Thomas Jefferson Papers

Thomas Jefferson to H. C. Carey & I. Lea, 27 June 1822

To H. C. Carey & I. Lea

Monticello June 27. 22.

Messrs Cary & Lea

In answering the enquiries of your letter of the 12th I must first observe that what I shall say is on the report of my neighbors, & not of my own knolege. the mr Mckennies (for there are two brothers of them) came to Charlottesville some two or three years ago, & set up a weekly paper on a small scale, at 3.D. a year. it was understood that they had little capital, and they did the whole business themselves, as well manual as editorial. they are considered as very industrious, honest and correct men. I have never heard a word to their prejudice.

Charlottesville at present is a poor stand for book-selling. the neighborhood is of plain industrious farmers; the town of [r]etail merchants & mechanics, of about 250. free inhabitants. the merchants sometimes have a shelf or two of books, but they are of very slow sale. whenever1 the University opens, it will probably be an excellent station for classics & books of the sciences which will be taught there. it will require a correspondence with the continent of Europe, particularly with Paris & Amsterdam, the best and cheapest editions of Classics coming from Germany. but the time of opening the University is entirely uncertain. this is as good an account of the place persons & prospect as I am able to give you, and with it be pleased to accept the assurance of my respect.

Th: Jefferson

PoC (DLC); on verso of reused address cover of Bernard Peyton to TJ, 3 June 1822; torn at seal; endorsed by TJ.

H. C. Carey & I. Lea’s letter to TJ of the 12th was actually dated 17 June 1822.

Clement P. McKennie and John H. McKennie (the mr mckennies) commenced publication in January 1820 of Charlottesville’s first newspaper, the weekly Central Gazette. TJ subscribed to the paper, 1821–23 (Brigham, American Newspapers description begins Clarence S. Brigham, History and Bibliography of American Newspapers, 1690–1820, 1947, 2 vols. description ends , 2:1112; Woods, Albemarle description begins Edgar Woods, Albemarle County in Virginia, 1901, repr. 1991 description ends , 99, 260; MB description begins James A. Bear Jr. and Lucia C. Stanton, eds., Jefferson’s Memorandum Books: Accounts, with Legal Records and Miscellany, 1767–1826, 1997, The Papers of Thomas Jefferson, Second Series description ends , 2:1377, 1390).

H. C. Carey & I. Lea’s reply to TJ of 2 July 1822, not found, is recorded in SJL as received 10 July 1822 from Philadelphia.

1Manuscript: “whenver.”

Index Entries

  • books; classical search
  • Central Gazette (Charlottesville newspaper) search
  • Charlottesville, Va.; bookstore proposed for search
  • Charlottesville, Va.; Central Gazette search
  • Charlottesville, Va.; size of search
  • classics; TJ on best editions of search
  • Germany; scholarship in search
  • H. C. Carey & I. Lea (Philadelphia firm); and proposed Charlottesville bookstore search
  • H. C. Carey & I. Lea (Philadelphia firm); letter from accounted for search
  • H. C. Carey & I. Lea (Philadelphia firm); letter to search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Books & Library; and newspaper subscriptions search
  • McKennie, Clement Pynes; and CharlottesvilleCentral Gazette search
  • McKennie, Clement Pynes; TJ on search
  • McKennie, John H.; and CharlottesvilleCentral Gazette search
  • McKennie, John H.; TJ on search
  • newspapers; CharlottesvilleCentral Gazette search
  • newspapers; subscriptions to, by TJ search
  • subscriptions, for publications; newspapers search
  • Virginia, University of; Books and Library; books and manuscripts for search
  • Virginia, University of; Establishment; opening of search