Thomas Jefferson Papers

Thomas Jefferson to George Long (ca. 1782–1843), 30 December 1820

To George Long (ca. 1782–1843)

Monticello Dec. 30. 20.


I have duly recieved your favor of the 20th inst. and with it miss Palmyra Johnson’s poetic tale of Rosalie, and I beg leave, thro’ the same channel to return her my thanks for it. I have read it with great pleasure, and that is saying much for it from a reader of 77. but the effusions of a feeling heart and delicate fancy, expressed in smooth numbers, make their impression even on the dull sensibilities of that age, and the sympathies with the fate of a Constance, & fortune of a Rosalie can still be felt. I have more especially to thank her for the partialities towards myself, which she has been pleased to express in her dedication, in which she has ascribed to me much more than I have merited or claimed, and I pray you, Sir, to accept the assurance of my great respect

Th: Jefferson

RC (NNGL); bottom corner torn, with missing text supplied from PoC. PoC (CSmH: JF); on verso of reused address cover of otherwise unlocated letter from John Wayles Eppes to TJ, 28 June 1819 (see note to TJ to Eppes, 9 July 1819); damaged at seal; at foot of text: “Mr George Jones”; endorsed by TJ as a letter to “Jones George” and so recorded in SJL; additional notation by TJ beneath endorsement: “qu. Long George.” Tr (Glenn Horowitz Bookseller, New York City, 2019); in Jane M. Macneven’s hand; at head of text: “To printer of Rosalie.”

George Long (ca. 1782–1843), printer and bookseller, was a British citizen who worked as a printer in New York City by 1802. Long partnered with Monteith McFarlane by 1806, and he continued on his own after McFarlane’s death in 1809. By 1812 Long included bookselling in his enterprise, which he continued until his death in New York (Printer and Bookmaker 24 [1897]: 48; U.S. Marshal’s Returns of Enemy Aliens, DNA: RG 59, PW1812; Longworth’s New York Directory description begins Longworth’s American Almanac, New-York Register, and City Directory, New York, 1796–1842 (title varies; cited by year of publication) description ends [1802]: 253; [1806]: 250; [1810]: 256; [1812]: 188; [1840]: 398; New York Commercial Advertiser, 4 Oct. 1809; New-York Daily Tribune, 11 Jan. 1843).

Long’s favor of 20 Dec. 1820, not found, is recorded in SJL as a letter from “Jones George” received 28 Dec. 1820 from New York. Long printed and published an epic poem by “Palmira Johnson” (Jane M. Macneven) entitled Rosalie, a Tale (New York, 1821), which included a printed dedication from the author: “To Thomas Jefferson. In the lively sense I have been taught to cherish for thy talents and virtues, permit me Sir, to dedicate to thee this small work. May health, ease, and happiness attend thy age; as the setting Sun, thou wilt descend to thy grave, with thy honors, as a glory, beaming around thy head; and thy memory will be deeply engraven on the hearts of thy grateful Countrymen, never to be obliterated, but by the tear of expiring Liberty.”

Index Entries

  • books; dedicated to TJ search
  • books; of poetry search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Books & Library; receives works search
  • Johnson, Palmira; Rosalie, a Tale search
  • Long, George (ca.1782–1843); and P. Johnson’sRosalie, a Tale search
  • Long, George (ca.1782–1843); identified search
  • Long, George (ca.1782–1843); letter from accounted for search
  • Long, George (ca.1782–1843); letter to search
  • poetry; dedicated to TJ search
  • Rosalie, a Tale (P. Johnson) search