Thomas Jefferson Papers
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To Thomas Jefferson from John Vaughan, 9 June 1803

From John Vaughan

9 June 1803

D sir

I enclose a letter recieved by a young friend of mine from the hands of the writer, to whom he went particularly recommended; he has a packet for D Thornton which contains something for yourself—I Have spoken to Capt Lewis, who politely takes charge of it.—My friend had many conversations with the writer of the letter who was very free in his remarks, upon the ideas of the leading men in that Country.—who thought lightly of this Country, that when possessed of N.O. they would have a considerable hold upon us—“There are amongst us who dream of Universal empire” “If a war does take place & England & America are induced to join, we shall loose our Ultramarine possessions but they will not believe me” Several expressions dropped which shewed dissatisfaction with head quarters, & it appears it had even proceeded to misunderstanding—but it appeared also that the views of the Chief were not such, as had in view any real intention of being particularly friendly to us but rather the Contrary—Your information no doubt is more complete than any my friend can give, he left the place on 31 March, & if a further detail would be of any service he would readily give it—

The Phil: Socy. goes on with rather more animation, we have at last resolved to publish a 6th Vol. the work will Very shortly go to press—Communications now made would be peculiarly important, & not delayed in publication—We have recd several valuable presents of Books from the Different European Societies to whom we had sent ours—The Edinburg Societies have merely acknowledged the receipt—from the Italian Society no reply—We Sent ours to the Care of Count Castiglioni or in Case of his Death requested Mess. Grant Sibbald & Balfour of Leghorn to attend to the distribution—

Mr Thomas Leiper has been trying experiments upon Pounded & Ground Lime Stone as manure without burning the effect promises to be equal to Plaister of Paris—with this & Mr Livingstons Communication of the effect of Pyrites will be a valuable addition to our Stock of manures

A Connecticut Agricultural Socy. have published the result of their proceedings—The Information they collect from the Members being chiefly communicated orally & recorded by the Secy. appears to command in an easy manner all that the Members know—A Committee afterwards Collect & publish—If I can procure a Copy, I shall have the pleasure of Sendg you one—as the plan is useful. It appears by some of the Communications, that a large quantity of lime or plaister Or a large quantity of Farm Yard Manure are not so productive as a much smaller portion of each United—I remain

With the greatest respect D sir, Your friend & servt

Jn Vaughan

RC (DLC); endorsed by TJ as received 11 June and so recorded in SJL. Enclosure not found.

Vaughan’s young friend was Joseph Curwen, who had recently returned from France; see Volney to TJ, 21 Mch. and 10 May.

6th vol.: in May, the American Philosophical Society accepted a proposal from Jane Aitken to publish the next volume of the society’s Transactions at her own expense. She agreed to give 100 copies to the society (APS description begins American Philosophical Society description ends , Proceedings, 22, pt. 3 [1884], 337).

valuable presents of books: acting as librarian for the APS description begins American Philosophical Society description ends , Vaughan sought to carry out a 1799 initiative to reinvigorate or establish regular exchanges of publications with learned associations in other countries. From mid-1802 to mid-1803, the APS description begins American Philosophical Society description ends had formed such connections with societies in Prussia, Sweden, Ireland, Spain, Russia, and the Batavian Republic, as well as the National Institute of France, the Literary and Philosophical Society of Manchester, England, and, in London, the Society of Antiquaries, the Royal Institution, the Royal Society, and the Linnean Society. The Royal Society of Edinburgh and the Society of Antiquaries in that city had acknowledged the receipt of volumes of the Transactions of the APS description begins American Philosophical Society description ends without sending their collections of papers in return (same, 282–3, 327–8, 331–2, 334–5, 337–9; APS description begins American Philosophical Society description ends , Transactions, 6 [1809], ix-x).

As Vaughan informed TJ in December 1801, the APS description begins American Philosophical Society description ends library lacked recent volumes of the transactions of several italian organizations (Vol. 36:236–8). Vaughan and TJ were acquainted with Luigi castiglioni, who devoted much of his time to the study of botany. The APS description begins American Philosophical Society description ends elected him to membership during a two-year sojourn he made to the United States in the 1780s. William Short visited Castiglioni in Milan in 1788 (ANB description begins John A. Garraty and Mark C. Carnes, eds., American National Biography, New York and Oxford, 1999, 24 vols. description ends ; Antonio Pace, “The American Philosophical Society and Italy,” APS description begins American Philosophical Society description ends , Proceedings, 90 [1946], 392–7; Vol. 14:41–2; Vol. 24:787).

grant, Sibbald & Balfour, a Scottish mercantile firm at Leghorn, had commercial connections to the United States (Kenneth Wiggins Porter, ed., The Jacksons and the Lees: Two Generations of Massachusetts Merchants, 1765–1844, 2 vols. [New York, 1937], 1:512–14, 518–24).

For Robert R. Livingston’s reporting on the use of burned pyrites as fertilizer in Europe, which TJ passed along to the APS description begins American Philosophical Society description ends , see Livingston’s letter to TJ of 26 Nov. 1802.

The APS description begins American Philosophical Society description ends had received a copy of printed Transactions of the connecticut Society for Promoting Agriculture. Rather than solicit formal essays, the Connecticut association posed a set of queries about agricultural practices and printed its members’ responses, some of which were only a few sentences long. One series of questions concerned the use of various materials as fertilizer (APS description begins American Philosophical Society description ends , Proceedings, 22, pt. 3 [1884], 338; Transactions of the Society, for Promoting Agriculture in the State of Connecticut [New Haven, 1802], 4–15).

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