
1. Letter not found. JM had evidently answered Dufief’s 20 Dec. 1816 letter (ViU: Madison Papers), which had invited JM to subscribe to the fourth edition of Nature Displayed, in Her Mode of Teaching Language to Man…, first published in Philadelphia in 1804 (Shaw and Shoemaker description begins R. R. Shaw and R. H. Shoemaker, comps., American Bibliography: A Preliminary Checklist for 1801–1819 (22 vols.; New York, 1958–66). description ends 6199). The fourth edition was published in Philadelphia in 1821.
2. Nicholas Gouin Dufief (ca. 1776–1834) was born in Nantes, France, and emigrated to the United States in 1793, where after a time, he established himself in Philadelphia as a French teacher and bookseller. His new method of acquiring language through conversation rather than the formal study of grammar, which he laid out in a book published in 1804 (see n. 1 above), proved popular. He also compiled a three-volume French-English dictionary that was published in 1810. In 1817 his bookstore was located at 118 Chestnut Street (Madeleine B. Stern, Nicholas Gouin Dufief of Philadelphia: Franco-American Bookseller, 1776–1834 [Philadelphia, 1988], 10–11, 13–14, 17–18, 22, 51, 71).