Thomas Jefferson Papers

Thomas Jefferson to Gideon Granger, 30 December 1811

To Gideon Granger

Monticello Dec. 30. 11.

Dear Sir

I have often been extremely mortified at the abuse of my right of transmission by mail, committed by booksellers and sometimes by foreigners in sending packages of books, which I have always forbidden when apprised in time. a recent instance is so gross as to require my special mention of it to you. a mr Low of New York, publisher of an Encyclopedia has sent on 3. quarto volumes by mail, which were to be followed by I do not know how many others. I wrote back immediately to him to prevent further transmissions by mail, and I pray if any in the mean time should come to1 the general post office, that you will be to good as to stop them there & give them house room till other arrangements with mr Low may enable me to say what is to be done them. I have reason to believe they are not put into the mail but at Washington to which place they are otherwise brought. if that be the case perhaps it would be better you should refuse to recieve them, which will most effectually prevent further trouble. excuse my troubling you with this detail from the uneasiness I have often felt before at the indiscretions of others in perverting a privilege indulged to me for very different purposes, & never used by myself as to large packages but where they concerned the government or public. I salute you with constant friendship & esteem

Th: Jefferson

P.S. since writing the above another package is recieved which seems to contain 5. or 6. vols I hope Low will have stopped all others.

PoC (DLC); adjacent to signature: “Mr Granger”; endorsed by TJ.

1Preceding two words interlined in place of “pass thro’.”

Index Entries

  • Granger, Gideon; as postmaster general search
  • Granger, Gideon; letters to search
  • Low, John (ca.1790–1829); TJ subscribes to The New and Complete American Encyclopædia search
  • subscriptions, for publications; encyclopedias search
  • The New and Complete American Encyclopædia: or, Universal Dictionary of Arts and Sciences search