Memorandum to Richard Richardson
[ca. 21 Dec. 1799]
- To use every exertion to hire 6 men for me. On this everything depends.
- To take the key of the smoak-house & have necessary attention paid to the meat. John will cut it up; Ursula salt it and see that it is properly cured and managed. Mr. Richardson will use of this for himself and Mr. Dinsmore, but when the beef comes from Bedford I would wish that to be their main supply. Mr. Richardson to get sugar and coffee from Mr. Higgenbotham, and the necessary whiskey where it can be had reasonably. Money will probably be received for nails which will pay for this. Peter to cook for them as usual.
- To direct the digging of the canal. The canal must be 2 feet deep at its mouth in a summer tide, 5 feet wide at bottom; and the whole fall from the upper to the lower end should be about two feet, or 1 inch in 50 feet. The dirt and stone taken out must be thrown on the side next the river & formed into a good bank.
- Mr. Richardson knows what is necessary to be done as to burning the bricks, receiving the lime, cutting slate-pavements, which may be of any size he thinks most convenient from 12 to 18 inches square; but must all be of a size. At least those for the same portico or piazza must all be of a size.
- Prepare marble when there is nothing else to do.
- Do the wall of the sink. It is to be 3 f. wide and high in the clear, & to descend 3 I. in 10 feet.
- The wall of the Smith’s shop is next to be done. For this I give the plan. It should be six feet in the ground at the upper side, and 2 feet above ground. It is to be dry wall, of slate.
- In the spring of the year, plaister the rooms as fast as Mr. Dinsmore prepares them. They are to have three coats, finished white. I will send some plaister of Paris.
- Measure Fagg’s plank.
- Settle with Mr. Woodson the coal, bricks, lime, &c., in any way Mr. Randolph chuses.
- Send 120 faggots of half-crown iron to Mr. Jefferson for me.
- See to having the beef, butter, tallow, soap & bacon brought up when it shall be lodged at Columbia by Mr. Clarke. The bacon will not come till spring, the other things soon. The smoaking & other attentions to the meat must be very exact.
- Money shall be sent from Philadelphia for the hire of Jack & Frank.
- Jupiter is to move into the North Square cellar room, as soon as it is ready, for the safeguard of the house. In the mean time he should sleep in the diningroom or the South Square cellar room, & have a dog. No other fire to be kindled in the house.
- Hired Men.
- Six men to be hired.
- They are to cut 200 cords of coal wood, dig out the canal, mend the fence at Shadwell.
- When these are done, to give all the assistance they can to the overseer, and particularly in fencing. Rather than let the plantation suffer greatly they must even interrupt their other work to help him.
- They must quarry stone for the waggon.
- Davy & Lewis to prop the shed adjoining the shop, to mend the coal houses & make doors, to fix up the wheat machine at Franklin barn. In this John Hemings is to assist and direct, & to rectify it while at work, if it gets out of order; to make 3 double gates and fix them at Shadwell for Mr. Peyton. They may take for one of them the pair which is ready made; to join the hired men in cutting coal-wood; to join them also in digging the canal; Abram, Phil & John are also to join in cutting wood & working on the canal. At all other times Abram and Phil may assist the overseer, and John be in the garden. He should espalier the rest of the vines & keep the paling in repair. While he is at work on the canal the old people can do all that will be necessary in the garden with some direction from him, as I shall not be at home till towards harvest.
- I think Davy & John will be the best hands to keep constantly blowing and raising rock in the canal. Get powder from Mr. Higgenbotham.
- In proper time they must build a tobacco-house in the Indian field. The logs should be cut and hauled into place before the ground is broken up.
- The flooring plank may1 be kiln-dried when convenient. Abram can attend to it.
- Nail-house. The boys to be again divided by a new lot and choice into three fires, under the same three foremen; their work to be daily weighed out & in, and set down. Burwell and James to join them when Mr. Randolph’s family go away.
- Nails to be furnished to any of the merchants in Milton and Charlottesville, and to any of the old customers, who apply, on credit. To others they must be sold only for cash.
- Mr. Aldridge is particularly2 to be furnished with nails to be sold on my account for ready money.
- Moses to make traces when not at smith’s work. It would be well to arrange with the overseer a particular day for his work, so that the other days may be unbroken & that we may know what traces to expect from Moses. His work should be narrowly examined.
