Catalog Archive
Auction 186, Lot 329

"First Hot-Pressed Edition" of Jefferson's Famous Work

"[Map in Book] A Map of the State of Virginia... [in] Notes on the State of Virginia", Jefferson, Thomas

Subject: Virginia

Period: 1801 (published)


Color: Black & White

19.6 x 13.4 inches
49.8 x 34 cm
Download High Resolution Image
(or just click on image to launch the Zoom viewer)

This is the "First Hot-Pressed Edition" of Jefferson's famous work published by R.T. Rawle in Philadelphia, and the first edition issued after Jefferson assumed the presidency. Considered one of America's first literary landmarks, Notes on the State of Virginia was the only book published during Jefferson's lifetime. It tackles a broad range of both scientific and philosophical topics including: climate, natural resources, population, separation of church and state, government checks and balances, and individual liberty. This edition includes the folding A Map of the State of Virginia... (19.6 x 13.4") by Benjamin Tanner at the front of the volume, single-page maps of Madison Cave (near Grottes) and the Ohio River (vicinity of Pittsburgh), and a portrait of Jefferson by William Harrison. According to Sabin, "This appears to be the best edition of this work, having the appendix relating to the murder of Logan's family, printed separately in 1800, and other pieces not in the preceding editions." Small Octavo; 436 pages, 56 page appendix, 3 maps (1 folding), portrait frontispiece, and folding table. Hardbound with contemporary leather covers and modern leather spine with new red leather title label and gilt bands.

References: Howes J-78; Sabin #35903.


The map of Virginia has been professionally conserved and reattached to the volume and is in "B+" condition. The map has been cleaned with a few faint stains remaining, and has been fully backed on thin, archival tissue to repair some short separations at the folds. The two small maps and the portrait are in "B" condition with moderate toning, foxing and offsetting, as well as a dampstain at the bottom of the portrait page. The remaining text has light to moderate foxing, and the majority of the text has minor toning although a few pages are heavily toned. The volume has been professionally rebound with a new spine that is in excellent "A" condition. The contemporary covers are stained and scuffed, but otherwise quite sound.

Estimate: $2,400 - $3,000

Sold for: $1,500

Closed on 2/9/2022