Thomas Jefferson Papers

Fernagus De Gelone to Thomas Jefferson, 5 October 1820

From Fernagus De Gelone

New York Octob. 5. 1820.


I thank you much for your polite & encouraging letters. Nothing can be more conducive to my perseverance in procuring to America all The means of amelioration which I ardently wish to communicate, not certainly from a sense of interest. Brought up in Military Schools and Watched afterwards by rigid Parents, I got acquainted with the practical Science of Men, on the same plan on which Berthier (the Prince of Neufchatel) his father, his Brothers and The Leturcq were educated. The plan stands not so much upon reading as it does upon demonstration. Thus Mathematics, Architecture, The Cutting of Matter, in any shape, as from Joinery, & Carpenting; Melting, forging, Surveying, The construction of Canals, roads and bridges, are reduced to plain rules. Language also is Submitted to the same Mathematical principles, from The different powers of the human organs.—at last, The course embraces the grand Military evolutions of frederic The 2ond, folard, Guibert & Jomini. And The arrangement is so simple, that almost any number may be taught together: it is Lalande’s, Lancaster’s,1 Pestalozzi’s, Bell’s System, which is now followed thro’ all Europe.

I was lately invited to publish a Method on those principles. Books never suffice to convince; and a Man who introduces any thing new, labours under The disadvantage of not Judged at once.

I may after few weeks publish a Sketch of The plan, and in the case, I Shall be very happy to Send you a copy.

I remain most respectfully

Sir. Your most humble obedient Servant

fernagus De Gelone

RC (MHi); endorsed by TJ as received 11 Oct. 1820 and so recorded in SJL. RC (MHi); address cover only; with PoC of TJ to Bernard Peyton, 11 May 1821, on verso; addressed: “Thomas Jefferson. Esqr Monticelo—Milton. Virga”; franked; postmarked New York, 5 Oct.

1Manuscript: “Lancaster,’s.”

Index Entries

  • architecture; study of search
  • Bell, Andrew; as educator search
  • Berthier, Louis Alexandre, Prince de Neuchâtel; family of search
  • education; in mechanical arts search
  • education; Lancasterian system search
  • education; military instruction search
  • education; Pestalozzi system search
  • Fernagus De Gelone, Jean Louis; as educator search
  • Fernagus De Gelone, Jean Louis; family of search
  • Fernagus De Gelone, Jean Louis; letters from search
  • Folard, Jean Charles de search
  • Frederick II (“the Great”), king of Prussia; and military education search
  • Guibert, François Apollini de, Comte search
  • Jomini, Antoine Henri de search
  • Lalande, Joseph Jérôme Le Français de; as educator search
  • Lancaster, Joseph; educational system of search
  • language; study of search
  • Leturcq, François Charles Michel; family of search
  • mathematics; study of search
  • military; and education search
  • Pestalozzi, Johann Heinrich; educational system of search
  • surveying; study of search