Thomas Jefferson Papers
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David Bailie Warden to Thomas Jefferson, 28 June 1809

From David Bailie Warden

Paris, June 28th–1809.


I had the honor of writing to you, by Mr Coles, and of sending you several parts of Humboldts work on South America. a volume, of the society of Arcueil, mentioned in his letter, was not then received. I now send it, accompanied with a copy of Callets’ Logarithms, which Mr Didot bids me offer you. the tables are more correct than any others that have yet appeared. Indeed they are said to be free from error. The price is not yet fixed, but it will be less than that of any other Collection of a similar kind. It is a work which will be extremely1 useful to navigators, and those employed in Mathematical Calculations.2 Mr Didot would wish that you would take the trouble of making it known in the united States. I was obliged, in the Introduction, for the sake of clearness, to confine myself to a very literal translation—3

If no serious dispute should take place between France and the United States, I would fain hope, Sir, that you will be pleased to recommend me as Consul for Paris. If the person who has applied for my place, should be successful, I could wish to be established as Consul elsewhere, or employed, in some way or other, by the Government, but I flatter myself that Mr. Madison will have no objection to my remaining here.

I am, Sir, with the greatest respect and esteem, Your very obedt and humb Servt

David Bailie Warden

RC (DLC); at foot of text: “Thos Jefferson Esquire”; endorsed by TJ as received 13 Aug. 1809 and so recorded in SJL. FC (MdHi: Warden Letterbook). Enclosures: (1) Mémoires de Physique et de Chimie de la Société d’Arcueil, vol. 2 (Arcueil, 1809; Sowerby, description begins E. Millicent Sowerby, comp., Catalogue of the Library of Thomas Jefferson, 1952–59, 5 vols. description ends no. 3754), including memoirs by Joseph Louis Gay-Lussac and Louis Jacques Thénard, and Alexander von Humboldt’s essay, “Recherches sur la respiration des poissons.” (2) Jean François Callet, Tables of Logarithms, Containing the Logarithms of all Numbers, from 1 to 108000 … translated from the French by D. B. Warden … A stereotype Edition, Engraved, Cast and printed, by Firmin Didot, dedicated by Didot to TJ on 25 Oct. 1807 (Paris, 1809; Sowerby, description begins E. Millicent Sowerby, comp., Catalogue of the Library of Thomas Jefferson, 1952–59, 5 vols. description ends no. 3696). Enclosed in Richard Forrest to TJ, 8 Aug. 1809 (see note to Stephen Cathalan to TJ, 27 June 1809).

1FC substitutes “highly” for this word.

2FC substitutes “investigation” for this word.

3FC ends here.

Index Entries

  • Arcueil, Société de search
  • Callet, Jean François; Tables of Logarithms search
  • Didot, Firmin; publishes work search
  • Gay-Lussac, Joseph Louis search
  • Paris; U.S. consul at search
  • Tables of Logarithms (Callet; trans. Warden) search
  • Thénard, Louis Jacques search
  • Warden, David Bailie; and consular nomination search
  • Warden, David Bailie; letters from search
  • Warden, David Bailie; translates J. F. Callet’s work search