James Madison Papers

To James Madison from Benjamin Henry Latrobe, [ca. 22 July] 1811

From Benjamin Henry Latrobe

[ca. 22 July 1811]


Mr. Barry has expressed to me Your wish that your Glass should be sent by your Waggon. I will send tomorrow morning the Glass, the Box of Locks &c, the Keg of White lead to the President’s house that these things made [sic] be ready. Mr. Deblois informs me, that the boat to Fredericksburg will not sail for 10 days to come. He is now making an intermediate trip.

In Mr Dinsmore’s letter he states that it is unnecessary to send on the Sheet copper. It is however here but if you think it will be useless to you, it may be retained for the use of the public, sheet copper being in frequent demand, & should we ventilate the Hall of Representatives in the Manner I suppose the only effectual one we shall want that & much more.

I never received from you any drawing of ornamental Moulding to be made of composition by Geo: Andrews,1 & I believe that were I acquainted with the purpose for which you want it I should be tempted to dissuade you from its use in the country.

Next week the Water closets, & the leaky Gutters of the roof will be throroughly [sic] repaired at the President’s house.2 Mr. King the Master smith at the Navy Yard is absent which has occasioned delay for a fortnight. With high respect I am Yrs.

B H Latrobe

RC (DLC). Undated; dated ca. February 1811 in the Index to the James Madison Papers. Date here assigned on the assumption that Latrobe wrote this letter after his 19 July 1811 letter to JM but before his 6 Sept. 1811 letter to JM (see also n. 2). The letter very probably was written shortly before JM’s departure from Washington for Montpelier on 25 July 1811.

1This may have been the “egg & Dart Moulding” JM had received a drawing of in the fall of 1809 (see James Dinsmore to JM, 29 Oct. 1809, PJM-PS description begins Robert A. Rutland et al., eds., The Papers of James Madison: Presidential Series (3 vols. to date; Charlottesville, Va., 1984—). description ends , 2:44).

2In his 28 Mar. 1812 letter to JM, Latrobe recalled a conversation with JM on “about the 1st of July last” in which he reported on the state of the roof of the President’s House. The “platforms covering the Gutters,” Latrobe added, “were rotten, and must be replaced” (Van Horne, Papers of Latrobe description begins John C. Van Horne and Lee W. Formwalt, eds., The Correspondence and Miscellaneous Papers of Benjamin Henry Latrobe (3 vols.; New Haven, 1984–88). description ends , 3:272–73).

Index Entries