Thomas Jefferson Papers

Thomas Jefferson to George Ticknor, 19 March 1815

To George Ticknor

Monticello Mar. 19. 15.

Dear Sir

Your letter of the 6th is recieved. mine of the 3rd had gone on and will probably be in Boston as soon as you will. in addition to the letters then inclosed, I put another under your cover a day or two after, addressed to mr Say, author of the ablest work which has ever been written on Political Economy. I did not then know of the appointment of mr Gallatin, but now inclose the letter to him which you ask.

You will have seen by my former letter to you that I meant to avail myself of the kind offer you had made, and which you are so good as to repeat, of your aid in making the little collection of books necessary for my future amusement. but it will be some time before I shall be able to make out my list and it’s accompaniments. I shall forward it to you within a month or two through the Secretary of state’s office. in the mean time I have thought it best to put into your hands while here a catalogue to which I shall often refer in my list. it was furnished me, while in Europe, by Koenigh bookseller of Strasburg, in whose store I found the greatest collection of Classics, and of the finest editions, I met with in Europe. I bought much of him on the spot, and much afterwards as long as I staid at Paris. it was as easy to drop him an order for a book, and it was sent by the Diligence as quick as I could get it almost from a bookstore of Paris. his prices were much lower, & his own arrangements with the Diligence took all expence and trouble off of the hands of his customer. it is possible that in procuring books for yourself you may find it convenient to correspond with him, if living, for he was then (25. years ago) below middle age, a faithful diligent man; and should it be necessary to apply to him for any part of my catalogue, it is possible that the recollection of an old customer, applying to him after such an interval may animate his attentions. after all it is to be considered whether the opportunity of examining the condition, the bindings Etc of different copies in a bookstore of Paris may not be more than equivalent to the advance of the Paris bookseller on Koenig’s prices, and these last are doubtless sensibly advanced since the date of the inclosed catalogue. I asked information of you of the time of your actual departure, which I shall still be glad to recieve, and after fulfilling the request of our fireside to convey to you the assurances of their esteem and respect, I pray you to accept mine, with my best wishes for a safe and pleasant voyage, an agreeable tour & residence on the other continent, and a happy return to your friends.

Th: Jefferson

PoC (MHi); at foot of first page: “Mr Ticknor”; endorsed by TJ. Enclosures: (1) TJ to Albert Gallatin, 19 Mar. 1815. (2) Amand Koenig, Catalogus auctorum classicorum tam graecorum quam, latinorum, et qui iis adnumerantur, sparsis hic et illic annotatiunculis litterariis, qui venales extant Argentorati in officina libraria Amandi Koenigii (Strasbourg, 1789).

TJ’s letter to Ticknor of the 3rd is recorded in SJL but has not been found. Jean Baptiste say was the author of the two-volume Traité d’Économie Politique. TJ owned both the first edition (Paris, 1803; Sowerby, description begins E. Millicent Sowerby, comp., Catalogue of the Library of Thomas Jefferson, 1952–59, 5 vols. description ends no. 3547) and the second edition (Paris, 1814; Poor, Jefferson’s Library description begins Nathaniel P. Poor, Catalogue. President Jefferson’s Library, 1829 description ends , 11 [no. 697]; Say to TJ, 15 June 1814). TJ discovered the Strasbourg bookstore of Koenig (koenigh) while touring the Rhine River valley in 1788. In June of the following year he received the inclosed catalogue (PTJ description begins Julian P. Boyd, Charles T. Cullen, John Catanzariti, Barbara B. Oberg, and others, eds., The Papers of Thomas Jefferson, 1950– , 37 vols. description ends , 13:xxviii, 26, 15:223–4).

Index Entries

  • books; on economics search
  • books; sold by A. Koenig search
  • Catalogus auctorum classicorum (A. Koenig) search
  • Gallatin, Albert; as minister plenipotentiary to France search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Books & Library; catalogues from booksellers search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Books & Library; orders books search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Opinions on; J. B. Say’s writings search
  • Koenig, Amand; Catalogus auctorum classicorum search
  • Koenig, Amand; sells books to TJ search
  • Say, Jean Baptiste; Traité d’Économie Politique search
  • State Department, U.S.; forwards letters search
  • Ticknor, George; and books for TJ search
  • Ticknor, George; carries TJ’s letters to Europe search
  • Ticknor, George; letters to search
  • Ticknor, George; letter to accounted for search
  • Ticknor, George; travels of search
  • Traité d’Économie Politique (J. B. Say) search