Feb 04, 2016 - Sale 2404

Sale 2404 - Lot 155

Price Realized: $ 47,500
?Final Price Realized includes Buyer’s Premium added to Hammer Price
Estimate: $ 30,000 - $ 40,000
FIRST PUBLISHED EDITION OF JEFFERSON'S NOTES ON VIRGINIA [JEFFERSON, THOMAS.] Observations sur la Virginie. Folding map, folding table. [4],viii, 387, 288-290, [5] pages. 8vo, early boards with original gilt-stamped leather spine label, minor wear, front joint starting; minor foxing, minor dampstaining to last hundred leaves and map; with half-title and errata leaves; later owner's signature on front free endpaper. Paris: Chez Barrois, 1786 [1787]

Additional Details

first published edition. This work had its origins in a questionnaire circulated to America's governors in 1781 by Francois Barbé-Marbois, a French diplomat stationed in Philadelphia. Jefferson, after completing his term as Virginia's governor, responded to these questions on 20 December 1781. Realizing that his efforts might interest a broader audience, he continued to expand his manuscript over the coming years. In 1785, he had a handful of copies printed for private distribution, which was followed by the present French edition, translated by André Morellet with corrections by Jefferson.
This is the first edition to contain the map, titled "A Map of the Country between Albemarle Sound and Lake Erie" and found here in unusually strong condition. It depicts the bulk of modern-day Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia, as well as Virginia, carefully noting its sources in earlier maps, and indicating that "additions have been made, where they could be made on sure ground." These additions seem to have been Jefferson's own, making this "the only map attributed to Jefferson" (Schwartz & Ehrenberg, Mapping of America, 209). Howes J78 ("aa"); Sabin 35895; Verner 1786.