Thomas Jefferson Papers

To Thomas Jefferson from John Churchman, 23 November 1790

From John Churchman

November 23rd. 1790

John Churchmans best respects attend the Secretary of State, in company with a Variation Chart and Book of explanation, hoping they will be accepted as a token of esteem. Before the Book went to the press, he took the Liberty of introducing several articles, all of which have been a considerable credit to the work, 1st. On finding a disposition in his friend to be useful to him on this occasion he inserted his name on the respectable list of patrons. 2nd. A quotation is made from the notes on Virginia. 3rd. Two Letters are published in the appendix. For this Freedom he hopes to receive a pardon.

J.C. would be very glad to be introduced to some suitable correspondent in Paris to whom he might send some of the same kind.

RC (DLC); endorsed by TJ as received 23 Nov. 1790 and so recorded in SJL. Enclosure: Copy of Churchman’s An explanation of the Magnetic Atlas, or Variation Chart … projected on a plan entirely new (Philadelphia, 1790). See Sowerby, description begins E. Millicent Sowerby, comp., Catalogue of the Library of Thomas Jefferson, Washington, D.C., 1952–59, 5 vols. description ends No. 669. Churchman included in the appendix to his pamphlet the texts of TJ’s letters of 8 Aug. 1787 and 18 Sep. 1789. The list of subscribers includes the following: “Thomas Jefferson, Esq. Secretary of State, late Minister Plenipotentiary of the Court of France.” See TJ to Churchman, 18 Sep. 1789, note. The reference to TJ’s Notes on Virginia (not a quotation) occurs at p. 45 of the pamphlet in a discussion of evidences of an inundation of North America in ages past. The reference to TJ as well as to Benjamin Lincoln, Lewis Evans, description begins Charles Evans, comp., American Bibliography, Chicago, 1903–1955 description ends and Charles Thomson, was omitted in the third (1800) edition (Shipton-Mooney, No. 37183).

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