Thomas Jefferson Papers

To Thomas Jefferson from Dr. John Vaughan, 29 December 1801

From Dr. John Vaughan

Wilmington December 29th. 1801.

Esteemed Sir,

It has been suggested to me by a member of Congress, who has seen the specimen volumes of the political writings of Mr. Dickinson, that you would probably accept one of those volumes for the present—on this belief, I have enclosed a copy per mail, which you will please to accept:—permit me to add, the work will be completed & delivered about the first of February; & the editors design to prefix a portrait of the Author, to convey his likeness with his precepts to posterity.

The late fugitive condition of those valuable papers, rendered them useless to the public, & they would eventually have been forgotten in the lumber rooms of political science; but it is to be hoped, their present aggregated form will tend to preserve & disseminate the important doctrines they contain, & contribute to the final establishment of republicanism in our much envied country.

With a sincere devotion to the political happiness of my country, I remain, Dear Sir, with accumulating reverence, your much obliged & devoted humble Servt.

Jno. Vaughan

RC (DLC); at foot of text: “Thomas Jefferson Esquire”; endorsed by TJ as received 2 Jan. 1802 and so recorded in SJL. Enclosure: The Political Writings of John Dickinson, Esquire, Late President of the State of Delaware, and of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. In Two Volumes, printed in Wilmington in 1801 by Bonsal and Niles, with TJ listed among the subscribers included at the end of the second volume (Sowerby, description begins E. Millicent Sowerby, comp., Catalogue of the Library of Thomas Jefferson, Washington, D.C., 1952–59, 5 vols. description ends No. 3055).

Member of Congress: perhaps Pennsylvania senator George Logan. On 15 Apr., TJ paid Logan $5 for Dickinson’s works (MB description begins James A. Bear, Jr., and Lucia C. Stanton, eds., Jefferson’s Memorandum Books: Accounts, with Legal Records and Miscellany, 1767–1826, Princeton, 1997, The Papers of Thomas Jefferson, Second Series description ends , 2:1070).

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