Thomas Jefferson Papers

David Knight to Thomas Jefferson, 23 July 1817

From David Knight

Lynchburg July 23d 1817


I was applied to some 10 or 12 Days ago by Mr Joell Yancey to do some brick1 work for you in the neighbourhood of Charlottesville & in 3 or 4 Days thereafter I started to see you but unfortunately my horse was taken sick on the way & not being able to get another on the road was compelled to return I should have made a second start before this but have a very large kiln of brick which I am compeled to burn amediately I have just put fire to it & as soon as it is finishd I will come down to see you unless some unfore seen occurrence should take place to prevent me I am anxious to do your work & for fear that something might take place to prevent me from going down I shall be glad if you will write to me as soon as you receive this & let me know if we should agree at what time you will want me to commence I can begin at any time you please as I have a partner here who can go on with the work that I have undertaken in this place

Respectfully yrs &c

David Knight

RC (CSmH: JF); endorsed by TJ as received 2 Aug. 1817 and so recorded in SJL. RC (DLC); address cover only; with PoC of TJ to John Martin Baker, 12 Oct. 1817, on verso; addressed: “Thomas Jefferson esqr Charlottes Ville”; franked; postmarked Lynchburg, 24 July.

David Knight may have been the Maryland native (born ca. 1771) who was an apprentice in Baltimore in 1790 and was working as a bricklayer in that city by 1800. He was in Lynchburg in 1817, when he was hired to do brickwork for Central College. In October and November of that year Knight worked on Pavilion VII and three dormitories (Maryland Journal and Baltimore Advertiser, 13 Apr. 1790; The New Baltimore Directory, and Annual Register; for 1800 and 1801 [Baltimore, (1800)], 58; Agreement between Knight and Central College, 11 Oct. 1817, enclosed in TJ to Nelson Barksdale, 11 Nov. 1817; ViU: PP, Proctor’s Ledgers).

1Word interlined.

Index Entries

  • building materials; bricks search
  • Central College; brickmasons for search
  • horses; disabled search
  • Knight, David; and brickwork for Central College search
  • Knight, David; identified search
  • Knight, David; letter from search
  • Yancey, Joel (d.1833); and builders for Central College search