Thomas Jefferson Papers

Thomas Jefferson to Henry Foxall, 24 March 1809

To Henry Foxall

Monticello Mar. 24. 09.


The cook which I had in Washington (mr Julien) and who is now with me for a time, informs me you made for the President’s kitchen some irons of casting for the stoves or stew-holes in the kitchen, in which the box-part & the grille1 or bars were all solid together, and that you made them of three sizes. I must ask the favor of you to make 8. for me, to wit, 2. of the largest size & 3 of the middle & 3 of the smallest size, and forward them for me to Richmond to the care of Messrs Gibson & Jefferson, forwarding me the bill at the same time. I must pray you to do it without delay, if convenient, as they are indispensable in a kitchen. Accept the assurances of my esteem & respect

Th: Jefferson

PoC (MHi); at foot of text: “Mr Foxhall”; endorsed by TJ.

Henry Foxall (1758–1823), British-born iron founder and entrepreneur, immigrated to Philadelphia in 1797 and in December 1800 followed the federal government to the District of Columbia, where he established the Foxall Foundry (also known as the Columbia Foundry) in Georgetown. He immediately signed lucrative contracts with the Navy and War departments, prospered, and was a key armaments producer for the United States during the War of 1812. Foxall was a prominent Methodist donor and lay minister and served as mayor of Georgetown, 1821–23. TJ purchased other Foxall products for Monticello, including cast-iron window sashes, clock weights, and fireplace linings (DAB description begins Allen Johnson and Dumas Malone, eds., Dictionary of American Biography, 1928–36, 20 vols. description ends ; Madison Davis, “The Old Cannon Foundry above Georgetown, D.C., and its First Owner, Henry Foxall,” RCHS description begins Records of the Columbia Historical Society, 1895– description ends 11 [1908]: 16–70; Louis F. Gorr, “The Foxall-Columbia Foundry: An Early Defense Contractor in Georgetown,” RCHS description begins Records of the Columbia Historical Society, 1895– description ends 48 [1971/72]: 34–59; TJ to Foxall, 8 June 1806 [MHi]; MB description begins James A. Bear Jr. and Lucia C. Stanton, eds., Jefferson’s Memorandum Books: Accounts, with Legal Records and Miscellany, 1767–1826, 1997, The Papers of Thomas Jefferson, Second Series description ends ).

A stew stove had an elevated fire over which iron stew-holes were suspended (OED description begins James A. H. Murray, J. A. Simpson, E. S. C. Weiner, and others, eds., The Oxford English Dictionary, 2d ed., 1989, 20 vols. description ends ).

1Reworked from “grilles.”

Index Entries

  • Foxall, Henry; and stew stove for TJ search
  • Foxall, Henry; identified search
  • Foxall, Henry; letters to search
  • Foxall Foundry search
  • Gibson & Jefferson (Richmond firm); and household articles acquired by TJ search
  • Julien, Honoré; visits Monticello search
  • Monticello (TJ’s estate); stew stove at search
  • Monticello (TJ’s estate); Visitors to; Julien, Honoré search
  • President’s House; stew stoves at search