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    • Latrobe, Benjamin Henry
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    • Madison, James
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    • Madison Presidency

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Documents filtered by: Author="Latrobe, Benjamin Henry" AND Recipient="Madison, James" AND Period="Madison Presidency"
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Agreeably to your instructions, I have made arrangements to provide the most necessary articles of furniture required for the President’s house. The first and most expensive of these are Looking Glasses of large dimensions. I have already purchased conditionally 3 pair, the largest of which is 8 ft. 6 in in highth, and I have in view one other pair, of very considerable highth & width. The...
Previously to the establishment of arrangements for carrying on the work during the ensuing Season, I beg to lay before you a proposition of which I hope to receive your approbation, and which I beg specially to explain on account of the personal interest I appear to have in it. Independently of my Salary, the expenses of the direction of the public works have been, Salary of the Clerk of the...
The plan on which the Presidents square is proposed to be planted having been approved by the late President U.S. I had given the necessary directions prior to the 4th. of March last. The principal work which will be done during my departure will be the planting of trees & shrubs near the outer Wall as far as the Ground is finished, the manuring such parts as were omitted on account of the...
I solicit your directions as to the adaptation of the rooms in the East end of the President’s house to the use of the President and the Secretaries in Cabinet Council. If the first room occupied by Mr Coles as a sitting room be considered as sufficiently large for this use, supposing that used as the bedchamber to contain the Books & papers not in constant use, it would save much delay,...
The expenditure of the office of the Surveyor of the Public buildings prior to the death of the late clerk of the works were as follows: Salary of the Clerk of the Works, Pr Annum $1.400   Office and house rent, from 150 to 250, say 200   A Subordinate clerk appointed at the commencement of the Year 1808 being found absolutely necessary at 1.25 pr Day, say 300 days in each Year } 375   Total...
I have the honor to lay before you an account of the expenditure of 5.000$, advanced to me on account of the furniture of the President’s house. It will appear from the account itself that some of the payment have been made only on account of Claims. The Vouchers therefore being incomplete, untill the whole accounts shall have been liquidated, it has not be[en] possible to settle thus far the...
I beg the favor of your instructions on the enclosed letter from the Seedsman of whom I procured your Seeds. I will wait upon you tomorrow to receive them. The appropriations of last Session for the objects committed to my care, are 15.000$ — for finishing & furnishing the Senate Chamber. 1.600$ . for discharging sundry accts. & fitting up the temporary Chamber 16.600 On both these appropns....
Having been for the last four days in Baltimore I did not receive the enclosed letters till my return. In answer I have written to Mr. Harvie, that, you certainly could not now take the Chariot , but that I should more fully explain myself to him in a few days. Mr. Patton’s letter I have merely acknowledged, and supposed that he would hear from yourself in a short time. In my last letter to...
I take the liberty of reporting to you the present State of the public buildings, a practice which I conceived it to be my duty to pursue, once a month, during the Presidency of Mr. Jefferson, & which you will, I doubt not, receive as a proof of my respect, & attention to the trust you have committed to me. During your very short visit to this city, I did myself twice the honor of waiting upon...
I have the honor to submit to you the following sketch of expenditures on the furniture of the President’s house. The detail of the principal articles comprised in the first item, has been submitted to You, & I do not therefore occupy your time by repeating the same. Amount of payments on accts. fully settled, 8.575.59 Monies placed in the hands of Mr Deblois & expended for minor articles of...
11 December 1809, Washington. Gives details on construction and repairs of the Capitol wings, President’s House, and adjacent roads. Progress on the south wing of the Capitol has been steady, with two capitals finished in the House of Representatives chamber and eight more in advanced stages of completion. A severe hailstorm in June broke “almost all the glass on the south front,” and...
The alterations which you have been pleased to make in the report submitted to you by me, will be attended to, and fair copies one for the Senate, another for the House of Representatives will be transmitted to You on Monday morning. These copies it has been usual with the late President to send to the house of Congress by a Message. In respect to the more detailed Specification of the...
In the original design of the senate chamber submitted to and approved by the late President, it was intended to place a range of seats along the semicircular wall of the room for the accomodation of members of the house of Representatives. This design was in the progress of execution during the summer session, and was observed and remarked upon by several members of the Senate. The result of...
6 July 1810, Washington. Expresses views about that part of the law appropriating $20,000 for public buildings which relates to the “fireproofs” to be erected in the public building west of the President’s House. Observes that the only security that can be attained in safeguarding records from fire is against “fire from without,” since it is evident that in the case of “persons using the...
Letter not found. 24 July 1810. Calendared as a two-page letter in the lists probably kept by Peter Force (DLC, series 7, container 2).
