George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Mathew Carey, 1 August 1793

From Mathew Carey

August 1. [1793]


Having begun some of the maps of the united states, for my edition of Guthrie,1 and supposing it probable that you are possessed of materials that might be very serviceable, I take the liberty to request, if you have any such, that you will favour me with a communication of them,2 which will confer a particular obligation on, Sir, your obt hble servt

Mathew Carey

P.S. I am now engaged in New Jersey & Delaware.


1The first edition of A New Geographical, Historical, and Commercial Grammar; and Present State of the Several Kingdoms of the World, by British historian and political journalist William Guthrie (c.1708–1770), was published in London in 1770. Philadelphia publisher Carey issued his revised edition under the title of A New System of Modern Geography; or, A Geographical, Historical, and Commercial Grammar; and Present State of the Several Nations of the World. … The First American Edition, Corrected, Improved, and Greatly Enlarged. Volume 1 appeared in 1794 and volume 2 in 1795.

2Tobias Lear wrote Carey on 5 Aug. that “The President of the United States directs me to inform you, that if you will call at his house this afternoon, at five O’clock, you shall see such maps as are in his possession, and if there be any among them that can be useful in preparing those for your Edition of Gutherie, he will with pleasure give you the use of them” (PHi: Lea and Febiger Collection). After examining the maps, Carey wrote GW on 6 August: “I have retained those only that are immediately necessary. The others I have returned. Some I shall take the liberty to apply for at a future day. The others, marked U, are not likely to be at all useful” (DLC:GW).

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