Thomas Jefferson Papers

To Thomas Jefferson from Amable and Alexander Lory, 16 December 1780

From Amable and Alexander Lory

Alexandria 16. Dec. 1780


Answering to your’s Excellency’s letter, concerning our advertisement of the Enciclopedie inserted in the Virginia papers We take leave to give you the following informations on the Said Work: the complet Set Consist in 28 Volumes, Whose Eight are plates, all unbounded, Second Edition, printed at Lucques in Italia by Octavian Diodati, all the Work Collected and put in Order, by Mr. Diderot member of the French academy and the Mathematical part by Mr. D’alembert, the price fifteen HHds. Tobacco or £90000 this Edition having been payed 50 guineas in Europa.

We Remain the most Respectfully Of your Excellency’s The most Obedient humble servants,

Amable & Alexander Lory

RC (Vi); addressed; endorsed (in two or three different hands): “Messr. Lory Lr‥‥ Decr. 16 1780 Letter concerning Encyclopedia in course of Publication.” A copy of this letter was enclosed in TJ’s letter to John Fitzgerald of 27 Feb. 1781, in which TJ asked Fitzgerald to purchase the work for him; see also Fitzgerald’s reply, 1 Apr. 1781, stating that he would soon forward the books.

TJ’s letter of inquiry to the Messrs. Lory is missing, but the advertisement that evoked it is in Va. Gaz. (d & n), 9 Dec. 1780:” Alexandria. Nov. 30, 1780. To be sold, the Encyclopedy or Dictionary of Arts and Sciences, printed in French, with all the cuts belonging to the said work. Cash or tobacco will be admitted in payment, by applying to the subscribers. Amable & Alexander Lory.”

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