Thomas Jefferson Papers
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Augustus B. Woodward to Thomas Jefferson, 22 April 1814

From Augustus B. Woodward

Alexandria, April 22. 1814.

I left Washington this afternoon in prosecution of my journey to Monticello, and shall proceed on, in the stage, to Fredericsburgh, to-morrow morning. Presuming that the mail will travel faster than the state of the roads and weather will allow me to do I forward this line, from this place; not contemplating to write again on the road, unless detained by some unexpected contingency.

Col. Monroe requested me to mention to you that he expected to be in Albemarle in three weeks. Dr Tucker, Dr Leib, Mr Law,1 Mr Ringgold, charged me with their respects to you. The President expects to visit Orange next week.

I flatter myself I shall find you at home, and some-what disengaged. I entertain the hope of meeting Col. Randolph at Monticello. If any of your other scientific friends, or neighbors, should be at leisure to bestow an hour, for a few days, say from twelve to one p.m., each day, or every other day, on the subject which I propose exhibiting to your attention, it would be gratifying. Every suggestion, from whatever quarter, will be carefully noted, and if what is in2 contemplation should hereafter meet the favor and adoption of the scientific world it will not be uninteresting to recollect its progress and developement. To yourself, Sir, as the father of your country, and cherishing peculiarly the wish of seeing it equal, and, if possible superior, to Europe in scientific attainment, I deem it a duty to make the first exposition of the enterprize in contemplation. I rely greatly on the accuracy of your judgment, not only in relation to the correctness of the division, and demarcation, of the sciences, but also in the selection of the most appropriate terms in the nomenclature; and shall, with equal pride and pleasure, distinguish the improvements which I anticipate as the result of my expected interview with you.

accept, Sir, my sincere esteem, and respect.

A. B. Woodward.

RC (DLC); addressed: “The Hon. Thomas Jefferson. Monticello. Virginia”; endorsed by TJ as received 30 Apr. 1814 and so recorded in SJL.

During a visit to TJ that lasted from either 29 Apr. or 1 May until at least 22 May 1814, Woodward and TJ conversed on the subject of the classification of knowledge, and Woodward copied TJ’s library organization scheme (Woodward, A System of Universal Science [Philadelphia, 1816; Poor, Jefferson’s Library description begins Nathaniel P. Poor, Catalogue. President Jefferson’s Library, 1829 description ends , 14 (no. 930)], 192, 213–24).

1Preceding two words interlined.

2Woodward here canceled “agitation.”

Index Entries

  • Jefferson, Thomas; Books & Library; classification of search
  • Law, Thomas; sends respects to TJ search
  • Leib, Michael; sends respects to TJ search
  • Madison, James; visits Montpellier search
  • Monroe, James; visits Highland estate search
  • Monticello (TJ’s estate); Visitors to; Woodward, Augustus E. B. search
  • Randolph, Thomas Mann (1768–1828) (TJ’s son-in-law; Martha Jefferson Randolph’s husband); mentioned search
  • Ringgold, Samuel; sends respects to TJ search
  • Tucker, Thomas Tudor; sends respects to TJ search
  • Woodward, Augustus Elias Brevoort; letters from search
  • Woodward, Augustus Elias Brevoort; on the classification of knowledge search
  • Woodward, Augustus Elias Brevoort; plans to visit TJ search
  • Woodward, Augustus Elias Brevoort; visits Monticello search