It is my duty to take up so much of your time, as is necessary to inform you of the progress of the public business under my charge. By the arrangements made by Mr. Munroe, & the sale of useless materials, of which we have a very large stock on hand, I have been able to continue the work of the sculptors on the capitals of the Hall of Representatives, & when congress meet, there will be only...
I have been unfortunate in the construction of the fireproof. Depending on the old Walls, which ought to have been amply sufficient to carry the light Vault I placed upon them, had they been tolerably well built, I lowered the center. Finding that the arch settled I examined the Walls, & perceived that they were ⟨much⟩ cracked; but it appearing that the cracks were not new, being very black,...
31 December 1810, Washington. Encloses a copy of his report on the public buildings. Will call on JM in a few days to see if any part of the report appears improper to lay before Congress or requires further information. FC ( MdHi : Latrobe Letterbooks). 1 p. Latrobe apparently enclosed a draft of his 28 Dec. report, the final version of which was enclosed in his 11 Jan. 1811 letter to JM .
In obedience to your directions that I should furnish to You all the information on the subject of the expenditure of the appropriation of May 1t. 1810, in my possession, I have to report to you as follows: In my report d. Decr. 11th. 1809, I stated, that although the estimate submitted by me on Decr. 1st. 1808, of the sum requisite for the court room and Library has not been considered in the...
I herein enclose the letter you did me the favor to write on the 29h. septr. 1809. The point which I wished to impress by quoting it is only that of the Jury boxes, to preoccupy the ground of objection to the manner of fitting up the court room. With high respect RC ( DLC ); FC ( MdHi : Latrobe Letterbooks). Letter not found.
I herewith transmit to you two reports. The first my annual report of the public Building the other that called for by a resolution of the House of representatives. I am sorry that I have not found it possible to send them sooner, especially as the friends to the completion of the buildings, in congress have pressed me on the subject. With high respect Yrs. FC ( MdHi : Latrobe Letterbooks)....
In obedience to your directions conveyed to me by Mr Munroe, & contained in the resolution of the House of Representatives of the 14h. of January transmitted to me, I shall without Loss of time comply with that part of it which relates to the outstanding Claims. But to make an estimate of the sum necessary to finish the Capitol, it is impossible for me to proceed without Assistance especially...
The Society of Artists of the United States established at Philadelphia, have committed the immediate management of the institution to a President, & four Vice-presidents. But for that Patronage which shall give to it, in its very infancy, the character of public usefulness, and secure to it public encouragement, the Society look up to You: to You, who while your life has been devoted to the...
I herewith transmit to you the account of monies expended on the furniture of the presidents house since March 1809. The original Account and Vouchers have been lodged with the Accounting Officers of the Treasury. Besides the Sums put down in this account, I have disbursed others for which I have not yet obtained proper Vouchers the principal part of them being for the minor utensils of...
I saw Mr. Bacon this morning who informed me that the letter I mentioned to you is now in possession of the Committee. I entreated him to transmit it to You, which he appeared to think would not be improper as one or two expressions might be considered as equivocal and authorize a communication to You by the members as individual members of the Legislature. Whatever those expressions may be,...
11 February 1811, Washington. Submits at JM’s direction a list of outstanding claims against the public buildings. “The two first items arise from engagements which have subsisted for some years, and have not been closed. The latter exhibits the amount of the demands against the public for Labor & for materials delivered: the certified vouchers of which are deposited with the Superintendent of...
In order to furnish some apology for the writer of the anonymous letter, I enclose a letter [ illegible ] written in 1797. A Member of the committee informs me that all the equivocal passages are underlined, ⟨& that⟩ if they were not so that they could make no impression. With high respect I am &c Copy ( MdHi : Latrobe Letterbooks). In Latrobe’s hand; written on the verso of a copy of Latrobe...
Notwithstanding the exertions I have made to complete the estimates required by the resolution of the House of Representatives of the 14h. of January, devoting a considerable part of every night to that object I have only been able to accomplish it now . At the same time I submit a list of outstanding claims. The drawings to which I allude in my letter are upon such large & heavy boards that I...
23 February 1811, Washington. Makes the following statement in compliance with JM’s direction that he submit information required by the House of Representatives resolution of 14 Jan. “Of the Center of the Capitol, no estimate can be presented without a more definite plan than I possess of that part of the building. I have therefore transmitted only an estimate of the Wings.” Provides...
Letter not found. 19 May 1811, Philadelphia. Calendared by Latrobe in a list of “Letters written at Philadelphia May 1811” as forwarding a copy of his “⟨ann⟩iversary oration” (MdHi: Latrobe Letterbooks). Latrobe’s Anniversary Oration, Pronounced before the Society of Artists of the United States,… on the Eighth of May, 1811 (Philadelphia, 1811; Shaw and Shoemaker R. R. Shaw and R. H....
