Thomas Jefferson Papers
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John Vaughan to Thomas Jefferson, 19 March 1815

From John Vaughan

Philad. 19 March 1815

D sir

Your favors, of Feby & of 1 March were recieved—To the last I would have given immediate reply, but I wanted to fix a Credit in France, which I have not yet done to my Satisfaction—This however upon reflection has nothing to do with the Agency for the Purchase of Books—This I would recommend to be committed To F. A. Michaux. Botanist Paris, He has been an indefatigable agent for our Society, & in return I recieve his Books & works & dispose of them free of any Charge He will feel himself honord by your Commands will execute them with zeal—He is always on the best footing with our functionaries & makes use of public Vessels or private opportunities, as may most conveniently be embraced—When your orders are made out, let it be by duplicate, put one under an unsealed cover adressed to Robt Dickey New York—Put that & your Duplicate both under Cover to me—I will accompany each with a letter from myself to Michaux, & point out the arrangement—Should the Vessel be a publick Vessel & go to any other port than Philada you can Designate your own friends—or mine, these are, Rob. Dickey New York, Moses Myers & Son Norfolk Hugh Thompson Baltimore—when I recieve your letters, I will either (as I may be directed) purchase a Bill or procure a Credit, & If I cannot get the latter, I will give Michx a Credit on Bordeaux, which may answer the purpose ’till remittance can be made. Treasury notes are about 3 or 3½ Discount, but may probably grow better—I would not however delay making my Catalogue & Sending it, as some time must necessarily elapse, before its Execution Upon this or any other occasion where my services can be made Useful, it will give me pleasure to find myself called upon by you—

A line to our Public Characters to assist Mr Mx when public opportunities offer may confirm the disposition to facilitate; I must Say that they have been remarkably accomodating to our Society—I ask for Duplicates—which I will forward by private Vessels—You can Send a third by the Channel of the Department of State & I can Send a letter to Michaux to accompany it—

I believe I can furnish all you want to Complete Michaux Work

Vol 1 { You have the Pines—which form  1. 2 Livres
I can furnish Noyaux 3. 4 4$
Vol 2 { You have the oaks 5 a 8
Also—Birches 9: 10
I can furnish—Maples 11. 12 } 24$
Vol. 3 { which Closes the Work 13 a 24

These have been Sold by me for Michaux at 4$ Noyaux & 24$ for maples & 3d Vol—

I have disposed of about 20 Sets & shall hope soon to hear whether you wish these Sent to you—We are very anxious to get when Convenient a Catalogue of your Library however rough it may be, altho’ I hope a regular & full one will be published by Congress.—

I remain sincerely1 Yours &c

Jn Vaughan

Very Good opportunities are now offering to france.

RC (MHi); postscript on verso of last page; endorsed by TJ as received 24 Mar. 1815 and so recorded in SJL. RC (David L. Winchester and Anne E. Jones, Goochland County, and Matthew P. Winchester, Henrico County, 2017); address cover only; with PoC of TJ to Patrick Gibson, 24 Apr. 1815, on verso; addressed: “Thomas Jefferson Monticello Virginia”; redirected in an unidentified hand to Milton, with additional penciled notation in another hand: “Charlottesville believed to be the Post Town”; franked; postmarked Philadelphia, 20 Mar.

Vaughan, TJ, and François André michaux were members of the American Philosophical society. Michaux’s work was Histoire des Arbres Forestiers de l’Amérique Septentrionale, 3 vols. (Paris, 1810–13; Sowerby, description begins E. Millicent Sowerby, comp., Catalogue of the Library of Thomas Jefferson, 1952–59, 5 vols. description ends no. 1083). livres: a livraison is a part, number, or fascicle of a work published by installments (OED description begins James A. H. Murray, J. A. Simpson, E. S. C. Weiner, and others, eds., The Oxford English Dictionary, 2d ed., 1989, 20 vols. description ends ). noyaux is French for “fruits with pits”; Vaughan presumably intended “noyers,” for “walnut trees.”

1Manuscript: “sincerly.”

Index Entries

  • American Philosophical Society; F. A. Michaux sends works to search
  • American Philosophical Society; members of search
  • American Philosophical Society; members of, foreign search
  • books; on botany search
  • botany; books on search
  • Dickey, Robert; mentioned search
  • Histoire des arbres forestiers de l’Amerique septentrionale (F. A. Michaux) search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Books & Library; catalogue of search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Books & Library; orders books search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Business & Financial Affairs; lines of credit in Europe search
  • Michaux, François André; and American Philosophical Society search
  • Michaux, François André; foreign member of American Philosophical Society search
  • Michaux, François André; Histoire des arbres forestiers de l’Amerique septentrionale search
  • Moses Myers & Sons (Norfolk firm) search
  • oak; F. A. Michaux on search
  • State Department, U.S.; forwards letters search
  • Thompson, Hugh; merchant search
  • Treasury Department, U.S.; treasury notes search
  • trees; F. A. Michaux catalogues search
  • Vaughan, John; and American Philosophical Society search
  • Vaughan, John; and TJ’s lines of credit in Europe search
  • Vaughan, John; letters from search
  • Vaughan, John; TJ purchases books through search