Thomas Jefferson Papers

Thomas Jefferson to Jason Chamberlain, 16 March 1814

To Jason Chamberlain

Monticello Mar. 16. 14.


I thank you for the Indian pamphlets you have been so kind as to send to me. they add to the remains of a considerable collection of their vocabularies which I had availed myself of every opportunity of procuring, but the greater part of which was lost by an accident. if ever we are to know any thing of their early relations with the other nations of the world, I am persuaded it is to be sought in the filiation of their languages. the copy for the Philosophical society shall be duly forwarded. I recieve with just sensibility the kind expressions of your letter towards myself personally, and beg you to be assured of my great respect & esteem.

Th: Jefferson

PoC (DLC); at foot of text: “Mr Chamberlain”; endorsed by TJ as a letter to Jason “Chamberlayne” and so recorded in SJL.

A trunk containing TJ’s considerable collection of Indian vocabularies was stolen and most of its contents destroyed during its shipment to Monticello at the end of his presidency (Samuel J. Harrison to Gibson & Jefferson, 16 July 1809; TJ to Benjamin Smith Barton, 21 Sept. 1809).

Index Entries

  • American Philosophical Society; TJ forwards material to search
  • Chamberlain, Jason; letters to search
  • Indians; languages search
  • Indians; TJ’s vocabularies of search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Books & Library; receives books search
  • language; Indian search
  • language; TJ on study of search