Thomas Jefferson Papers
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Thomas Jefferson to Louis H. Girardin, 26 December 1818

To Louis H. Girardin

Monticello Dec. 26. 18.

Dear Sir

Your letter of the 13th never came to hand till yesterday evening, and as mr Hall presses you in time I lose none in forwarding you the 1st vol. of Botta. if you should conclude to translate it, the other volumes shall be sent successively as they shall be wanting. Botta gives a list of the authorities he consulted: but in fact has chiefly followed Marshal & often merely translated him in his American facts, but even there transfuses into his narration his own holy enthusiasm for liberty of which his icy original had not one spark. his 2d great excellence over Marshal is in the foreign events of his history, in which he shines, while Marshal notes them either briefly or not at all. in making an extract therefore for publication as a specimen, you will of course be careful to collate the two, so that the extract selected may not be a translation from Marshal.

I thank you for the interest you are so kind as to express for my health. the trial of the Warmspring waters was very unlucky, and I was reduced very low. but I consider my health as perfectly reestablished. I salute you with great esteem and respect

Th: Jefferson

RC (PPAmP: Thomas Jefferson Papers); addressed: “Mr L. H. Girardin Staunton”; franked; postmarked. PoC (MHi); on verso of reused address cover of Patrick Gibson to TJ, 14 Sept. 1818; hole in manuscript; endorsed by TJ. Recorded in SJL as sent “with 1st Botta.”

Girardin’s letter of the 13th December 1818, not found, is recorded in SJL as received 25 Dec. 1818 from Staunton. In his Storia della Guerra dell’ Independenza degli Stati Uniti D’America, 4 vols. (Paris, 1809; Sowerby, description begins E. Millicent Sowerby, comp., Catalogue of the Library of Thomas Jefferson, 1952–59, 5 vols. description ends no. 509; Poor, Jefferson’s Library description begins Nathaniel P. Poor, Catalogue. President Jefferson’s Library, 1829 description ends , 4 [no. 134]), the first volume of which accompanied this letter, Carlo Botta cited John Marshall, The Life of George Washington, 5 vols. (Philadelphia, 1804–07; Sowerby, description begins E. Millicent Sowerby, comp., Catalogue of the Library of Thomas Jefferson, 1952–59, 5 vols. description ends no. 496; Poor, Jefferson’s Library description begins Nathaniel P. Poor, Catalogue. President Jefferson’s Library, 1829 description ends , 4 [no. 133]), as one of the authorities he consulted in preparing the work (1:ix).

Index Entries

  • American Revolution; books on search
  • books; on history search
  • Botta, Carlo Giuseppe Guglielmo; Storia della Guerra dell’ Independenza degli Stati Uniti d’America search
  • Girardin, Louis Hue; letters from accounted for search
  • Girardin, Louis Hue; letters to search
  • Girardin, Louis Hue; TJ sends books to search
  • Girardin, Louis Hue; translates work search
  • Hall, Mr. (publisher); and L. H. Girardin search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Books & Library; sends books search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Health; illness of search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Travels; to Warm Springs search
  • Life of George Washington (J. Marshall); andStoria della Guerra dell’ Independenza degli Stati Uniti d’America (C. G. G. Botta) search
  • Marshall, John; Life of George Washington search
  • Storia della Guerra dell’ Independenza degli Stati Uniti d’America (C. G. G. Botta) search
  • Warm Springs (Bath Co.); TJ visits search