Thomas Jefferson Papers

Joseph Milligan to Thomas Jefferson, 27 November 1820

From Joseph Milligan

Georgetown November 27th 1820

Esteemed & respected Friend

By this days mail I have sent you a copy of Ricardos Political Economy which please have the goodness to give a place in your library

It is long since we have exchanged letters but I am the debtor

The Bookselling part of my business has passed into other hands since the 1st of June 1819. At that time my business was drawn to a crissis by having to pay Endorsements. I then declined the selling part, of my business in favour of a young man who had been with me from a boy he is now doing as much in that way as I ever did and his attention to business has secured to him all my old customers

I have so far waded through my difficulties as to be confident that I feel the firm ground once more and the water not more than knee deep My difficulties were never brot on by a miscalculation in Bookselling or publishing therfore I am mustering my little matters all together (as I have made terms with my creditors) to resume the publishing and disposing of books by subscription and to the booksellers of respectable standing and leave Mr James Thomas (the young man who called on you about two years ago with Tracy) to carry on the retail bookselling in my old stand for his own profit

I find that there is not a1 single copy of your notes on Virginia amongst the booksellers so with your permission I propose to print an Octavo edition on a fine paper from the original edition if I can procure one; but I know of none except the copy that is in the library of Congress—Could you tell me where I can procure a copy

I expect to have business at Richmond this Winter if so I will either go or return by Monticello and will then bring the little account with me that you requested to have furnished about 18 Months ago

I called on The President the 22nd inst: he wants me to do a considerable Job of bookbinding for him I enquired of him after your health which I am happy to hear is on the mend

Our old & mutual friend John Barnes is2 in good health his family now consists of himself (his old housekeeper Mrs Ratcliff) his Grandson & two Granddaughters the whole of which seem comfortable and happy

With the best wishes for your health & happiness

I am dear friend   yours with respect

Joseph Milligan

Kindly remember my respects to Mrs Randolph and all the family


RC (DLC); at foot of first page: “over”; endorsed by TJ as received 12 Dec. 1820 and so recorded in SJL. RC (DLC); address cover only; with PoC of TJ to Joseph Echols, 23 May 1822, on verso; addressed: “Thomas Jefferson Esqr Monticello Milton (virginia)”; franked; postmarked Georgetown, 30 Nov.

1Manuscript: “as.”

2Manuscript: “is is.”

Index Entries

  • A Treatise on Political Economy (Destutt de Tracy) search
  • Barnes, John; family of search
  • Barnes, John; health of search
  • books; binding of search
  • Destutt de Tracy, Antoine Louis Claude; A Treatise on Political Economy search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Books & Library; works sent to search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Business & Financial Affairs; account with J. Milligan search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Health; good health of search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Writings; Notes on the State of Virginia search
  • Library of Congress; works owned by search
  • Milligan, Joseph; account with TJ search
  • Milligan, Joseph; and Destutt de Tracy’sTreatise on Political Economy search
  • Milligan, Joseph; and TJ’s health search
  • Milligan, Joseph; binds books for J. Monroe search
  • Milligan, Joseph; financial difficulties of search
  • Milligan, Joseph; letters from search
  • Milligan, Joseph; on J. Barnes search
  • Milligan, Joseph; publishes books search
  • Milligan, Joseph; sends books to TJ search
  • Monroe, James; and TJ’s health search
  • Monroe, James; bookbinding for search
  • Notes on the State of Virginia (Thomas Jefferson); reprinting of proposed search
  • On the Principles of Political Economy, and Taxation (D. Ricardo) search
  • political economy; works on search
  • Randolph, Martha Jefferson (Patsy; TJ’s daughter; Thomas Mann Randolph’s wife); greetings sent to search
  • Ratcliff (Ratcliffe), Mrs.; and J. Barnes search
  • Ricardo, David; On the Principles of Political Economy, and Taxation search
  • Thomas, James; and J. Milligan’s bookselling business search
  • Thomas, James; employee of J. Milligan search