Thomas Jefferson Papers
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Horatio G. Spafford to Thomas Jefferson, 4 [May] 1815

From Horatio G. Spafford

Albany, 4 Mo. [May] 4, 1815.

I embrace every opportunity for presenting my respects, constantly wishing thee all possible health & happiness.

This Work has long been wanting, & for years I have been urged to undertake it. I am pretty well satisfied with the plan of it, & hope it may meet thy approbation. May I be permitted to solicit from thee something for it? It is designed for general circulation, & I shall spare no pains to make it worthy of it. If the Subscriptions fill as I expect, the first No. may appear the last of this month. Nothing from thy pen, could fail to be interesting.

The Carriage seems to make its way to the satisfaction of all who try it. My reasoning upon it, will bear the test of experience, & I think the plan must come into general use. I have sent the Pamphlets to England, France, & Russia.

What strange events in Europe! The Speculations of an old, experienced Statesman, on the present state of the World, would deeply interest every body. With esteem & respect; thy constant,

grateful friend,

H. G. Spafford.

RC (DLC: Printed Ephemera Collection); misdated; dateline beneath signature; written on verso of enclosure; addressed: “Thomas Jefferson, LL.D. Monticello, Virginia”; franked; postmarked Albany, 6 May; endorsed by TJ as a letter of 4 Apr. 1815 received 12 May 1815 and so recorded in SJL. Enclosure: prospectus by John Cook, of Albany, and Charles Holt, of New York, for the American Magazine, a “Monthly Miscellany” to be edited by Spafford, indicating that the contents will consist of “original and selected pieces on all subjects,” with sections devoted to agriculture, mechanical arts, manufacturing, mercantile interests, and foreign history, events, and politics; an “American Register” that will present public documents and an “impartial abstract” of American news; occasional essays on United States politics, while insuring that “cunning and foul designs” will never “usurp the place or right of fair argument and sound reasoning”; a poetry department; reviews of new publications; notices of new works and publications; lists of marriages and deaths; brief biographies of “such persons as are, or may have been of distinguished fame”; and political, literary, scientific, moral, religious, and philosophical essays; with the whole thus providing “a useful and instructive companion for the leisure hours of all descriptions of people”; and adding that the proposed magazine will be published on the last Tuesday of every month; that it will contain at least thirty-six octavo pages per number and twelve numbers per volume of 432–500 pages, with a table of contents in each number and a cumulative index in the twelfth number; that many issues will include an “appropriate engraving”; that a year’s subscription will cost $2.50 if paid in advance or on receipt of the first number and $3 if paid at the end of the year; and that orders should be sent to the publishers, to the printers E. & E. Hosford, or to Spafford, at Albany (broadside in DLC: Printed Ephemera Collection; dated Albany, 2 May 1815, with unused blanks at the foot for subscribers’ names, addresses, and number of copies ordered, and with covering letter on verso; reprinted in part on pp. 5–6 of the first number of the American Magazine, which was dated June 1815 and no longer listed Cook and Holt among those associated with the publication).

To highlight the new carriage, an abridgement of Spafford, Wheel-Carriages, appeared in the American Magazine 1 (1815): 39–40, 70–2, and plate opp. 39.

Index Entries

  • American Magazine; edited by H. G. Spafford search
  • carriages; H. G. Spafford’s improvement to search
  • Cook, John; and American Magazine search
  • E. & E. Hosford (Albany firm) search
  • Holt, Charles; and American Magazine search
  • inventions; of H. G. Spafford search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Writings; solicitations for search
  • Some Cursory Observations on the Ordinary Construction of Wheel-Carriages (H. G. Spafford) search
  • Spafford, Horatio Gates; as editor of American Magazine search
  • Spafford, Horatio Gates; inventions of search
  • Spafford, Horatio Gates; letters from search
  • Spafford, Horatio Gates; Some Cursory Observations on the Ordinary Construction of Wheel-Carriages search