- Frank to burn another coal-kiln as soon as the wood is ready; then to burn no more till March.
- The coal-houses to be mended, made secure, and kept locked. A box 2 feet square & deep to be made for every hearth, to be filled in the morning & the door then locked.
- To waggon home Fagg’s plank, which is to be sorted; such as will do for flooring to be stored at once in the kiln in a proper manner for kiln-drying, and nailed up until we are ready to kiln-dry. What the kiln will not hold should be put into the scantling house and be spread in the loft of the house to season for future flooring of the loft. If this will not hold all, the surplus may be spread over the stable.
- To bring home the oak plank which Davenport is to saw. If it is not done soon, some other person must be employed to saw it.
- Haul in brickwood.
- Fetch the nailrod from Mr. Kelly’s.
- Haul slatestone from the quarry for the sink and for the covered way, kitchen, & offices.
- Furnish the house with wood as long as Mr. Randolph’s family stays there.
- To waggon the wheat to Mr. Higginbotham.
- To bring a load of wood on some one day in every week to Ursula’s, Tom’s, Bet’s, Critta’s, Sally’s, Jupiter’s, & Peter’s, and forage for Jupiter.
Printed in New York Times, 15 Apr. 1923 (magazine section); date supplied from internal evidence and day of TJ’s departure for Philadelphia; at head of text: “Instructions.”
For the engagement of James Dinsmore to work as a housejoiner at Monticello, see Vol. 30:249, 435. In a statement of his account with Dinsmore, dated 20 Dec. 1799, TJ noted that he paid the housejoiner $30, on 24 Oct. 1798, for the expenses he incurred in traveling from Philadelphia to Monticello, and on 23 Apr. and 20 Dec. 1799 he paid him $18 and $20, respectively. TJ credited Dinsmore with $30 in travel expenses from Philadelphia on 22 July 1798; with $133⅓ for “one year’s services ending this day” on 1 July 1799; and with a final entry “By service from July 1. 1799. @ the rate of 200. Doll. a year.” The last entry did not have a separate amount or date, but since the statement was dated 20. Dec., it could be assumed it was for $100 for six months of service. But the endorsement on the verso of the statement gives the balance due Dinsmore on 20 Dec. 1799 as $295.33⅓, the correct total if the last amount credited for work was $200 (MS in OkTG; entirely in TJ’s hand, except for endorsement in unknown hand). TJ’s three payments to Dinsmore are recorded in MB description begins James A. Bear, Jr., and Lucia C. Stanton, eds., Jefferson’s Memorandum Books: Accounts, with Legal Records and Miscellany, 1767–1826, Princeton, 1997, The Papers of Thomas Jefferson, Second Series description ends , 2:991, 1000, 1011. In September 1803 TJ owed Dinsmore $526.21 “besides his wages from July 1. 1803” (MB description begins James A. Bear, Jr., and Lucia C. Stanton, eds., Jefferson’s Memorandum Books: Accounts, with Legal Records and Miscellany, 1767–1826, Princeton, 1997, The Papers of Thomas Jefferson, Second Series description ends , 2:1107).
TJ noted that in September and October 1799 “Dinsmore alone made & put up the semicircular arch of the Cabinet” in 10 days. During the same period Dinsmore and John Hemings, who became his principal assistant, “prepared & put up the oval arch,” which was “8. feet wide in 12. days.” On 25 Oct. “Dinsmore began to prepare some few things still unprepared of the Library.” On 1 Nov. “all the work being prepared he began to put it up.” It was finished on 19 Nov., Dinsmore having worked 13 days, being “employed otherwise Nov. 2. 18. 19,” and John Hemings 9 days, being “employed otherwise 2. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16” (MS in MHi, entirely in TJ’s hand, with several entries on sheet headed: “1799”; Stanton, Free Some Day description begins Lucia Stanton, Free Some Day, Thomas Jefferson Foundation, Inc., 2000 description ends , 136).
Recieving the lime: TJ quarried limestone at his estate on the Hardware River in Albemarle County and had it transported to Monticello, where it was burned in lime kilns. Great quantities of lime were used for mortar in the brick and stone work at Monticello (Betts, Farm Book description begins Edwin M. Betts, ed., Thomas Jefferson’s Farm Book, Princeton, 1953 description ends , 102, 105, 337).