The considerations which arise out of my engagement with the public in the direction of the public buildings are so interesting to me, and involve so entirely my future residence and the means of supporting my family, that unwilling to occupy more of your time that [ sic ] I can help, in listening to what I have to suggest on the subject, I take the liberty of submitting to you a wish, that a...
My duty, as Chairman of the Commissioners of the Columbia turnpike roads obliged me to spend the whole of this morning upon the line leading towards Monty. C. House, and I transmit to you the annexed accts., not so early as I could have wished, but still I hope in time to meet your object in calling for them. The whole of the Sheet iron required by the letter of your superintendent at...
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...
It was my intention to have undertaken the survey of the line of the Western Navigation of the State of New York, and I had already accepted the Office of Engineer offered to me by the Commissioners of that State, when you left the city. But on reconsidering the duty I have to perform for the Navy department here, & the injury which so long an absence might occasion to my other concerns I...
In order to defray immediate demands on the fund for furnishing the Presidents house, I solicit You to grant me a warrant for 300$ on account. My account up to your departure from the city has been settled at the Treasury, and for the monies since received I have the requisite Vouchers and shall transmit them to the treasury before the end of the quarter. Among the accounts now payable is 100$...
In obedience to your directions, I have transmitted to the superintendent of the city of Washington, a compleat list of all outstanding claims against the public buildings in detail, agreeably to the import of the resolution of the house of Representatives of the 24th. current. In compliance with the latter part of the said resolution which enquires, “whether any and what compensations are now...
In my conversation with Mr. Munroe on the subject of the accounts demanded by congress, he mentioned that it was your understanding that my Salary, as surveyor of the public Buildings should be lowered to 1500$ in consequence of its increase on account of the Navy Department, & should cease altogether on the 1st. of July 1811. That it was sometime before my interview with you in July proposed...
By mistake I omitted to send my original appointment with the papers transmitted to You yesterday. If you think it necessary to transmit it to Congress I can I presume get it again by application to the Clerk of the House. Respectfully—Your obedt hble Servt. P. S. Mr. Jefferson was mistaken in the Salary of the former persons employed Mr. Hoban & Mr. Hadfield had each 750£ p Annum or 2000$ &...
Enclosed is the Copy of an account of expenditures out of the furniture fund of the President’s house which I have rendered to the accounting Officers of the Treasury, with the necessary Vouchers, & which is in a train of Settlement. By this account a balance of 75$. 47 cts. appears to be in my hands, which balance is more than absorbed by an account of expenditures on small articles of...
I beg leave to submit to you, & to solicit your approbation of these accounts, the only ones relating to the public buildings on which I have occasion to give you any trouble, because unless allowed by you they cannot pass the treasury, and must stand as a charge against me personally. 1. Of the first, the enclosed affidavit explains the nature perfectly, and I will only add that altho’ the...
I beg leave to submit to you by the hands of Mr Lewis Deblois an account of the expenditure of the balance of Monies in my hands as agent of the fund for furnishing the Presidents House—of monies recieved by sales at Auction of old Furniture—And of payments made by me beyond the amount received—excepting the article of James & Hugh Finlay’s Account which could not be brought into my last...
I beg leave respectfully to offer you my services in the restoration of the public buildings in the city of Washington. Having devoted the best Years of my life to the public, I need not trespass upon your time, by stating the qualifications which I should bring into the Office. That I have shared the charge of extravagance with every Architect, to whom the expenditure of money on public Works...
In reflecting on the subject on which you did me the honor to converse with me this morning, the appointment of a principal Engineer to direct the improvement of the State of Virginia by Roads & Canals, under the Establishment lately formed for that patriotic purpose , I have thought that I may venture, so far to intrude upon your time, as to offer to you, & through You, to the Government of...
Having a good opportunity to write to England, I will gladly avail myself of it, to make such enquiries, as might conduce to promote the object of the Governor of Virginia, in procuring a Professional Man of character & eminence to direct the improvement of the State by roads & Canals. It would however be necessary, perhaps, that I should mention the terms likely to be granted to the Principal...
I have too much confidence in your candor & justice to bel iev e that you will be offended at the statement & request which it is the object of this letter to make to You. I will therefore without further preface appeal to You in this most critical moment of my life, upon which its whole future course appears to depend. I have been engaged as Surveyor to the Capitol under the Commissioners...
The enclosed Letter was written at the instance of several Members of Congress, who, on enquiry, finding that I could not give them any information respecting the expense, the probably time of completing, or the measures taken to complete the Capitol, wished me to State to You, and to the Committees of the District, the opinion I expressed to them, on the System, which appeared to me the most...