JEFFERSON, Thomas (1743-1826), President. Notes on the State of Virginia. Written By Thomas Jefferson. Illustrated with A Map, including the States of Virginia, Maryland, Delaware and Pennsylvania.. London: Printed for John Stockdale, 1787.
8o (8 5/8 x 4 7/8 in; 339 x 192 mm). Full-page woodcut of "Madison's cave" at C8v, several printed tables in the text, one large folding table of Indian Tribes, large folding engraved map with outline color (see below), terminal blank present (small hole to titlepage, last seven leaves with a few tiny wormholes in blank margin). Late eighteenth century mottled calf (neatly rebacked in matching leather).
FIRST LONDON EDITION, preceded by the privately printed and virtually unobtainable first edition (Paris, 1782 [i.e, 1785]) and an imperfect French translation (Paris, 1786). This edition contains significant additions recounting events during and since the Revolution (when Jefferson served as Governor) and features the composite map engraved at Jefferson's request and incorporating the most up-to-date topographical data on the soon-to-be-opened Ohio Valley. (The map is missing from many copies).
Two of the three appendices are of considerable significance; these were issued as supplements with a few copies of the original edition, but are integral to this edition. Appendix II contains the full text of THE PROPOSED VIRGINIA CONSTITUTION, prepared by Jefferson and a committee of "revisors" in the summer of 1783 in an effort to establish a new law code in "the plain language of common sense, divested of the verbiage, the barbarous tautologies and redundancies which render the British statutes unintelligible" (Jefferson, quoted in R.B. Bernstein, Are We To Be A Nation: The Making of the Constitution, p.65). Appendix III contains "An Act for Establishing Religious Freedom, passed in the Assembly 1786". Approved by the Virginia legislators only after considerable revision, this act had been entirely drafted by Jefferson, who "rated it as second in importance only to the Declaration of Independence in such lists of his own achievements as he afterwards drew up" (Dumas Malone, Jefferson the Virginian, pp. 279-280 and Chapter XX). Pages 293-332 contain a short bibliography of pamphlets published in Virginia relating to the controversy over taxation, plus a "chronological catalogue of American state papers, largely treaties, compiled by Jefferson, certainly one of the earliest such bibliographical efforts. Church 1189 (first edition); Sabin 35896.
A Map of the Country Between Albemarle Sound and Lake Erie, Comprehending the Whole of Virginia, Maryland, Delaware and Pensylvania Engraved for the Notes on Virginia. London: Engraved by S.J. Neele, No.352 Strand, London, Published as the Act directs July 13th, 1787 by John Stockdale. 604 x 614 mm., handcolored in outline in four colors (small separation along one fold, small tears at three fold intersections, otherwise an excellent copy).
An important post-Revolutionary map of Virginia first issued with the 1786 French edition of the Notes, derived from Fry and Jefferson's key map of Virginia (1751, additions in 1755), Nicholas Scull's of Pennsylvania, and Thomas Hitchins' of Virginia (1778). Jefferson was quite aware of the cartographic importance of the composite map: "When Jefferson, then minister to France, decided to publish his Notes on the State of Virginia, first in a French and then in an English edition of 1787, he had the [Fry & Jefferson] map re-engraved, for the occasion, speaking of it with justifiable pride as more valuable than the book in which it was to appear" (The Eye of Thomas Jefferson, ed. W. H. Adams, p. 4). Phillips, Maps of America, p. 984. (2)