Thomas Jefferson Papers

Thomas Jefferson to Benjamin Harrison, 17 January 1818

To Benjamin Harrison

Monticello Jan. 17. 18.

Dear Sir

Your favor of Dec. 14. came to hand last night only, and that of July 11. was the only previous one I had recieved so that if an intermediate one was written, your conjecture is just that it had never come to my hands. mr Gwathney delivered the folio MS. safe, accompanied by a written Memo from mr C. B. Page addressed to him, & only noting that it was to be delivered to me. the pocket MS. which you had been so kind as to place at my discretion, I had sent to the Historical committee of the Philosophical society, who propose to publish it; but I had not considered myself as having any right to dispose of the folio volume. indeed I think there are matters in it so peculiarly interesting to the state that they ought not to go out of it. in both of the pocket MS. there are leaves torn out & lost; I had therefore offered to the Historical society to supply these by corresponding extracts from the folio, which they wish to have done. as this appears consistent with the permission of mr George Harrison to take extracts from it, as soon as the Committee notify to me the passages necessary to compleat their copies, I will extract them, and then return the original safely to mr Nicholas, or mr Page or yourself with many thanks for the loan of it, & particularly to yourself to whom I am so particularly indebted for it. with these be pleased to accept the assurance of my great respect & esteem

Th: Jefferson

RC (PSt: Charlotte Haynes Harding Collection); addressed (water stained): “Benjamin Harri[son] esq Berkly near R[ich]mo[nd]”; franked; postmark damaged. PoC (DLC); on verso of reused address cover of William Jones to TJ, 8 Nov. 1817; mutilated at seal, with some words rewritten by TJ; endorsed by TJ.

The folio ms. was the Westover Manuscripts, a volume of William Byrd’s miscellaneous writings that included the tracts “The History of the Dividing Line,” “A Journey to the Land of Eden,” and “A Progress to the Mines” (ViHi; printed in part in Wright, Prose Works of William Byrd description begins Louis B. Wright, ed., The Prose Works of William Byrd of Westover: Narratives of a Colonial Virginian, 1966 description ends ). philosophical society: American Philosophical Society. For both of the pocket ms., see the first and second enclosures to TJ to Peter S. Du Ponceau, 6 Nov. 1817.

Index Entries

  • A Journey to the Land of Eden (W. Byrd [1674–1744]) search
  • American Philosophical Society, Historical and Literary Committee; and W. Byrd manuscripts search
  • American Philosophical Society, Historical and Literary Committee; TJ sends works to search
  • A Progress to the Mines (W. Byrd [1674–1744]) search
  • Byrd, William (1674–1744); A Journey to the Land of Eden search
  • Byrd, William (1674–1744); A Progress to the Mines search
  • Byrd, William (1674–1744); The History of the Dividing Line search
  • Byrd, William (1674–1744); The Secret History of the Line search
  • Gwathmey, Robert; forwards manuscript to TJ search
  • Harrison, Benjamin (1787–1842); and W. Byrd manuscripts search
  • Harrison, Benjamin (1787–1842); letters to search
  • Harrison, George Evelyn; and W. Byrd’sHistory of the Dividing Line search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Books & Library; sends manuscripts search
  • Nicholas, Wilson Cary (1761–1820); and W. Byrd manuscripts search
  • Page, Carter B.; and W. Byrd’sHistory of the Dividing Line search
  • The History of the Dividing Line (W. Byrd [1674–1744]); manuscript of search
  • The Secret History of the Line (W. Byrd [1674–1744]) search
  • Virginia; boundary of with N.C. search