Thomas Jefferson Papers

Joseph Milligan to Thomas Jefferson, 25 December 1818

From Joseph Milligan

Georgetown December 25th 1818

Dear Sir

The Box of Books which you mention in yours of the 9th has not yet reached me on the 11th the Potomack was closed with Ice which is now Six Inches thick this no doubt is the cause that prevents the box from coming: I have written to Mr Gray of Fredericksburg to have the box sent by the stages that now run from Fredericksburg to Alexandria

I have sent a Young man to Norfolk, Petersburg & Richmond to dispose of Political Economy he disposed1 of twenty two copies in Norfolk he is now (judging by the last letter) in Richmond. I have desired him to present a copy to Mr Ritchie therfore I presume you will see it noticed in the Enquirer

I am now engaged in removing the Library of Congress from the General post office (Great Hotel) to the third story of the North wing of the Capitol that is taking it down from one third story to put in an other a labour that will employ me fifteen or twenty days In the present state of my business I would much rather have been without the job But as I have handled the books so much the Librarian and the Library Committee think they2 have a claim in all cases where there is great labour and small profit

There has been an appropriation of $2000 this session to procure books If I can prevail with the committee3 to get the agency to purchase them I would consider it worth one or two hundred dollars added to my business also they will want binding done if I can obtain that I shall not regret the labour that I am at present engaged in If I should want a reference as to capacity to execute those business would you object to the mention of your name by

yours respectfully

Joseph Milligan

I sent a copy of Political Economy as a present to John Adams Esqr (Quincy near Boston)

RC (DLC); at foot of first page: “see next page”; endorsed by TJ as received 31 Dec. 1818 and so recorded in SJL. RC (ViW: TC-JP); address cover only; with PoC of TJ to James P. Preston, 11 Mar. 1819, on verso; addressed: “Thomas Jefferson Esqr Monticello Milton via [i.e., Virginia]”; franked; postmarked Washington, 25 Dec.

The young man was James Thomas. Without naming him, an article in the Richmond enquirer of 21 Dec. 1818 announced that Milligan’s agent was in Richmond promoting Destutt de Tracy’s work and ended with an extract from TJ to Milligan, [ca. 25 Oct. 1818]. For the establishment of the Library of Congress in the post office building that had formerly been Blodget’s, the great hotel, see George Watterston to TJ, 26 Apr. 1815, and note. “An Act to provide for the removal of the library of Congress to the north wing of the Capitol” included an appropriation of $2,000 for the purchase of books (U.S. Statutes at Large description begins Richard Peters, ed., The Public Statutes at Large of the United States … 1789 to March 3, 1845, 1845–67, 8 vols. description ends , 3:477 [3 Dec. 1818]).

1Manuscript: “diposed.”

2Manuscript: “the.”

3Manuscript: “committe.”

Index Entries

  • Adams, John; works sent to search
  • An Act to provide for the removal of the library of Congress to the north wing of the Capitol (1818) search
  • A Treatise on Political Economy (Destutt de Tracy) search
  • Blodget’s Hotel (Washington) search
  • books; binding of for TJ search
  • Capitol, U.S.; Library of Congress moved to search
  • Destutt de Tracy, Antoine Louis Claude; A Treatise on Political Economy search
  • Gray, William Fairfax; and transmission of packages to and from TJ search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Books & Library; binding of books search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Correspondence; publication of papers search
  • Library of Congress; appropriations for search
  • Library of Congress; location of search
  • Milligan, Joseph; and Destutt de Tracy’sTreatise on Political Economy search
  • Milligan, Joseph; and Library of Congress search
  • Milligan, Joseph; binds books for TJ search
  • Milligan, Joseph; letters from search
  • political economy; works on search
  • Potomac River; ice on search
  • Richmond Enquirer (newspaper); prints TJ’s correspondence search
  • Ritchie, Thomas; and works of Destutt de Tracy search
  • Thomas, James; employee of J. Milligan search
  • Watterston, George; as librarian of Congress search
  • weather; ice search