"ETERNAL HOSTILITY AGAINST EVERY FORM OF TYRANNY OVER THE MIND OF MAN": FIRST EDITION OF THE FIRST COLLECTION OF JEFFERSON'S WRITINGS
JEFFERSON, Thomas. Memoir, Correspondence, and Miscellanies, from the Papers of Thomas Jefferson. Edited by Thomas Jefferson Randolph. Charlottesville: F. Carr, 1829. Four volumes. Octavo, contemporary full dark brown tree calf sympathetically rebacked, original red and black morocco spine labels preserved. $6800.
First edition of the first published collection of Jefferson's writings, edited by his grandson, with engraved frontispiece portrait after Gilbert Stuart's painting and with four-page folding facsimile of Jefferson's manuscript of the Declaration of Independence in Volume IV, in contemporary calf.
An invaluable window into arguably the foremost intellect of early America, these four volumes of Jefferson's memoirs "begin with a short fragment concerning [Jefferson] himself, drawn up at the age of 77; and close with a… journal kept by him while Secretary of State during Washington's administration. The rest consists exclusively of a voluminous correspondence, ranging from 1775, after the blood had been spilt at Boston, to June 1826, ten days only before his death" (Sabin). The final letter included (dated June 24, 1826), contains a worthy summary of Jefferson's guiding principles and passions: "All eyes are opened, or opening, to the rights of man. The general spread of the light of science has already laid open to every view the palpable truth, that the mass of mankind has not been born with saddles on their backs, nor a favored few booted and spurred, ready to ride them legitimately… These are grounds of hope for others" (IV:441). Included is his famous letter to Benjamin Rush, in which he declared, "I have sworn upon the altar of God eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man." Bound with half titles. Howes R60. Shoemaker 39133. Sabin 35891. Armorial bookplate of John Amory Lowell (1798-1881), American businessman and philanthropist from Boston, a Fellow of Harvard College (1837–1877), a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, a member of the Linnean Society of London, and trustee of the Lowell Institute. Later owner ink signature in Volume I.
Foxing to text, as often, with some preliminary leaves expertly cleaned. Expert restoration to board extremities; two volume labels renewed. A very good copy in handsome contemporary calf.