Thomas Jefferson Papers
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From Thomas Jefferson to Nicolas Gouin Dufief, 9 April 1803

To Nicolas Gouin Dufief

Washington Apr. 9. 1803.

Th: Jefferson asks the favor of mr Dufief to procure for him the following books.

Pensees de Pascal

Dr. Priestley’s Harmony of the evangelists in Greek. 4. vols.

the same Harmony in English with notes & paraphrase. 4to.

Dr. Priestley being in Philadelphia can probably inform mr Dufief if there be any depot of his works at any particular book-shop in Philadelphia.

he presents him his salutations & respects.

PrC (DLC); endorsed by TJ in ink on verso. Recorded in SJL with notation “Pascal. Priestley.”

The Pensées of Blaise pascal, a work that discussed rational proofs of Christianity, first appeared in print in 1670. English translations, one of which was titled Thoughts on Religion, were also available (Sowerby, description begins E. Millicent Sowerby, comp., Catalogue of the Library of Thomas Jefferson, Washington, D.C., 1952–59, 5 vols. description ends No. 1516; Daniel Clifford Fouke, “Argument in Pascal’s Pensées,” History of Philosophy Quarterly, 6 [1989], 57–68).

Joseph priestley’s A Harmony of the Evangelists, in Greek; To Which are Prefixed, Critical Dissertations in English (London, 1777) and A Harmony of the Evangelists in English: With Critical Dissertations, an Occasional Paraphrase, and Notes for the Use of the Unlearned (London, 1780) arranged the New Testament gospels in chronological order (DNB description begins H. C. G. Matthew and Brian Harrison, eds., Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, In Association with The British Academy, From the Earliest Times to the Year 2000, Oxford, 2004, 60 vols. description ends ; Sowerby, description begins E. Millicent Sowerby, comp., Catalogue of the Library of Thomas Jefferson, Washington, D.C., 1952–59, 5 vols. description ends No. 1492).

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