Thomas Jefferson Papers

To Thomas Jefferson from Anthony Gerna, 28 March 1791

From Anthony Gerna

Dublin, 28 Mch. 1791. “It would be an insult to your goodness to apologize” for introducing the bearer, Robert Stafford, a skillful young apothecary, lately married, who is resolved to settle in America. Stafford will deliver “a small Parcel containing a new publication of the Dublin newspapers of this date.” TJ’s advice to him will “be an additional proof of that humanity and benevolence which characterise you.”

RC (DLC); endorsed as received 21 June 1791 and so recorded in SJL.

TJ had known Gerna in Paris, having received through him a copy of Antonio Vieyra’s work in linguistics (Gerna to TJ, ca. 8 Sep. 1787; Sowerby, description begins E. Millicent Sowerby, comp., Catalogue of the Library of Thomas Jefferson, 1952–1959, 5 vols. description ends No. 4743). The small parcel that Stafford brought has not been identified, but he probably presented also the printed announcement of Gerna’s proposed establishment of a reading room in Dublin—“Gerna’s Cabinet Litteraire, No. 31, College-Green, next to the General Post Office”—for French, Italian, German, Spanish, “and all English News Papers of known consequence … to which will be occasionally added those of the United States of America.” Gerna also proposed to include for subscribers to the reading room all of the memoirs and publications of the various European learned societies and academies. The room was described as neat and commodious, with proper attendants, “and refreshments, if required,” would be available from “Nine o’clock in the Morning till Eleven at Night, Sunday Included.—Subscription One Guinea for Six Months” (broadside, dated “February 1791,” DLC: TJ Papers, 62: 10623).

Index Entries