Thomas Jefferson Papers

Thomas Jefferson to Henry Guegan, 27 August 1820

To Henry Guegan

Monticello Aug. 27. 20.


I recieved from mr Negrin, a watchmaker settled lately in the neighboring village of Charlottesville, a 4to printed leaf entitled ‘Catalogue of Latin and Greek books,’ which he says are to be sold at your foreign bookstore in Baltimore. among these I observe the following noted with their prices.

pa. 2.  col. 1.  Persoon Synopsis plantarum 2. v. 12mo 3.D.
col. 2.  Thesauri lenguae Groecae 5. v. fol. vel. bound. 28 D. if this is Stephani Thesaurus linguae Graecae I will take it.
Vossii Etymologicon. fol. bound. 4.D.
Xenophontis. 5. 8vo 3.50. if this be of all the works of Xenophon, I will take it.

there is a Longinus Gr. & E. 12mo translated in Baltimore & printed there which if you will add to the above I shall be obliged to you. I will either pay the amount to mr Negrin, or remit it to you by mail as you shall direct. pack the books very securely if you please and send them by water to Richmond addressed to me to the care of mr Gibson mercht of that place, which will be the same as if delivered to myself. I shall be from home from the 6th to the 24th of the next month which I mention to account to you for any delay in my answer which may happen: and I [sa]lute you with respect.

Th Jefferson.

PoC (MHi); on verso of reused address cover to TJ; two lines rewritten by TJ due to polygraph misalignment; damaged at seal, with three words rewritten by TJ; at foot of text: “M. Henry Guigam”; endorsed by TJ as a letter to “Guigan Henry” and so recorded in SJL.

Henry Guegan (Louis Henri Guégan) (ca. 1793–1842), bookseller and educator, was a native of Guémené, in the French region of Brittany. He served in Napoleon’s army for several years, and he wrote and in 1818 published in Paris two short works on tachygraphy, or shorthand. Guegan immigrated to the United States in January 1819 and settled in Baltimore shortly thereafter. By early in 1820 he had established a “FOREIGN BOOKSTORE” in that city, with a satellite operation on Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, D.C. Guegan moved permanently within a year or two to the nation’s capital, where he sold books, engravings, stationery, and some food items until around 1825. By that point he had embarked on a career as a teacher of the French language, taking private students and teaching at various schools in Alexandria, Georgetown, and Washington from 1823 until at least 1838. To aid him in his educational endeavors, he authored A Compendious and Easy Grammar for Teaching and Learning the French Language, which was printed in Washington in 1831 (DNA: RG 21, NPM; René Havette, Bibliographie de la Sténographie Française [1906], 93; Washington Daily National Intelligencer, 18 Mar. 1820, 6 Apr. 1821, 9 Apr., 11 Oct., 9 Dec. 1823, 19 Mar. 1825, 27 Aug. 1827, 7 Oct. 1829, 23 Apr. 1832, 6 Apr. 1835, 3 Dec. 1838, 8 Oct. 1842).

vel.: “vellum.”

Index Entries

  • boats; carriage to and from Richmond search
  • books; classical search
  • books; on botany search
  • books; on criticism (literary) search
  • botany; books on search
  • Charlottesville, Va.; watchmaker for search
  • criticism (literary); books on search
  • Dionysius Longinus On the Sublime (“Longinus”; trans. W. Smith) search
  • Estienne, Henri (Stepani; Stephani); editsΘησαυρὸς τῆς Ἑλληνικῆς Γλώσσης. Thesaurus Graecae Linguae search
  • Gerardi Joannis Vossii Etymologicon Linguæ Latinæ (G. J. Vos) search
  • Gibson, Patrick; and goods for TJ search
  • Greek language; thesauri search
  • Greek language; works in search
  • Guegan, Henry (Louis Henri Guégan); and books for TJ search
  • Guegan, Henry (Louis Henri Guégan); identified search
  • Guegan, Henry (Louis Henri Guégan); letters to search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Books & Library; orders books search
  • Latin language; and etymology search
  • Negrin, Paul search
  • Persoon, Christiaan Hendrik; Synopsis Plantarum, seu Enchiridium Botanicum search
  • Poplar Forest (TJ’s Bedford Co. estate); TJ plans visits to search
  • Richmond, Va.; boat carriage to and from search
  • Smith, William (1711–87); translatesDionysius Longinus On the Sublime (“Longinus”) search
  • Synopsis Plantarum, seu Enchiridium Botanicum (C. H. Persoon) search
  • Vos, Gerrit Jansz; Gerardi Joannis Vossii Etymologicon Linguæ Latinæ search
  • Xenophon; works of search
  • Θησαυρὸς τῆς Ἑλληνικῆς Γλώσσης. Thesaurus Graecae Linguae (ed. H. Estienne) search
  • “Longinus” (Greek critic); Dionysius Longinus On the Sublime (trans. W. Smith) search