Seeking booksellers for a fourth edition of his popular Nature Displayed in Her Mode of Teaching Language to Man, in an autograph letter, signed 19 October 1816, from Philadelphia, to the New Haven, Connecticut, bookselling firm Beers & Howe; addressed by Dufief on the verso of an integral leaf.

Philadelphia: 1816. 4to. One- page, approximately 85 words, in full: "Gentlemen I enclose you a proposal for the publication of the 4th edition of nature Displayed with improvements, the 3rd edition being entirely out of print. The discount to booksellers will be 1/3 – Should you be disposed to take a no. of copies, you will oblige by giving me early information thereof, as the work will be put to press in a short time. The terms will be for all copies under 25 - cash; 25 to 35, 3 months; 35 to 50, 6 [smudged] months; 100 and upwards, 9 to 12 do. With respect I am &c. N.G. Dufief." Dufief published three earlier editions of "Nature Displayed" in 1804 (Thomas Jefferson subscribed for six copies), 1806, and 1810. The edition discussed in this letter may not have been published. American Imprints locates one copy of an 1817 edition at the Ridgway Branch of the Library Company of Philadelphia, but the Library Company's online catalogue does not include it; OCLC has a record for a microform version, but without location. Philadelphia editions were published in 1820 and 1821, both denominated "fourth edition." Very good and quite legible. Folded for mailing. (#5987). Item #58767

Nicolas Dufief (1776-1834), born in France, emigrated to Philadelphia in 1893 where he established himself as a bookseller and publisher and as a teacher of French. He opened a bookshop in 1801, originally for the purpose of selling Benjamin Franklin's library. He soon became Thomas Jefferson's bookseller and friend. When Dufief was prosecuted fro selling a copy of de Becourt's "La Creation du Monde," an allegedly blasphemous book on the origin of the world, Jefferson came to his defense in a long eloquent letter on freedom of religion, dated April 19, 1814 ("Writings of Thomas Jefferson," 1853-1854). In fact, Jefferson himself had ordered the book through Dufief (cf. Sowerby 4930). Consulting with Jefferson as he conceived of his idea for "Nature Displayed," Dufief published the first edition in 1804 and it proved popular enough to support new editions in 1806 and 1810. The letter offered here was written during a period when he apparently had trouble finding enough subscriptions to warrant a new printing, though a "fourth edition" was eventually published by 1820. Cf. Sowerby 4819 for notes from a considerable correspondence between Jefferson and Dufief concerning publication of this book (Jefferson is referred to twice in the text of the first edition).

Price: $600.00

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