Volume I : page 371
Not in the Manuscript Catalogue.
1815 Catalogue, page 33. no. 7, Taylor’s Arator, or Agriculture Essays, 12mo.
[TAYLOR, John.]
Arator; being a series of Agricultural Essays, practical & political: in sixty-one numbers. By a Citizen of Virginia. Georgetown, Columbia: Printed and Published by J. M. and J. B. Carter, 1813.
S497 .T3
First Edition. 12mo. 148 leaves.
Halkett and Laing I, page 133.
Sabin 94483.
Virginia State Library Catalogue 5456.
Jefferson ordered a copy from Pleasants on May 20, 1813. The work was written in part as an answer to William Strickland’s Observations on the Agriculture of the United States of America , 1801 (q.v.).
Essay Number 14, Slavery, is concerned with Jefferson’s Notes on Virginia , which, Taylor points out, were written in the heat of a war for liberty; the human mind was made still hotter by the French revolution; and let those who were insensible of the mental fermentations and moral bubbles generated by these causes, censure Mr. Jefferson. I should be unjust to do it.
The “strictures” on the Notes on Virginia led the publisher to send Jefferson a copy of the second edition, published over the author’s name, in 1814. This copy was sold at the auction in 1829. In his letter of acceptance to the publisher Jefferson wrote (on April 26, 1815): “ we are indebted to Col o. Taylor for a great deal of valuable information given us in that volume on the subject of Agriculture; and whether we consider the question of slavery as a political or religious one, all differences of opinion are entitled to toleration, and he is confident of it’s being fully & mutually indulged between Col o. Taylor & himself . . .
In a letter to Jefferson dated from Quincy, November 12, 1813, John Adams wrote: “I am almost ready to believe that John Taylor of Caroline, or of Hazel Wood Port Royal, Virginia, is the Author of 630 pages of printed Octavo, upon my Books, that I have received. The Style answers every characteristic, that you have intimated.

"Within a Week I have received, and looked into his Arator. They must spring from the same brain as Minerva issued from the head of Jove; or rather as Venus rose from the froth of the Sea.

"There is however a great deal of good sense in Arator. and there is some in his ‘Aristocracy.’”
Jefferson replied on January 24, 1814: “ . . . I have made some enquiry about Taylor’s book, and I learn from a neighbor of his that it has been understood for some time that he was writing a political work. we had not heard here of it’s publication, nor has it been announced in any of our papers. but this must be the book of 630 pages which you have recieved; and certainly neither the style nor the stuff of the author of Arator can ever be mistaken. in the latter work, as you observe, there are some good things, but so involved in quaint, in far-fetched, affected, mystical conciepts, and flimsy theories, that who can take the trouble of getting at them? . . .
John Taylor, 1753-1824, agriculturalist and political writer, was in constant correspondence with Jefferson on agricultural matters. He was the “Curtius” who wrote A Defence of the Measures of the Administration of Thomas Jefferson , first published in 1804.
Not in the Manuscript Catalogue.
1815 Catalogue, page 33. no. 10, Tracts in Agriculture, 8vo, to wit, Fabbroni, Parmentier, Maupin.
Four pamphlets bound together in 1 volume, 8vo. The titles are given in the order of the entries in the 1831 catalogue.
Volume I : page 371
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