Thomas Jefferson Papers

Thomas Jefferson to Isaac Gomez, 11 April 1820

To Isaac Gomez

Monticello Apr. 11. 20.

I thank you, Sir, for the book of Selections which you hav[e] been so kind as to send me. I have gone over the titles, and read some of them with great satisfaction. but your request of an opinion on it is beyond the law which I have laid down for my government in such cases. it would be great presumption in me to take on myself the office of a Censor of books for the public; to undertake to tell them what they may read with profit, and what not. every one will judge for himself; and a good book will recommend itself, while no name will pass an indifferent one for what it is not. I have sometimes been committed by breaches of confidence in the publication of letters, written with no such view, and published without my consent or approbation, which I ever avoid. I hope therefore you will be indulgent to what I decline with others; and, with my best wishes for the success of your book accept the assurance of my great respect.

Th: Jefferson

PoC (DLC); on verso of a reused address cover from Arthur S. Brockenbrough to TJ; one word faint; at foot of text: “Mr Isaac Gomez junr”; endorsed by TJ.

Index Entries

  • books; for children search
  • children; books for search
  • Gomez, Isaac; letter to search
  • Gomez, Isaac; Selections of a Father for the Use of His Children. In Prose and Verse search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Books & Library; receives works search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Correspondence; publication of papers search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Opinions on; testimonials search
  • Selections of a Father for the Use of His Children. In Prose and Verse (I. Gomez) search