Thomas Jefferson Papers

Thomas Jefferson to Hugh Chisholm, 10 September 1810

To Hugh Chisholm

Monticello Sep. 10. 1810


I have just got back from Poplar Forest to which place I must return in 4. weeks. I am therefore anxious you should come immediately & do the small jobs wanting here. unless the cistern be done in time to dry, it will give way again in winter. I shall go to Poplar Forest the latter end of this month & not return till November, when it will be too late to work. I am in hopes the long notice you have had of this will have enabled you to put the President’s work into such a state as not to suffer by a short absence. in hopes to see you very soon I am Sir

Your humble servt

Th: Jefferson

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

Hugh Chisholm was an Irish brickmason and builder whom TJ employed intermittently at Monticello and Poplar Forest between 1796 and 1824. He worked for James Madison at Montpellier and George Divers at Farmington, and between 1817 and 1821 he laid bricks and plastered at the University of Virginia. TJ described Chisholm as “a very good humored man” with an unusual variety of skills (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 , esp. 2:950; Lay, Architecture description begins K. Edward Lay, The Architecture of Jefferson Country: Charlottesville and Albemarle County, Virginia, 2000 description ends , 48, 100–1; Chisholm to TJ, 17 Nov. 1807, 20 Oct. 1808 [MHi]; TJ to Madison, 5 Sept. 1808 [DLC: Madison Papers]; John Winn to TJ, 7 Feb. 1810; Madison, Papers description begins William T. Hutchinson, Robert A. Rutland, John C. A. Stagg, and others, eds., The Papers of James Madison, 1962– , 29 vols.: Congress. Ser., 17 vols.; Pres. Ser., 5 vols.; Sec. of State Ser., 7 vols description ends , Pres. Ser., 2:44, 4:592).

Index Entries

  • Chisholm, Hugh; builds brick cisterns search
  • Chisholm, Hugh; identified search
  • Chisholm, Hugh; letters to search
  • cisterns search
  • Divers, George; mentioned search
  • Farmington (G. Divers’s Albemarle Co. estate) search
  • Monticello (TJ’s estate); cisterns at search
  • Montpellier (Montpelier; J. Madison’s Orange Co. estate); work at search
  • Poplar Forest (TJ’s Bedford Co. estate); TJ plans visit to search
  • Virginia, University of (Charlottesville); builders at search