Measure Fagg’s plank: on 13 Jan. 1800 TJ ordered that John Fagg be paid $100 for sawing (MB description begins James A. Bear, Jr., and Lucia C. Stanton, eds., Jefferson’s Memorandum Books: Accounts, with Legal Records and Miscellany, 1767–1826, Princeton, 1997, The Papers of Thomas Jefferson, Second Series description ends , 2:1013). For the return of the half-crown iron, see TJ to George Jefferson, 12 Jan. 1800.
On 13 Jan. TJ authorized Richardson to pay Lydia Mallory and Richard Hop, respectively, $54.33 for the hire of jack and £20 or $66.67 for the hire of Frank (MB, description begins James A. Bear, Jr., and Lucia C. Stanton, eds., Jefferson’s Memorandum Books: Accounts, with Legal Records and Miscellany, 1767–1826, Princeton, 1997, The Papers of Thomas Jefferson, Second Series description ends 2:1013; TJ to George Jefferson & Co., 13 Jan. 1800).
Indian field, part of TJ’s Tufton estate in Albemarle County on the west side of the Rivanna River, was one of the five fields TJ agreed to lease to John H. Craven in August 1800 and was scheduled to be cleared in 1800 and 1801 (Betts, Farm Book description begins Edwin M. Betts, ed., Thomas Jefferson’s Farm Book, Princeton, 1953 description ends , 168–70, 336; TJ to Stevens Thomson Mason, 27 Oct. 1799).
In a statement of his account with Richardson, dated 19 Dec. 1799, TJ noted that on 13 Dec. 1798 he owed him £24.3.0. On 4 Apr., 2 June, 14 July, 17 Aug., 18 Sep., and 13 Oct. 1799, TJ recorded payments to Richardson, totaling $79.42, transactions also recorded in his financial records (MB description begins James A. Bear, Jr., and Lucia C. Stanton, eds., Jefferson’s Memorandum Books: Accounts, with Legal Records and Miscellany, 1767–1826, Princeton, 1997, The Papers of Thomas Jefferson, Second Series description ends , 2:994, 1000–1, 1004–7). On 26 May Richardson purchased TJ’s horse, Darlington, for £60 “in account for work,” £35 payable in 1799 and £25 in 1800. In the statement of account TJ credited Richardson with a £10 rebate for the horse in 1799, which was not recorded (same, 2:1000). According to the statement TJ also paid Richardson for “5. barrels of corn @ 2. D.” or £3 and “half a barrel corn @ 30/” or 15/ in November 1799, items which again were not recorded with TJ’s financial transactions for the month (same, 1008-9). On 1 Apr. TJ credited Richardson £5.11.0 for work and, on 14 Dec. 1799, an additional £61.16.0 for 206 days of work. He owed Richardson another £2.2.0 for “7 [nights burning lime]” and 6/ for “[shoe thread]” from “[Swan].” Altogether TJ credited Richardson with £103.18.0, leaving TJ with a balance due Richardson of £16.7.2. In the statement, however, TJ had debited Richardson the entire £60 for Darlington, which probably explains TJ’s notation below the initial balance due: “I am to pay £25 more & to have credit for it in next year’s acct. as above,” thus increasing the amount he owed Richardson to £41.7.2. At the foot of the statement, TJ wrote: “During the ensuing winter months mr Richardson is to over look all my affairs (not belonging to the plantation) and to have £4. a month. if the weather admits him to lay any dry wall, an additional allowance is to be made” (facsimile of MS in Superior Galleries Catalogue, Beverly Hills, California, 7 Nov. 1992 Auction, Lot 508; entirely in TJ’s hand and signed by him; faded). The day after this statement was drawn TJ paid Richardson £8–17–7 (MB description begins James A. Bear, Jr., and Lucia C. Stanton, eds., Jefferson’s Memorandum Books: Accounts, with Legal Records and Miscellany, 1767–1826, Princeton, 1997, The Papers of Thomas Jefferson, Second Series description ends , 2:1011).
Letters from Richardson to TJ of 1 and 13 Feb. 1799, recorded in SJL as received on 12 Feb. and 1 Mch., respectively, have not been found.
1. Times: “my.”
2. Times: “paurticularly.”