Thomas Jefferson Papers
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David Bailie Warden to Thomas Jefferson, 12 July 1816

From David Bailie Warden

Paris, 12 July, 1816.

Dear Sir,

our minister, mr. Gallatin, has arrived at Paris, and handed me your letter of the 17th of may. Finding that the Peacock does not return directly to the United States, I have requested a friend of mine, mr Carere of Baltimore,1 to have your Books sent from Havre for that port, on board of a vessel in which he proposes to embark. I inclose a copy of the invoice of the Books, amounting to nineteen hundred francs; and will send you the receipt as soon as the Booksellers have received a note of the expences of carriage &c. I hope that you will be pleased with the selection. The Debure, who are the sons of the well-known Debure, have the reputation of being honest2 in their business. They promise to procure the work in question; and any others which you may wish to possess.3 Since the late change of politicks4 in france, classical works have increased in price, while those on Science, and politicks5 have greatly diminished.

I pray you to accept my thanks for your friendly interference in my behalf; and to present my respects to mr. & mrs. Randolph and family. I find that I must now Seek other means of existence.6—It would appear that Europe is far from being tranquil. The will of Sovereigns is not that of the enlightened class of people: and it is doubtful whether the former, with all their military apparatus, will succeed even for a time, in reestablishing7 an order of things to which the latter are strongly opposed. England was never in a more critical situation than at this moment.

I am, dear Sir, with great respect your most obedt Sert

D. B. Warden.

RC (DLC); at foot of text: “Thomas Jefferson Esquire, monticello”; endorsed by TJ as received 18 Sept. 1816 and so recorded in SJL. FC (MdHi: Warden Letterbook); entirely in Warden’s hand; lacking closing and signature. Enclosed in TJ to David Gelston, 19 Sept. 1816, and Gelston to TJ, 26 Sept. 1816.

The members of the de Bure (Debure) family were eminent publishers, booksellers, and bibliophiles active in Paris during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Guillaume François de Bure (1731–82) published Bibliographie Instructive: ou Traité de la Connoissance des Livres Rares et Singuliers (Paris, 1763–68), a seven-volume bibliographical treatise on rare books. After his death, his brother Jean François de Bure de Saint-Fauxbin (1741–1825), a noted Hellenist, and their cousin Guillaume de Bure (1734–1820) led the firm. They strengthened its reputation by specializing in rare books, composing excellent catalogues, and publishing French classics such as works by François Rabelais. They were succeeded in turn by Guillaume de Bure’s two sons, Jean Jacques de Bure (d. 1853) and Jacques de Bure (d. 1847), who continued the family business under the name of de Bure Frères until they sold it in 1834 (Hoefer, Nouv. biog. générale description begins J. C. F. Hoefer, Nouvelle biographie générale depuis les temps les plus reculés jusqu’a nos jours, 1852–83, 46 vols. description ends , 13:295–7; Biographie universelle, 10:245–7; Gustave Chaix d’Est-Ange, Dictionnaire des Familles Françaises Anciennes ou Notables A la fin du XIXe siècle [1903–29], 7:392–3).

1Preceding two words not in FC.

2FC: “very honest.”

3Sentence not in FC.

4Preceding two words not in FC.

5FC: “those of mere Science.”

6Preceding two sentences not in FC.

7RC and FC: “reestabling.”

Index Entries

  • Carrere, John; and transportation of TJ’s books search
  • de Bure, Guillaume (1734–1820) search
  • de Bure, Guillaume François (1731–82) search
  • de Bure, Jacques (d.1847) search
  • de Bure, Jean Jacques (d.1853) search
  • de Bure de Saint-Fauxbin, Jean François (1741–1825) search
  • de Bure Frères (Paris firm); identified search
  • de Bure Frères (Paris firm); TJ purchases books from search
  • Gallatin, Albert; conveys letters and parcels search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Books & Library; packing and shipping of search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Books & Library; purchases from de Bure Frères (Paris firm) search
  • Peacock (sloop of war) search
  • Warden, David Bailie; letters from search
  • Warden, David Bailie; on de Bure Frères search
  • Warden, David Bailie; on European affairs search
  • Warden, David Bailie; removed from consulship search
  • Warden, David Bailie; sends books search