Thomas Jefferson Papers

To Thomas Jefferson from John Allen, 12 March 1781

From John Allen

Hoods Garrison 12th March 1781


Colo. Senf not returning, agreeable to his promise to me which was the 21st Ulto., I am much at a Loss how to proceed. I understand that there’s a quantity of Bricks belonging to Colo. Benjamin Harrison of Brandon which Colo. Senf engaged, also a quantity of Timber of Major James Cocke of this County.

You will pleas to furnish me with your orders for the Bricks Lime and Timber.

Brick Layers, House Carpenters and Sawyers, has been applying to me for work, please Say what wages I am to Allow them.

I am in present want of two waggons with four good horses to each waggon, also a Cary log. I have Engaged three Vessells to transport the Bricks and Lime. Say where I am to gett the Lime; It is high time they were on the Spott. The Number of Men at work in This Garrison are three white Carpenters 1 Negroe Carpenter from Richmond. The Number of Negroe Labourers as follows

1 Negroe Labourer from Richmond hyred by the State
3 Negroes belonging to Charles Carter of Shirley, C City
1 Negroe Richard Randolp Henrico
1 Negroe Archbald Cary Chesterfield
1 ditto Henry Randolph ditto
1 ditto Thomas Randolp, Tucko Henrico
2 ditto Richard Randolph ditto
2 ditto Reyland Randolph ditto
2 ditto William Murray Charles City
2 ditto George Minge Charles City
2 ditto Robert Good Chesterfield

18. hands, which Number is not Equall to the works to be Carried on here, Not one Negroe from Dinwiddie or Prince George Countys. The Carpenters and Labourers has petitioned me to Mention to your Excellency to allow them Some Rum or Brandy, and if you think proper, I Should be allowed my Rations In Rum.

I wrote Colo. Senf a few days agoe for Some Articles that I am In immediate want. I directed my Letter for him to the Care of Colo. George Muter, but as I understand, he is not at Richmond, have presumed to Annex them here.

I am Sir Your most obedient Servant,

Jno. Allen.

a grind stone 2. good stock Locks
½ doz. hand saw files 5000. 10d. Nails
½ doz. X Cutt Saw ditto 5000 20d. ditto
½ doz Whip Saw ditto 1 doz Camp Kettles
6. quire writing Paper

RC (Vi); addressed (in part): “favoured by Cap. Richard Ballinger”; endorsed (in part): “recd. 15 March.”

There is the following minute in the War Office Journal (Vi) under 15 Mch. 1781: “A letter received by the Governor from Capt. Allen at Hood’s referred to me [Muter].” On the same day Muter wrote to the state quartermaster general, ordering two wagons and four horses to be sent to Hood’s immediately and requesting that a person from that department, “active careful and punctual,” be sent there at once; and to William Armistead, commissary of stores, asking him to collect the list of articles wanted (both letters were countersigned by TJ). Muter also wrote to John Allen on 15 Mch., enclosing orders to Benjamin Harrison for bricks and to James Cocke for timber and plank (both orders countersigned by TJ); he informed Allen that the articles requested had been ordered, giving him a list of prices allowed to artificers, and informing him that “No liquor is allowed to Carpenters or labourers at this place, unless they are obliged to work exposed in rainy weather or in cases where, from necessity, they are obliged to undergo uncommon fatigue” (copies of the above letters are in the War Office Letter Book in Vi; see Muter to TJ, 26 Feb.).

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