Thomas Jefferson Papers

John W. Campbell to Thomas Jefferson, 29 July 1809

From John W. Campbell

Petersburg Va July 29th 1809

Respected Sir,

I avail myself of this method of making a proposition to you, respecting the publication of a complete Edition of your different writings, as far as they may be designed for the public; including the, “Notes on Virginia.”

The work should be executed in Philadelphia, by the best publisher in the city, & in a stile, not inferiour to any prose work yet published in our country.

Should the proposal meet your approbation, I will have it in my power to confer with you on the subject previous to undertaking the work. It was my design to have made this proposal, viva voce, & for this purpose I had received several letters from Your friends; but I have been induced first to know your mind respecting this undertaking & afterwards I would repair to your place of residence, should my solicitation be likely to prove successful

I beg you to receive my warmest wishes for your welfare

John W Campbell

RC (DLC); dateline at foot of text; endorsed by TJ as received 31 July 1809 and so recorded in SJL.

John Wilson Campbell (1779–1842), a printer and bookseller in Petersburg, ultimately decided against publishing TJ’s writings. He was the author of a History of Virginia, from Its Discovery Till the Year 1781 (Philadelphia, 1813) and compiler of The Columbian reader (Philadelphia, 1814) (Margaret Campbell Pilcher, Historical Sketches of the Campbell, Pilcher, and kindred Families [1911], 206; Richmond Enquirer, 5 Jan. 1843).

Index Entries

  • Campbell, John Wilson; identified search
  • Campbell, John Wilson; letters from search
  • Campbell, John Wilson; proposes to publish TJ’s public papers search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Correspondence; publication of papers search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Writings; J. W. Campbell’s proposed edition of search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Writings; Notes on the State of Virginia search
  • Notes on the State of Virginia (Thomas Jefferson); revised edition proposed search