From John B. Colvin
Washington City, March 26. 1813.
I beg you to accept the accompanying volume of “Historical Letters.” I confess I am ashamed of the typographical execution of the work, the badness of which is chiefly to be attributed to its being published to the South of the Potomac. It is a reproach to that part of the United States that so useful an art as that of printing, should be there so much neglected, in point of embellishment, as it is. It is needless to say any thing to you of the orthographical errors, which arose from the distance between the author and printer; Your classical knowledge will easily enable you to correct those appertaining to the names of antiquity. All these inaccuracies might be avoided in a second edition. If your leisure will admit of it, I shall be much gratified by your candid opinion of the plan and execution of the work.
I have the Honor to be, Sir, with very great esteem and respect, Your mo. ob. ser.
J. B. Colvin.
RC (DLC); at foot of text: “His Excellency Thomas Jefferson”; endorsed by TJ as received 31 Mar. 1813 and so recorded in SJL. Enclosure: Colvin, Historical Letters; originally written for and published in the Virginia Argus: including a brief but general view of the History of the World, Civil, Military And Religious, from the earliest times to the Year of Our Lord, 1811 (Richmond, 1812; Sowerby, description begins E. Millicent Sowerby, comp., Catalogue of the Library of Thomas Jefferson, 1952–59, 5 vols. description ends no. 138; Poor, Jefferson’s Library description begins Nathaniel P. Poor, Catalogue. President Jefferson’s Library, 1829 description ends , 3 [no. 3]).
The printer and publisher was Samuel Pleasants.
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