Thomas Jefferson Papers

Littell & Henry to Thomas Jefferson, 5 February 1820

From Littell & Henry

Philad. 5 Feb. 1820

The accompanying paper is most respectfully transmitted to Mr Jefferson by the publishers.

Littell & Henry

RC (DLC); in Eliakim Littell’s hand; endorsed by TJ as received 9 Feb. 1820 and so recorded in SJL.

Littell & Henry was a publishing firm formed in Philadelphia by Eliakim Littell (1797–1870) and Robert Norris Henry. Littell was a native of Burlington, New Jersey, who received little formal education. He apprenticed in a bookstore, and by 1818 he and Henry were in Philadelphia, where they opened one of their own. The following year the partners began publishing the Philadelphia Register, and National Recorder. This publication evolved through numerous title and format changes, successively named the Philadelphia National Recorder, the Saturday Magazine, the Museum of Foreign Literature and Science, and ultimately, in 1843, the American Eclectic and Museum of Foreign Literature, Science, and Art, with all but the final publication bearing the names of both Littell and Henry. In 1821 Henry was in New York City advertising periodical subscriptions, and in 1822 and 1823 he operated a bookstore there. At least initially, the partnership of Littell & Henry continued despite Henry’s move, but in about 1823 their association ended. After he sold his interest in the American Eclectic in 1844, Littell relocated to Boston and began publishing Littell’s Living Age. In 1860 he owned real estate and personal property valued at $13,000. Littell also published religious and scientific periodicals and continued working until his death in Brookline, Massachusetts (DAB description begins Allen Johnson and Dumas Malone, eds., Dictionary of American Biography, 1928–36, 20 vols. description ends , 6:295; DLC: Littell Papers; H. Glenn Brown and Maude O. Brown, A Directory of the Book-Arts and Book Trade in Philadelphia to 1820, Including Painters and Engravers [1950], 60, 76; Frank Luther Mott, A History of American Magazines [1930–38; repr. 1970], 1:130, 151, 306–9, 747–9; Philadelphia Franklin Gazette, 30 June 1818; Port Folio, 7 [1819]: 337; John Adems Paxton, The Philadelphia Directory and Register, for 1819 [Philadelphia, 1819]; Philadelphia Poulson’s American Daily Advertiser, 26 Mar., 26 Apr. 1819, 31 Jan., 17 Feb., 10 Aug. 1820; Philadelphia National Gazette and Literary Register, 22 Apr. 1820; New-York Evening Post, 23 Feb., 19 Nov. 1821; Baltimore Patriot & Mercantile Advertiser, 17 Mar. 1821; Salem [Mass.] Gazette, 24 May 1822; The Philadelphia Directory and Register, for 1822 [Philadelphia, 1822]; Robert Desilver, The Philadelphia Index, or Directory, for 1823 [Philadelphia, 1823]; Longworth’s New York Directory description begins Longworth’s American Almanac, New-York Register, and City Directory, New York, 1796–1842 (title varies; cited by year of publication) description ends [1822]: 234; [1823]: 235; Wilmington Delaware Gazette, 8 Apr. 1823; DNA: RG 29, CS, Mass., Brookline, 1860; New York Herald, 19 May 1870; Littell’s gravestone inscription in Saint Mary’s Episcopal Churchyard, Burlington, N.J.).

The accompanying paper was likely the 5 Feb. 1820 issue of the Philadelphia National Recorder, published by Littell & Henry, which included the undated letter to TJ from “A Republican” printed below at this date.

Index Entries

  • Henry, Robert Norris; identified search
  • Littell, Eliakim; identified search
  • Littell & Henry (Philadelphia firm); as publishers search
  • Littell & Henry (Philadelphia firm); identified search
  • Littell & Henry (Philadelphia firm); letter from search
  • National Recorder (Philadelphia newspaper) search
  • newspapers; PhiladelphiaNational Recorder search
  • Philadelphia; National Recorder search