Monticello May 16. 25.
I have duly recd and considered your letter proposing to erect a distinct for the Chemical Laboratory & lecturing room, and with it the plan you have been so kind as to suggest. this appears to contain all the articles called for in such a building, and arranged with great convenience. the proposition is beyond the powers delegated to me, and there will be no meeting until Oct. of the Visitors who alone give the authority, but I may add further that the Visitors themselves were they assembled, could not entertain the proposn because they have not the means for executing nor any prospect of acquiring them. nothing is left us therefore but to make the most of what has been provided. uninformed of the conveniences requisite and of their arrangemt, we could only space in which they might be erected, and trusting that in whatever form was provided, the Professor could accomodate , we reserved the means only for he should deem best. this I am in hopes you will still accomplish. to try myself how far it might be practible to bring provided .
I have taken the particulars specified in your plan, and have effected an arrangemt which seems to comprehend them all. I do not propose this for actual adoption because I am sure you will devise a much better ; my only object was to try it’s practicability. I must therefore request you to study out the best arrangement which the rooms provided will admit, and whatever constructions in them you shall think best of, shall be immediately executed. I would greatly prefer that whatever we be done where it will be permanent, to dependce on the apartmts (other than the lecturig room) of your pavilion, which would be but temporary. with entire confidence therefore in your kind accomodn to the circumstances which controul us, and that not being able to do what is best, you will concur in doing the best we can, I pray you to accept assurances of my very high respect & esteem
DLC: Papers of Thomas Jefferson.