Skip to main content
Go to accessibility notice


    Eighteenth Century Description of America: John Lewis Guillemard Autograph Letter Signed. Three pages, 7.5" x 8.75", Philadelphia, March 31, 1795, to "Dr. [James] Lind [of] Windsor, Berks[shire]." Guillemard, an English natural philosopher, tours eastern America and praises its "Spirit of Commerce," but criticizes its philosophy, education, and politics. Toning with some separation along central fold. A modern notation rests below the signature.

    More Information:

    Forty years before Alexis de Tocqueville published his famous observations of America, John Lewis Guillemard (1764-1844) toured the young nation, sending some of his own early observations to Dr. James Lind (1736-1812) of Windsor (not James Lind, who lived at the same time and developed a cure for scurvy). Guillemard writes in part, "This is a very interesting country: improving very rapidly and affording innumerable objects of curiosity. The most novel and worthy of research appear to be the Vegetables. The animals are of less distinguished rank and the Men of the least comparative worth. I have not seen the Indians. The Spirit of Commerce reigns with undivided Sway. Philosophy is at a low ebb and Learning still lower. In Politics the Americans are servile, Imitators of the Europeans." The English observer continues by describing Dr. Benjamin Rush's part in building "The Philadelphia Hospital for the reception of Lunatics." He further informs Dr. Lind of a "very valuable plant . . . in the back country of Virginia" which "Mr. Jefferson promised to send." Guillemard also writes about the prospect of his election as a member of the Royal Society of London ("In case any such thing should be done and it can with decency be stopped I had rather wait till I am better known, and deserve in some measure the guerdon of Science"). Two years after writing this letter, the visiting Englishman was chose to serve as a commissioner in America to defend British interests there. He was back in England by 1804 and, years after being accepted into the Royal Society, served as its president from 1827-1830.

    Shipping, Taxes, Terms and Bidding
    Calculate Standard Domestic Shipping

    Sales Tax information  |  Terms and Conditions

    Bidding Guidelines and Bid Increments

    Glossary of Terms

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    April, 2011
    8th-9th Friday-Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 2
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 523

    Buyer's Premium per Lot:
    19.5% of the successful bid (minimum $14) per lot.

    Sold for: Sign-in or Join (free & quick)

    Heritage membership

    Join Now - It's Free

    1. Past Auction Values (prices, photos, full descriptions, etc.)
    2. Bid online
    3. Free Collector newsletter
    4. Want List with instant e-mail notifications
    5. Reduced auction commissions when you resell your
    Consign now
    • Cash Advances
    • More Bidders
    • Trusted Experts
    • Over 200,000 Satisfied Consignors Since 1976
    Only 8 days left to consign to the 2018 December 10 Hong Kong Luxury Accessories Signature Auction - Hong Kong!

    Learn about consigning with us

    Heritage has gone above and beyond my expectations in handling all of my transactions in a thoroughly professional manner. I would not hesitate to recommend them to anyone worldwide for the exemplary auction and valuation services they provide.
    Richard H.,
    Corsicana, TX
    View More Testimonials receives more traffic than any other auction house website. (Source:

    Video tutorial

    Getting the most out of search

    Recent auctions

    2018 September 13 Rare Books & Maps Signature Auction Books - Dallas
    2018 September 13 Rare Books & Maps Signature Auction Books - Dallas
    REALIZED SO FAR $1,094,325