To James Oldham
Washington June 8. 1803.
Yours of the 3d. was recieved last night. would not riven pine slabs make a better moveable cover for the plaistered part of the house, than linen? if slabs 10. f. long and 2. f. apart were first laid cross ways thus horizontally and then others nailed up & down close, & breaking joints and the nails clinched on the under side, it would hang together strongly, and might be laid on, & laid by in pannels very handily. if pannels 10. f. wide would be too unhandy, they might be only 8. or 6. f. wide. I think this would be best. linen would soon be stolen. however if there be no other way effectual but linen, mr Lilly must get that for you, for we must not permit the plaistering to get wet on any account.
With respect to help, if Lewis be not sufficient, I must get you to consult with mr Lilly, who will endeavor to assist you, on better terms for me than giving mr Perry a dollar a day for a hand which he talks of asking. I could get the best housejoiner here to go for much less than that: but it seems not worth while for a mere job, & especially as a coarse hand I imagine will do. Accept my best wishes.
RC (William Tatcher, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 1951); addressed: “Mr. James Oldham Monticello near Milton”; franked and postmarked.
Oldham’s letter of the 3d., recorded in SJL as received 7 June, has not been found. A letter of 12 May from Oldham, recorded as received 16 May, and TJ’s response of 18 May have also not been found. A letter of 13 June, recorded in SJL as received from Oldham on 16 June, is also missing.
A letter of 3 June from John perry, recorded in SJL as received from Shadwell on 7 June, has not been found.