Thomas Jefferson Papers

James Gibbon to Thomas Jefferson, 21 July 1821

From James Gibbon

Colls office Richmond July 21. 1821


Having recd the invoice of the books, in examing which, and referring to the law I am inducd, from the character of them as therein describ’d, to belive they are imported for the use of the university & if so, are exemted from duty    “specially imported for a seminary of learning,”1 is the language of the law—

Shoud they not be for this object as Capt Peyton is not here, the moment they come up from the Ship, the package shall be safely forwarded—any expence in either case he will pay on his return—

Im Very respt

The invoice return’d

RC (DLC); endorsed by TJ as a letter from James “Gibbons” received 26 July 1821 and so recorded in SJL; with additional notation by TJ on verso: “5.75.” RC (DLC); address cover only; with PoC of TJ to J. F. Daniel Lobstein, 10 Oct. 1822, on verso; addressed: “Tho Jefferson Esqe Monticello Albemarle Cy Virga”; franked; postmarked Richmond, 21 July. Enclosure: enclosure to TJ to Gibbon, 17 July 1821.

“An Act to regulate the duties on imports and tonnage,” 27 Apr. 1816, placed a duty of 15 percent on all items not specifically enumerated. Printed books were accordingly subjected to the tax, with the exception that those specially imported for a seminary of learning were exempted (U.S. Statutes at Large description begins Richard Peters, ed., The Public Statutes at Large of the United States … 1789 to March 3, 1845, 1845–67, 8 vols. description ends , 3:310, 313).

1Omitted closing quotation mark editorially supplied.

Index Entries

  • An Act to regulate the duties on imports and tonnage (1816) search
  • books; tariffs on search
  • Gibbon, James; and books for TJ search
  • Gibbon, James; as collector at Richmond search
  • Gibbon, James; letters from search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Books & Library; orders books search
  • Peyton, Bernard; and books for TJ search
  • schools and colleges; and tariffs on books search
  • taxes; on books search
  • Virginia, University of; Books and Library; books and manuscripts for search