When Martin Folkes died in 1754, he left a large library of over five thousand books and a small number of manuscripts, which were put up for sale. Among the manuscripts was one that the sale agent described as, “The formation of a catalogue of curves, contain’d between page 62 and 63 of Sir Isaac Newton’s tract of quadratures, wrote by Mr. De Moivre, 4to.”1 It sold for six shillings and sixpence. The catalogue of curves, which is essentially a table of integrals, appears between pages 62 and 63 of Newton’s Analysis per Quantitatum Series, Fluxiones, ac Differentias, which was published in 1711 and edited by Newton’s and De Moivre’s friend William Jones.2 Much of the book is based on transcriptions of some of Newton’s letters and scientific papers that had been in the possession of John Collins. Jones obtained Collins’s manuscripts in about 1708, fifteen years after the latter’s death.3 The book contains some of Newton’s earliest work on the calculus and was connected to the dispute between Newton and Leibniz over the discovery of the calculus. In the preface, Jones lays out a short history of the development of the calculus. Rupert Hall and Laura Tilling comment about the preface:
The Commercium Epistolicum is a collection of letters assembled by Newton to support his case against Leibniz. Compared to John Keill’s published attack on
Leibniz, appearing in 1710, that contained accusations of plagiarism,5 Jones’s contribution to the priority dispute was much more restrained and muted.