Thomas Jefferson Papers

Thomas Jefferson to John Laval, 27 March 1820

To John Laval

Monticello Mar. 27. 20.


I wrote you on the 23d inclosing 72.D. the amount of my account. I have now to request you to procure me a copy of Aeschylus with a Latin1 translation, the Latin on distinct leaves both recto and verso: because I wish to interleave them in the edition of du Theil. an 8vo would be best, but 12mo might do if an 8vo edn cannot be found. I care nothing about binding, or the Greek leaves, as they will be sacrificed. I shall be glad also to get Potter’s Eng. translation of Aeschylus. it is in 2. vols 8vo. likewise Potter’s translation of Euripides, the 8vo edition. the 4to edition would not suit me. if you have not these books yourself, pray hunt them up at the other bookstores and send them one by one by the mail at the distance of 3. or 4. days between each envoi, not to burthen our village mail of Milton.

I salute you with esteem & respect

Th: Jefferson

RC (ViU: TJP); at foot of text: “Mr Laval.” PoC (DLC); on verso of reused address cover of an otherwise unlocated letter from James Madison to TJ, 27 Feb. 1820 (addressed: “Mr Jefferson Monticello near Charlottesville”; franked; postmarked Orange Court House, 1 Mar. 1820; recorded in SJL as received 2 Mar. 1820 from Montpellier); torn at seal, with two words rewritten by TJ; endorsed by TJ.

TJ eventually had the bookbinder Frederick A. Mayo divide and interleave three editions of the works of Aeschylus into seven volumes for him (Poor, Jefferson’s Library description begins Nathaniel P. Poor, Catalogue. President Jefferson’s Library, 1829 description ends , 12 [no. 749]; TJ’s copy privately owned, photocopies in TJ Editorial Files). The editions that he used for this combined set were François Jean Gabriel de La Porte Du Theil, trans., Théatre d’Æschyle, 2 vols. in French and Greek (Paris, [1794/95]); Robert Potter, trans., The Tragedies of Æschylus, 1 vol. in English (Oxford, 1812); and the first three volumes of Christian Gottfried Schütz, trans., Aeschyli Tragoediae Quae Supersunt ac Deperditarum Fragmenta, 5 vols. in Greek and Latin (Halle an der Saale, 1808–21).

Envoy (envoi): “the action of dispatching a messenger or parcel” (OED description begins James A. H. Murray, J. A. Simpson, E. S. C. Weiner, and others, eds., The Oxford English Dictionary, 2d ed., 1989, 20 vols. description ends ).

1Word underscored in PoC.

Index Entries

  • Aeschyli Tragoediae Quae Supersunt ac Deperditarum Fragmenta (Aeschylus; ed. C. G. Schütz) search
  • Aeschylus; Aeschyli Tragoediae Quae Supersunt ac Deperditarum Fragmenta (ed. C. G. Schütz) search
  • Aeschylus; Théatre d’Æschyle (trans. La Porte Du Theil) search
  • Aeschylus; The Tragedies of Æschylus (trans. R. Potter) search
  • Aeschylus; TJ interleaves editions of search
  • Euripides; The Tragedies of Euripides (trans. R. Potter) search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Books & Library; interleaving of books search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Books & Library; orders books search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Business & Financial Affairs; account with J. Laval search
  • La Porte Du Theil, François Jean Gabriel de; translatesThéatre d’Æschyle (Aeschylus) search
  • Laval, John; account with TJ search
  • Laval, John; and books for TJ search
  • Laval, John; letters to search
  • Madison, James (1751–1836); letters from accounted for search
  • Mayo, Frederick August; binds books for TJ search
  • Potter, Robert; translatesThe Tragedies of Æschylus (Aeschylus) search
  • Potter, Robert; translatesThe Tragedies of Euripides (Euripides) search
  • Schütz, Christian Gottfried; editsAeschyli Tragoediae Quae Supersunt ac Deperditarum Fragmenta (Aeschylus) search
  • Théatre d’Æschyle (Aeschylus; trans. La Porte Du Theil) search
  • The Tragedies of Æschylus (Aeschylus; trans. R. Potter) search
  • The Tragedies of Euripides (Euripides; trans. R. Potter) search