Thomas Jefferson Papers

Thomas Jefferson to Thomas W. White, 5 February 1820

To Thomas W. White

Monticello Feb. 5. 20.


The state of my health permits me, but with pain, to write even the short acknolegement of a letter. I am moreover too much unacquainted with the general taste to know what would suit it, or to judge what book would be of ready sale; and I should be sorry to advise an unprofitable one. there is a valuable history of England Baxter’s, which I have long wished reprinted here. it was too republican for the meridian of England, and therefore never went there beyond the original edition, which was a single 4to vol. but would make 3. or 4. 8vos. this has prevented it’s becoming known here, & I do not know of a single copy but the one which went to Congress with my library. it would be singularly valuable in the US. as a substitute for Hume, but it’s particular merits would require a longer letter than I am able to write, and might moreover be of too slow sale here. I must conclude with my assurances of respect.

Th: Jefferson

RC (PPL); edge trimmed, with missing text supplied from PoC; addressed: “Mr Thos W. White Richmond”; postmarked; endorsed in an unidentified hand. PoC (DLC); on verso of reused address cover of otherwise unlocated letter from Charles K. Mallory to TJ, 13 Feb. 1819 (see note to TJ to Patrick Gibson, 22 Feb. 1819); endorsed by TJ.

Index Entries

  • A New and Impartial History of England (J. Baxter) search
  • Baxter, John; A New and Impartial History of England search
  • books; on history search
  • historiography; of Great Britain search
  • Hume, David; The History of England, from the Invasion of Julius Caesar to the Revolution in 1688 search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Books & Library; advice for publishers search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Opinions on; D. Hume’sHistory of England search
  • Library of Congress; TJ sells personal library to search
  • The History of England, from the Invasion of Julius Caesar to the Revolution in 1688 (D. Hume) search
  • White, Thomas Willis; as printer search
  • White, Thomas Willis; letter to search