Thomas Jefferson Papers

From Thomas Jefferson to Henry Remsen, 9 March 1800

To Henry Remsen

Philadelphia Mar. 9. 1800.

Dear Sir

I observe in Greenleaf’s paper of the 5th. inst. page 3d. a collection of newspapers advertised for sale at that office, and among these are some of such periods as are very desirable to me to fill up a chasm in my collection. the New York packet from 1776—to 1788. this is so exactly within the dates that without making questions about price I must ask the favor of you to secure it for me, unless indeed the price were to be more enormous than I suppose is possible. I expect for example they would never think of going beyond the first cost. however I would go considerably beyond it for this particular collection, because it’s dates suit me remarkeably

the Providence gazette from 81. to 95.
  Albany gazette 87. to 89.

I should be glad to know the price of the two last. indeed if the Albany gazette is to be had for first cost, I would take it on account of it’s dates. I have some hope however they may be all below first cost. this of course you will be so good as to assay. they will no doubt give time till I can remit them bank notes or a draught from hence, say a week; within which term the money shall be placed in your hands. when I know the bulk & condition of the papers, to wit, whether bound or not, I will decide whether to ask the favor of their being forwarded here or to Richmond. I wrote you a few days ago to put an end to all further trouble with the tobacco. apologies for frequent troubles are exhausted. I believe therefore I had better rely for them on your own friendly dispositions and on a perfect reciprocation of them from Dear Sir

Your sincere friend & humble servt

Th: Jefferson

PrC (MHi); at foot of text: “Henry Remsen esq.”; endorsed by TJ in ink on verso.

Samuel Loudon established the New York packet in 1776. The following year he moved the paper to Fishkill, returning it to New York City in 1783. It disappeared as a title in 1792. The providence gazette, still in publication in 1800, first appeared in 1762, and the Albany Gazette, also still in operation when TJ wrote the letter above, produced its first issue in 1784 (Brigham, American Newspapers description begins Clarence S. Brigham, History and Bibliography of American Newspapers, 1690–1820, Worcester, Mass., 1947, 2 vols. description ends , 1:532–3, 570–1, 675–6; 2:1007–8).

A letter from Remsen to TJ, written on 13 Mch. 1800 and received on the 15th, is recorded in SJL but has not been found.

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