"I HAVE SWORN ETERNAL HOSTILITY AGAINST EVERY FORM OF TYRANNY OVER THE MIND OF MAN": SCARCE FIRST ENGLISH EDITION OF JEFFERSON'S MEMOIRS, 1829
JEFFERSON, Thomas. Memoirs, Correspondence, and Private Papers of Thomas Jefferson, Late President of the United States. London: Henry Colburn and Richard Bentley, 1829. Four volumes. Octavo, original blue paper boards and brown paper spines, original paper spine labels, uncut. Housed together in a custom chemise and clamshell box. $5500.
First English edition of the first published collection of Jefferson’s writings, issued the same year as the first American edition, edited by his grandson, with engraved frontispiece portrait of Jefferson and folding facsimile of Jefferson’s manuscript draft of the Declaration of Independence, rare in original boards, uncut.
An invaluable window into arguably the foremost intellect of early America, these four volumes "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 35891). 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:452). Volume I with engraved frontispiece portrait of Jefferson; Volume III with folding facsimile leaves of Jefferson's manuscript draft of the Declaration of Independence. First English edition, employing type and paper that are "very superior to [those of] the American editions" (Sabin 35892). Howes R60. See Shoemaker & Cooper 39133.
Interiors clean and fine; light rubbing to extremities, some chipping to spine ends and rubbing to joints, bindings sound. An excellent uncut copy in original boards.