Thomas Jefferson Papers
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John Melish to Thomas Jefferson, 21 December 1813

From John Melish

Philadelphia 21 Decr 1813

Dear Sir

I beg leave to present you with a Copy of the military atlas, just published, which I hope will afford you a little amusement in your retirement, and be no unpleasing picture of the State of the arts in this City.—

With affectionate wishes for your welfare, and sentiments of veneration and respect—

I am Dear Sir Your obed. Sert

John Melish

RC (DLC); at head of text: “Thomas Jefferson Esq”; endorsed by TJ as received 31 Dec. 1813 and so recorded in SJL. Enclosure: Melish, A Military and Topographical Atlas of the United States; including the British Possessions & Florida … to which is added, A List of the Military Districts, A Register of the Army, and A List of the Navy of the United States (Philadelphia, 1813; Poor, Jefferson’s Library description begins Nathaniel P. Poor, Catalogue. President Jefferson’s Library, 1829 description ends , 7 [no. 356]).

With this letter Melish also enclosed a prospectus for his “New General Atlas, And familiar Introduction to the Use of Maps,” which he described as a revised and improved American edition of a work “originally published by Laurie and Whittle, very celebrated map engravers in London.” According to a newspaper advertisement, Melish’s publication was to contain folio maps of the world as a whole, America, Europe, Asia, Africa, the United States, England, Scotland, Ireland, and an “Elementary Map”; as well as “a series of Statistical Tables, exhibiting at a general view, the Extent, Population, Government, Towns, Revenue, Religion, Produce, Trade, Manufactures, &c. of all the countries in the world.” The atlas was to be engraved by John Vallance and H. S. Tanner, printed on high-quality paper, and bound with morocco backs, at a cost to subscribers of $5 if the maps were colored, with “a suitable deduction” if they were left uncolored (New York Columbian, 1 Sept. 1813).

Index Entries

  • A Military and Topographical Atlas of the United States (J. Melish) search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Books & Library; works sent to search
  • Laurie & Whittle (London firm); map engravers search
  • Melish, John; A Military and Topographical Atlas of the United States search
  • Melish, John; letters from search
  • Melish, John; proposal for printing a general atlas search
  • Tanner, Henry Schenck; as engraver search
  • Vallance, John; as engraver search