Thomas Jefferson Papers

To Thomas Jefferson from Caleb Alexander, 20 February 1793

From Caleb Alexander

Mendon, Massachusetts, 20 Feb. 1793. In compliance with the copyright law he sends a copy of his book, “A Grammatical system of the English language: comprehending a plain and familiar scheme of teaching young gentlemen and ladies the art of speaking and writing correctly their native tongue.” Before publication the book was properly entered by Mr. Goodale, clerk of the Massachusetts district court, and to secure copyright protection he asks that it be recorded in the Secretary of State’s office.

RC (DNA: RG 59, MLR); 1 p.; addressed: “The Hon. Thomas Jefferson, Esq. Secretary of State. Philadelphia”; note on address cover: “To be carried in the mail”; endorsed by George Taylor, Jr.

Caleb Alexander (1755–1828), a Yale graduate and Congregational minister, held various pastorates in Massachusetts and Connecticut. A Grammatical System of the English Language … (Boston, 1792), which appeared in ten editions through 1811, was one of many works written by Alexander, who in 1800 helped to produce the first Greek New Testament printed in the United States, a copy of which TJ acquired (Dexter, Biographical Sketches, iii, 644–9; Isaac H. Hall, A Critical Bibliography of the Greek New Testament as Published in America [Philadelphia, 1883], 8–10; Sowerby, description begins E. Millicent Sowerby, comp., Catalogue of the Library of Thomas Jefferson, Washington, D.C., 1952–59, 5 vols. description ends No. 1486).

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