Thomas Jefferson Papers

John Redman Coxe to Thomas Jefferson, 6 May 1812

From John Redman Coxe

Philadelphia May 6th 1812


The interest You take in the welfare of our Country leads me to hope You will pardon my freedom in requesting your Acceptance of the first number of the Emporium of Arts & Sciences; The leading objects of this work, as You will perceive by the prospectus, are connected with the prosperity of the Union, by promoting the knowledge of many subjects, with which she is, or necessarily must be, sooner or later attached.—

This work may reasonably be expected to prove useful, in proportion as it shall receive the encouragement & support of Men of Observation; Not by pecuniary aid alone, but also by the information which they may be willing to afford.—In this point of view, I take the liberty of earnestly intreating You to suggest any means, by which I may more completely effect the great objects of the publication.—Convinced of your disposition to aid whatever may, in Your estimation, be really adapted to the benefit of America, I have ventured to encroach upon your goodness by this request.

I trust Sir You will pardon this intrusion, & accept of my best wishes for Your health & happiness. With Sentiments of the greatest respect, I have the honor to subscribe myself, Sir

Yr very obedient Servant

John Redman Coxe

RC (DLC); at foot of text: “Ths Jefferson Esqr”; endorsed by TJ as received 23 May 1812 and so recorded in SJL. Enclosure: Coxe, ed., Emporium of Arts & Sciences, vol. 1, no. 1 (May 1812; Poor, Jefferson’s Library description begins Nathaniel P. Poor, Catalogue. President Jefferson’s Library [1829] description ends , 14 [no. 920]).

John Redman Coxe (1773–1864), physician, educator, and author, was born in New Jersey, spent the American Revolution in Philadelphia under the care of his grandfather, and later joined his Loyalist parents in Great Britain, where he attended school and began studying medicine. Returning to Philadelphia by 1790, he received further training from Benjamin Rush and obtained a medical degree from the University of Pennsylvania in 1794. Coxe completed his medical studies in London, Edinburgh, and Paris. He opened a medical practice in Philadelphia by 1796 and was the city’s port physician in 1798. Elected to the American Philosophical Society the following year, Coxe served as one of its secretaries, 1801–07. He was an early proponent of vaccination and produced Practical Observations on Vaccination: or Inoculation for the Cow-Pock (Philadelphia, 1802; Sowerby, description begins E. Millicent Sowerby, comp., Catalogue of the Library of Thomas Jefferson, 1952–59, 5 vols. description ends no. 953; Poor, Jefferson’s Library description begins Nathaniel P. Poor, Catalogue. President Jefferson’s Library [1829] description ends , 5 [no. 193]). Coxe edited the Philadelphia Medical Museum (1804–11), issued the first of multiple editions of his American Dispensatory in Philadelphia in 1806, and published The Philadelphia Medical Dictionary two years later. He taught at the University of Pennsylvania, holding the chairs of chemistry, 1809–18, and materia medica and pharmacy, 1818–35. Coxe’s preoccupation with early medical authorities manifested itself in publications concerning Hippocrates, Galen, and William Harvey(ANB description begins John A. Garraty and Mark C. Carnes, eds., American National Biography, 1999, 24 vols. description ends ; DAB description begins Allen Johnson and Dumas Malone, eds., Dictionary of American Biography, 1928–36, 20 vols. description ends ; PTJ description begins Julian P. Boyd, Charles T. Cullen, John Catanzariti, Barbara B. Oberg, and others, eds., The Papers of Thomas Jefferson, 1950– , 34 vols. description ends , 32:509–10; APS description begins American Philosophical Society description ends , Minutes, 19 July 1799, 2 Jan. 1801, 2 Jan. 1807 [MS in PPAmP]; Joseph Carson, A History of the Medical Department of the University of Pennsylvania, from its Foundation in 1765 [1869], 108, 142, 157–9, 220; Thomas Cooper to TJ, 23 Jan. 1818; American Journal of Pharmacy 36 [1864]: 275).

The first number of the Emporium of Arts & Sciences included articles on English weights and measures, offensive and hazardous factory emissions, the art of making gunflints, wooden matches for artillery use, the 1785 Turin flour-warehouse explosion, a movable engraving table, American factories, and patents. It also reprinted the prospectus described in note to Joseph Delaplaine to TJ, [ca. 24 Apr. 1812].

Index Entries

  • American Philosophical Society; members of search
  • Coxe, John Redman; and Emporium of Arts & Sciences search
  • Coxe, John Redman; identified search
  • Coxe, John Redman; letters from search
  • Emporium of Arts & Sciences; TJ subscribes to search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Books & Library; works sent to search
  • Rush, Benjamin; mentioned search
  • subscriptions, for publications; journals search