General Post Office
January 15th 1807
I do myself the honor herewith to deliver a List of the Proposals received at this office for opening and Repairing the Road from Nashville to Grindstone ford; by which it will appear that the Appropriation is not equal to the demand of each Bidder except Mr Wheaton who has finally withdrawn his proposition in consequence of some information from Mr Clark of New Orleans,—
under these circumstances it appeard to me discreet to advise with Dr. Dixon once more on the subject, and the result of the consultation was; that it appeared to be most expedient to employ General Robinson as an Agent to do the work at the expense of the Public. First cutting, and clearing out the Road; and then applying the residue of the Money in Causewaying and Bridgeing the most dangerous and difficult places. Doctor Dixon supposes that Mr. Robinson would not act for less than Four dollars per day, and his expenses. That Labourers will cost Twelve dollars per month; and these Black people, and that in fact he would do the job within himself, furnishing both the Labourers and the means, which he says would be his only object in undertaking it—Yet under all circumstances, he said, he knew of no person to whom we could so well confide the business—
Since the conversation; Mr George Haller from Wythe C. H. Va. has arrived at my Office, with whom I have conversd. very fully on the subject, He has provd himself in all his connections with this office to be a faithful Vigilant enterprizing and honest man, he informs me that good white Labourers can be Hired in his Neighbourhood at Eight dollars and Thirty four cents per month, Men who have been accustomed to cut Cordwood for the use of Iron Works. That he feels confident of being able to Support a gang of 22 hands and 2 Cooks at Seventeen dollars per week. That he will furnish Waggons and Horses at the rate of $1.67 per day for a Driver four Horses and a Waggon, exclusive of expenses. And he offers to Superintend the Road for 2 dollars per day for himself and Horse, upon condition that he may have one half of what can be saved between eight dollars per mile for Cutting and Cleaning, and the actual expense thereof. Claiming at the Same time four dollars per day after he shall have cut the road; While employed in Causewaying and Bridgeing, provided the Road is Cut and Cleared for Eight dollars per mile.
I pray your directions, Sir, as to the course I shall pursue in this business.
With the highest esteem and Respect
DLC: Papers of Thomas Jefferson.