Thomas Jefferson Papers

From Thomas Jefferson to John Fitzgerald, 27 February 1781

To John Fitzgerald

In Council Febry. 27. 1781.


Messrs. Amable & Alex. Lory of Alexandria advertised a Copy of the Encyclopedie for sale. I wrote to enquire as to the condition and price of the work, and received for an answer of which the inclosed is a Copy. I take the liberty, under sanction of the readiness you have ever shewn to aid us, of inclosing to you the notes of 15068 ℔ of Tobo. and of asking the favor of you to make the purchase for us. As the Tobo. is some of it old, it is just that we should make good the weights, which you will be pleased to undertake shall be done. I am yrs. &c,

T. J.

FC (Vi); captioned: “Majr. Fitzgerald.” Tr (Vi); misdated 7 Feb. and attested by Benj. Terrasson. Enclosure: Copy of A. and A. Lory’s letter to TJ, 16 Dec. 1780, q.v.; also unidentified tobacco notes.

See Fitzgerald to TJ, 3 Oct. 1780, and references there; also Fitzgerald to TJ, 1 Apr. 1781. It is highly interesting to note that the encyclopedia was intended for public and not private use. On 27 Feb. TJ laid before the Council and obtained approval of this “Letter to Colo Fitzgerald requesting him to purchase for the use of the Public, a Copy of the Encyclopedie lately advertised for sale by Messrs. Amable & Alexr Louss [sic]” (Va. Council Jour. description begins Journals of the Council of the State of Virginia, ed. H. R. McIlwaine description ends , ii, 300).

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