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Nicholas Biddle to Thomas Jefferson, 28 September 1813

From Nicholas Biddle

Andalusia On the Delaware Sepr 28. 1813


My residence in the country during the Summer has prevented me from answering sooner your very polite note of the 20th of August covering a communication to Mr Allen which was immediately transmitted to him. It is now a long time since I was tempted by the request of Genl Clark & other friends as well as by the natural interest of the subject to undertake the composition of the narrative part of the travels ofMssrs Lewis & Clark, whilst Dr Barton took charge of the objects of natural history connected with the work. I had written off roughly nearly the whole when other occupations interposed, and on Genl Clark’s visit here last spring I gave up the manuscripts to Mr Allen, who was to take the rude outline as I had left it, add from the original journals whatever had been omitted in the first rapid sketch, mould the whole as he thought best and superintend the publication. He informs me that about one half of the second & last volume of the narrative is printed & that the whole will appear shortly. The introductory notice of Govr Lewis is very interesting and the account of the previous projects for exploring the country west of the Mississipi contains new & curious information. you mention the assistance of the Baron de Grimm. you may not perhaps have seen the correspondence of that gentleman which was published last year at Paris. I have received it & if I thought the perusal of it would gratify you, would forward it to you at Monticello, the more willingly, as I know that you regard with interest the literary occurrences of France. This correspondence however, tho’ in five large Octavo volumes does not reach lower than the year 1782, a circumstance which diminishes in some degree its value to us.

My estimable friend Mr Correa spent a short time with me on his way northward to embark for Europe. I am delighted at his visit to Monticello, since the sentiments with which he returns from it, have raised our country in his estimation, & will do us much honor abroad. They have also added greatly to the respectful consideration with which I am

Sincerely Yrs

Nicholas Biddle

RC (DLC); at foot of text: “Thomas Jefferson Esq. Monticello”; endorsed by TJ as received 10 Oct. 1813 and so recorded in SJL. FC (DLC: Biddle Papers); entirely in Biddle’s hand; endorsed by Biddle.

A total of eleven volumes of the Correspondance littéraire, philosophique et critique of Friedrich Melchior, Freiherr von Grimm, covering the period from 1753 to 1782 were published in Paris in 1812. Another five volumes published in 1813 brought the edition down to 1790, and a final supplementary volume appeared in 1814. TJ acquired the first sixteen volumes, and probably the final one as well, through Robert Walsh and Joseph Milligan early in 1818 (Walsh to TJ, 27 Jan. 1818; Milligan to TJ, 6 Feb. 1818; Poor, Jefferson’s Library description begins Nathaniel P. Poor, Catalogue. President Jefferson’s Library, 1829 description ends , 14 [no. 918]).

Index Entries

  • Allen, Paul; and N. Biddle’s history of the Lewis and Clark Expedition search
  • Barton, Benjamin Smith; and history of Lewis and Clark Expedition search
  • Biddle, Nicholas; and history of Lewis and Clark Expedition search
  • Biddle, Nicholas; and J. Corrêa da Serra search
  • Biddle, Nicholas; letters from search
  • books; of correspondence search
  • Clark (Clarke), William; and journals of Lewis and Clark Expedition search
  • Corrêa da Serra, José; and N. Biddle search
  • Corrêa da Serra, José; visits Monticello search
  • Correspondance littéraire, philosophique et critique (F. M. Grimm) search
  • Grimm, Friedrich Melchior, Baron von; Correspondance littéraire, philosophique et critique search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Writings; Biography of Meriwether Lewis search
  • Lewis, Meriwether; and publication of journals search
  • Lewis, Meriwether; TJ’s biography of search
  • Lewis and Clark Expedition; publication of journals search
  • Monticello (TJ’s estate); Visitors to; Corrêa da Serra, José search