Thomas Jefferson Papers

Thomas Jefferson to Joseph Milligan, 12 January 1819

To Joseph Milligan

Monticello Jan. 12. 19.

Do, my good friend, let me have my books as soon as you can. of some of them I am in daily want. yet I mean not to hasten them to the prejudice of their being solidly done.

On the reciept of your letter proposing to republish Ricardo, I turned to the Edinburg review, and read that article. if you do republish, I wish, but doubt your seeing your own by it. it is a work in my opinion which will not stand the test of time & trial. if such men as Adam Smith, Malthus, Say, and Tracy, knew nothing of the nature of rent, or of the effect of capital on prices, it is not to be proved by such muddy reasoning as that of Ricardo, or of his Edinburg critic. their new discoveries of the errors of these great men will be like those of the errors of Newton, which almost every year produces from some half-sighted writer, who sees but a speck at a time of an expanded subject. yet, not having seen the whole work, I can only say, that neither the parts quoted, nor the supplementory reasonings of the Reviewer, are sufficient in my judgment to overthrow the theories of Smith, Malthus, Say and Tracy. the reputation of the work will, I think, fall as soon as it comes to be read.—make haste with my books and be assured of my esteem and best wishes.

Th: Jefferson

PoC (DLC); on verso of reused address cover of Milligan to TJ, 17 Oct. 1818; at foot of text: “Mr Millegan”; endorsed by TJ.

Index Entries

  • books; binding of for TJ search
  • Destutt de Tracy, Antoine Louis Claude; economic theories of search
  • Edinburgh Review; and review of D. Ricardo’sOn the Principles of Political Economy, and Taxation search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Books & Library; binding of books search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Opinions on; D. Ricardo search
  • Malthus, Thomas Robert; economic theories of search
  • Milligan, Joseph; binds books for TJ search
  • Milligan, Joseph; letters to search
  • Milligan, Joseph; publishes books search
  • Newton, Sir Isaac; mentioned search
  • On the Principles of Political Economy, and Taxation (D. Ricardo) search
  • political economy; works on search
  • Ricardo, David; On the Principles of Political Economy, and Taxation search
  • Ricardo, David; TJ on search
  • Say, Jean Baptiste; economic theories of search
  • Smith, Adam; economic theories of search