Thomas Jefferson Papers

H. C. Carey & I. Lea to Thomas Jefferson, 17 June 1822

From H. C. Carey & I. Lea

Philad: June 17th 1822

Dear Sir

We take the liberty of addressing you in consequence of having recd a letter from Mr J McKinnie proposing to supply him with Books for an establishment he is about to make in Charlottesville & shall be under obligations to you for any information respecting his present Situation & future prospects—

Mr McK mentions your name, among others, that he would refer us to as persons acquainted with his character &a

Having the utmost reliance on your information

We remain yo Obt Sts

H C. Carey & I Lea

RC (CSmH: JF); dateline at foot of text; at head of text: “Thomas Jefferson Esqr Monticello. V.”; endorsed by TJ as received 23 June 1822, but recorded in SJL as received a day earlier.

H. C. Carey & I. Lea was a printing and bookselling partnership in Philadelphia formed by Mathew Carey’s son Henry Charles Carey (1793–1879) and son-in-law Isaac Lea (1792–1886) when the elder Carey retired in 1822. The new concern flourished during the decades that followed, becoming for a time the nation’s largest publishing and bookselling house. In 1833 William A. Blanchard joined the company, which was accordingly renamed Carey, Lea & Blanchard. Henry C. Carey left the enterprise by the end of the 1830s and Lea stepped down in 1851, leaving Blanchard as senior partner. It continued as Blanchard & Lea until Blanchard retired in 1865. Thereafter, the firm was known as Lea and, from 1907 until its sale in 1990, as Lea & Febiger (ANB description begins John A. Garraty and Mark C. Carnes, eds., American National Biography, 1999, 24 vols. description ends , 4:378, 13:320; David Kaser, Messrs. Carey & Lea of Philadelphia: A Study in the History of the Booktrade [1957]; PHi: Lea & Febiger Records; New-York Evening Post, 4 Feb. 1822; Robert Desilver, The Philadelphia Index, or Directory, for 1823 [Philadelphia, 1823]; Desilver’s Philadelphia Directory, and Stranger’s Guide, for 1833 [1833], 31; John G. O’Brien, O’Brien’s … Pocket Directory to the Principal Mercantile Houses in the city of Philadelphia for 1838–39 [1838], 19; A. M’Elroy’s Philadelphia Directory, for 1839 [1839], 143; McElroy’s Philadelphia Directory, for 1852 [1852], 35; McElroy’s Philadelphia City Directory for 1865 [1865], 82).

Index Entries

  • Carey, Henry Charles.; identified search
  • Charlottesville, Va.; bookstore proposed for search
  • H. C. Carey & I. Lea (Philadelphia firm); and proposed Charlottesville bookstore search
  • H. C. Carey & I. Lea (Philadelphia firm); identified search
  • H. C. Carey & I. Lea (Philadelphia firm); letter from search
  • Lea, Isaac; identified search
  • McKennie, John H.; and proposed Charlottesville bookstore search