Thomas Jefferson Papers

Thomas Jefferson to Spencer Roane, 27 June 1821

To Spencer Roane

Monticello June 27. 21.

Dear Sir

I have recieved through the hands of the Governor Colo Taylor’s letter to you. it is with extreme reluctance that I permit myself to usurp the office of an adviser of the public what books they should read and what not. I yield however on this occasion to your wish and that of Colo Taylor, and do (what, with a single exception only) I never did before, on the many similar applications made to me. on reviewing my letters to Colo Taylor and to mr Thweatt, neither appeared exactly proper. each contained matter which might give offence to the judges, without adding strength to the opinion. I have therefore, out of the two cooked up what may be called ‘an extract of a letter from Th:J. to —’ but without saying it is published with my consent. that would for ever deprive me of the ground of declining the office of a Reviewer of books in future cases. I sincerely wish the attention of the public may be drawn to the doctrines of the book; and if this self-styled Extract may contribute to it, I shall be gratified. I salute you with constant friendship and respect.

Th: Jefferson

RC (PPAmP: Sol Feinstone Collection, David Library of the American Revolution); on a sheet folded to form four pages, with letter on p. 1, MS of enclosure on p. 3, and Roane’s endorsement of letter on p. 4; mutilated at folds, with missing text supplied from PoC; at foot of text: “Judge Roane.” PoC (DLC); with PoC of enclosure on verso. Enclosures: (1) TJ’s Recommendation of John Taylor’s Construction Construed, [ca. 27 June 1821]. (2) Unidentified letter from Taylor to Roane (see TJ to Thomas Mann Randolph, 27 June [1821]). Enclosed in TJ to Randolph, 27 June [1821].

Randolph was the governor of Virginia. TJ’s letters to Taylor and Archibald Thweatt were dated 14 Feb. and 19 Jan. 1821, respectively.

Index Entries

  • books; on U.S. Constitution search
  • books; TJ recommends on U.S. Constitution search
  • Constitution, U.S.; books on search
  • Construction Construed, and Constitutions Vindicated (J. Taylor [of Caroline]) search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Books & Library; recommends books search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Opinions on; J. Taylor’sConstruction Construed search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Writings; Recommendation of John Taylor’sConstruction Construed search
  • Randolph, Thomas Mann (1768–1828) (TJ’s son-in-law; Martha Jefferson Randolph’s husband); and TJ’s correspondence search
  • Randolph, Thomas Mann (1768–1828) (TJ’s son-in-law; Martha Jefferson Randolph’s husband); as governor of Va. search
  • Roane, Spencer; friendship with J. Taylor search
  • Roane, Spencer; letters to search
  • Taylor, John (of Caroline); Construction Construed, and Constitutions Vindicated search
  • Taylor, John (of Caroline); friendship with S. Roane search
  • Thweatt, Archibald; mentioned search