Thomas Jefferson Papers
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Thomas Jefferson’s Notes on University of Virginia Construction Proposals, [after 3 April 1819]

Notes on University of Virginia Construction Proposals

[after 3 Apr. 1819]

Bricklayers Cosby. Staunton Carter & Phelps Perry Northern price. Ratcliffe
Richmond
Oil stock bricks 25.D. 18.
Sand stocks 20. 13. 9 + 5.88 = 14.88
place bricks 14. 12. 5 + 3 = 8. 15.
2. to 3. C.M. 7. to 10. C.M. 3. C.M. 3. for laying 100.000.
Carpenters. Percival. 40. p.c. Oldham. Dinsmore Perry Nielson. Ware
2. to 3. buildings. –5. p.c. par. par. –15. p.c. –15. p.c.
one building. Pavilion III Pavilion. I. 3. portions.
7. Dorm. 5–11
Carpenters. Walker. of Delaware
25. per cent
Plaisterers. sq. yard. Chisolm White Antrim Washington
lathing & nails .17 sq. yard. .17 .19 ) .30
1. coat
2. coats .34 .34 .33 .40
3. coats .50 .56 .46 .50
deducts ½ openg
Painters. square yard Smith. Calverly. Hudnall Washington.
1. coat. plain .12½ 1. coat .9
2. coats .25 .25 2. .17
3  do .35 .30 .37½ 3. .25
4. do .45 .37½ .50 4. .32
inside 2. coats .361
3. do .48
4. do .60
Glazing 12. by 16 .10 + materials .42 includ. mater. .34
12. by 18. by the sq. foot .46 do .17 + mater. .40.

MS (ViU: TJP); entirely in TJ’s hand; undated, but evidently compiled after TJ read James Oldham to Nelson Barksdale, 3 Apr. 1819 (see note to TJ to Oldham, 8 Apr. 1819).

The proposals summarized above that have been identified but not otherwise accounted for are as follows:

Jacob H. Walker to Barksdale, Smyrna, Delaware, 20 Mar. 1819, offering to work as a house carpenter at a 25 percent advance on the House Carpenters’ Book of Prices description begins The House Carpenters’ Book of Prices, and Rules for measuring and valuing all their different kinds of work, Philadelphia, 1812; Poor, Jefferson’s Library, 6 (no. 243) description ends , “as the prises is advance heare”; stating that he “Can Be well Recomended By the first men in this stat”; and asking for information on the weekly cost of board (RC in ViU: TJP; addressed: “<Mr> Nelson Barksdale Charlottsville virginia”; stamped; postmarked Smyrna, 23 Mar.; endorsed by TJ: “Carpenter. Walker. Delaware”).

Ezekiel W. Hudnall to Barksdale, Buckingham County, 26 Mar. 1819, proposing to work as a painter, with Hudnall supplying materials and provisions, at a cost of 12½ cents per coat per square yard for plain painting, 75 cents for fancy painting, including “Mahogany, Marble Satin Woods, Stone colour &c,” and venetian blinds depending on their size; offering to install glass supplied him at a range of stated prices, including 17 cents per pre-cut 14- by 16-inch pane; asking that mail be addressed to him at New Canton; and listing five local references who can vouch for his neatness and promptness (RC in ViU: TJP, endorsed by TJ: “Painter & Glazier Hudnall E. W. of Buckingham”; RC of address cover in MHi, with PoC of TJ to Francis W. Gilmer, 28 June 1819, on verso, addressed: “Mr Nelson Barksdale Charloll’sville,” stamped, postmarked New Canton, 29 Mar.).

Norborne Ratcliffe to [Barksdale?], Richmond, 26 Mar. 1819, offering to work as a bricklayer; stating that he has between two and three years of experience and is willing to contract for a small quantity of the work, perhaps one hundred thousand bricks, at $15 per thousand to make and lay them or $3 if the bricks are supplied, with arches to be considered as a separate charge; and announcing that he can come immediately with satisfactory recommendations (RC in ViU: TJP; endorsed by TJ: “Bricklayer. Ratcliffe”).

John Percival to [Barksdale?], 29 Mar. 1819, reporting that he has visited the site of the University of Virginia; complaining that it is “very astonishing that the first men in this very extensive & riseing Empire Should fix on a standard perhaps the most Antient in the present Day the most illiberal the most Obsolete & the least Scientific of all Books extant and by this means to enslave with a yoke & reduce to Vassalage the most extinsive & useful Branch of the Republic”; remarking that he has worked at 40 percent above the values given in the House Carpenters’ Book of Prices description begins The House Carpenters’ Book of Prices, and Rules for measuring and valuing all their different kinds of work, Philadelphia, 1812; Poor, Jefferson’s Library, 6 (no. 243) description ends and, having “made but little I think it imprudent to work any lower”; and therefore offering to contract for two or three portions at a 40 percent advance over the prices in that book (RC in ViU: TJP; endorsed by TJ: “Carpenter. Percival John”).

None of these four artisans seem to have been offered employment at the University of Virginia.

phelps: William B. Phillips. c.m.: “hundred thousand.” nielson: John Neilson. pavilion iii was later redesignated as Pavilion V.

1This and following two numbers in column should correctly be .30, .42, and .54 (see note to William F. Gray to TJ, 26 Mar. 1819).

Index Entries

  • Antrim, Joseph; and plastering at Central College–University of Virginia search
  • Barksdale, Nelson; as University of Virginia proctor search
  • books; of builders’ prices search
  • brickmaking; for University of Virginia search
  • building materials; bricks search
  • Calverly, Daniel R.; seeks employment at University of Virginia search
  • Carey, Mathew; publishesThe House Carpenters’ Book of Prices search
  • Carter, Curtis; as brick-mason for University of Virginia search
  • Chisholm, Hugh; and plastering at University of Virginia search
  • Cosby, Dabney; as brick-mason for University of Virginia search
  • Dinsmore, James; as builder for Central College–University of Virginia search
  • Hudnall, Ezekiel Wayles; seeks employment at University of Virginia search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Writings; Notes on University of Virginia Construction Proposals search
  • Neilson (Nelson), John; as builder for Central College–University of Virginia search
  • Oldham, James; as builder for University of Virginia search
  • Percival, John; seeks employment at University of Virginia search
  • Perry, John M.; as builder for Central College–University of Virginia search
  • Philadelphia; builders’ prices in search
  • Phillips, William B.; as brick-mason for University of Virginia search
  • plastering; at University of Virginia search
  • Ratcliffe, Norborne; seeks employment at University of Virginia search
  • Smith, Thomas (of Fredericksburg); seeks employment at University of Virginia search
  • The House Carpenters’ Book of Prices, and Rules for measuring and valuing all their different kinds of work; published by M. Carey search
  • Virginia, University of; Construction and Grounds; brickmakers and brick-masons for search
  • Virginia, University of; Construction and Grounds; carpenters and joiners for search
  • Virginia, University of; Construction and Grounds; painters and glaziers for search
  • Virginia, University of; Construction and Grounds; Pavilion I search
  • Virginia, University of; Construction and Grounds; Pavilion V search
  • Virginia, University of; Construction and Grounds; plasterers for search
  • Virginia, University of; Construction and Grounds; wages for workmen search
  • Walker, Jacob H.; seeks employment at University of Virginia search
  • Ware, Richard; as carpenter for University of Virginia search
  • Washington, D.C.; builders’ prices in search
  • White, David; prices for plastering search