Thomas Jefferson Papers

Emmor Kimber to Thomas Jefferson, 22 March 1816

From Emmor Kimber

Philadelphia 3 mo 22nd 1816

Esteemed friend Thomas Jefferson

At a very great expense, and by the industry and labour of several years, I have at length produced a large and elegant Map of the United States—The draftsman employed to effect this was Samuel Lewis, and the engravers William and Samuel Harrison—A few copies of the first attempts at finishing them, have been deposited in the publick offices at Washington, and which I hope thou hast seen—

I am now prepared to publish the Map, and my agent Solomon Humphreys, who is to supply subscribers with it, will leave this City in about two weeks, on a journey through the Southern States, who will have in charge a copy to offer for thy acceptance—What reception he may meet with from the publick, or to what extent I shall be remunerated for my labour, is to be proved—but I have beleived, if thou approves of the attempt to produce from the best information practicable, such an extensive Map, and was free to communicate thy approbation to me, by a letter that thou would be willing I should print annexed to the enclosed review, it would be of extensive benefit to me, and of great advantage to my agent in disposing of them

from thy friend

Emmor Kimber

RC (MWA: Thomas Jefferson Papers); endorsed by TJ as received 27 Mar. 1816 and so recorded in SJL. RC (MHi); address cover only; with PoC of TJ to Charles Simms, 5 June 1816, on verso; addressed: “Thomas Jefferson Monticello Virginia”; franked; postmarked Philadelphia, 22 Mar.

Emmor Kimber (1775–1850), educator, publisher, and Quaker minister, was a teacher in Philadelphia by 1799 and later wrote an arithmetic textbook. He established a printing and stationery partnership with Solomon White Conrad by 1806. Kimber opened a boarding school for girls by 1818 at French Creek farm in Chester County, Pennsylvania. In 1831 he received a patent for a “Carriage, locomotive, and rails adapted thereto.” Kimber’s varied philanthropic activities included providing aid to runaway slaves (Sidney A. Kimber, The Descendants of Richard Kimber [1894], 38; Emmor Kimber, Arithmetic Made Easy to Children, 2d ed. [Philadelphia, 1805]; Kimber & Conrad to TJ, 7 June 1809; James Robinson, Robinson’s Philadelphia Register and City Directory, for 1799 [Philadelphia, 1799]; Robinson, The Philadelphia Directory for 1806 [Philadelphia, 1806]; West Chester, Pa., Village Record, or Chester and Delaware Federalist, 14 Jan. 1818, 15 Nov. 1820; List of Patents description begins A List of Patents granted by the United States from April 10, 1790, to December 31, 1836, 1872 description ends , 488–9; Franklin Institute, Journal 8 [1831]: 22–3; Robert C. Smedley, History of the Underground Railroad [1883], 194; Philadelphia North American and United States Gazette, 2 Sept. 1850).

The enclosed review praised the accuracy and execution of the map; noted its utility both for “foreigners” and “natives of the soil”; asserted that “there are among us but few individuals, not excepting those of the most respectable acquirements, who are not better acquainted with the geography of Europe, and even of some parts of Africa, than they are with that of the United States”; claimed that “Were a map of this description hung up in the hall of every family of our country, able to afford it, the children of the people of the United States would become geographers by instinct”; observed that “Kimber’s map being, in the true sense of the word, a national work, creditable to the country, and finished after six years of labour and trouble, and at an expense that must have been seriously felt by the resources of an individual, it is hoped that it will be received under national patronage”; and concluded that, although not “free from errors and defects,” those faults “are so few and inconsiderable that a detailed notice of them might justly be deemed hypercritical and superfluous” (A New and Correct Map of the United States, published by Emmor Kimber, Philadelphia, price 22 dollars [Philadelphia, 1816, copy in MWA]; reprinted from Port Folio, 3d ser., 6 [1815]: 304–8).

Index Entries

  • Harrison, Samuel (of Philadelphia); engraver search
  • Harrison, William (of Philadelphia); engraver search
  • Humphreys, Solomon; agent for E. Kimber search
  • Kimber, Emmor; as publisher search
  • Kimber, Emmor; identified search
  • Kimber, Emmor; letter from search
  • Kimber, Emmor; map published by search
  • Lewis, Samuel; draftsman search
  • maps; of U.S. search
  • United States; maps of search