Thomas Jefferson Papers
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Bernard Peyton to Thomas Jefferson, 18 June 1818 (first letter)

From Bernard Peyton

Richd 18 June 〃18

Dear sir,

I was favord by the last mail with your esteemd letter of the 12th: current enclosing a piece of Slate which I lost no time in submitting to the judgment1 of the best skilled Quarrier in this City; (Mr Baker Beaven,) he has no doubt but it will work well provided there be enough of it to make it an object—I have engaged him to go immediately to Monticello and receive2 your instructions;—his conditions are, that his travelling expences shall be defrayed & allowed usual wages whilst making the experiment, should it succeed, and you desire to employ him to cover the buildings now erecting for the Central College, he will do so, & from the very high recommendations I have received from the most respectable3 Mechanicks & Builders here as to his ability, industry, sobriety & general good conduct, I can venture to recommend him to you as well qualified to perform the service you desire, more especially that part of it relating to the examination of the slate, he tells me he has been regularly raised to the Quarrying of slate as well using it afterwards on buildi[ngs—?]He has been employed by the Government lately to cover the Capitol with slate which has been executed entirely to their satisfaction & he is now engaged in Covering a very large & elegant Court House erecting by the Corporation of Richmond—I state these facts merely to shew you the estimation in which he is held here in these respects: he promises to set out to-day or tomorrow & loose no time on the way; I sincerely hope he may turn out to your satisfaction—

The Mr Jones you speak of I have made dilligent enquiry for, but without success.

You have the best assurance of my support & good will towards the rearing & future prosperity of the Central College by my subscription, compared with my situation in life—I hope therefore you will feel no hesitation in calling on me at all times for any services it is in my power to afford towards the advancements of this all important undertaking. Should I be blessed with a family of Children, I shall feel proud to have them educated at an institution founded (in a great degree) by you & conducted (as I am sure it will be) under your own eye & superintendence & on the best possible principles—I have a Nephew now in waiting for its completion—

I forwarded you a few days since by Mr Johnson a Bundle of Books which I hope has been safely recd.—With great4 respect sir

Your obd: Servt:

B. Peyton

RC (MHi); bottom edge chipped; endorsed by TJ as received 20 June 1818 and so recorded in SJL.

1Manuscript: “judgmeent.”

2Manuscript: “receve.”

3Manuscript: “respecable.”

4Manuscript: “greast.”

Index Entries

  • Beaven (Beavin; Bivans), Baker; as slater search
  • boats; carriage to and from Richmond search
  • building materials; slate search
  • Central College; construction of search
  • Central College; subscription for search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Books & Library; works sent to search
  • Johnson, Mr. (boatman); transports goods search
  • Jones, Mr. (slater) search
  • Peyton, Bernard; and Central College subscription search
  • Peyton, Bernard; and slater for Central College search
  • Peyton, Bernard; family of search
  • Peyton, Bernard; forwards goods for TJ search
  • Peyton, Bernard; letters from search
  • Richmond, Va.; boat carriage to and from search
  • Richmond, Va.; courthouse in search
  • Richmond, Va.; state capitol at search
  • slate search
  • subscriptions, nonpublication; for Central College–University of Virginia search