Thomas Jefferson Papers
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Thomas Jefferson to James Oldham, 1 April 1811

To James Oldham

Monticello April1 1. 11.

Dear Sir

Having occasion for some window glass of the sizes below mentioned, & supposing it may be had in Richmond, I take the liberty of requesting you to procure it for me of good quality. the Bohemian glass is the cheapest [by]2 far of all the good kinds. it comes generally from Hamburg or Trieste. if not to be had with you we must take the English crown glass. be so kind as to do this immediately & deliver the glass well packed to messrs Gibson & Jefferson, who will pay the amount. for the glass for the circular sashes I will send you the models which are not yet ready. do not therefore let the rest wait for this, as those of the square kind are pressingly wanting.  Judge Cabell having consulted me as to some3 things to be done to his house, I advised him to apply to you to make some Venetian blinds with moveable slats. the kind I had in view may be seen in a house Dr Currie inhabited in Richmond about a dozen years ago. Accept of my constant & best wishes.

Th: Jefferson

75. panes of best window glass  12. by 18. I.
75. do 12. I. square.
20. panes, segments of circle  of one model } the models for these will be sent by a boat. but the others are not to wait for these.
10. panes do of another model

RC (Anonymous, Auburndale, Mass., 1971); addressed: “Capt James Oldham Richmond.” PoC (MHi); with conclusion of second sentence recopied above line for clarity; endorsed by TJ. Enclosed in TJ to George Jefferson, 1 Apr. 1811.

James Oldham (d. 1843), formerly of Philadelphia, worked as a joiner at Monticello, 1801–04. He moved in the latter year to Richmond, where he supplied TJ with building materials. Oldham eventually returned to Charlottesville, helped construct the University of Virginia, and by 1828 had opened a public house (MB description begins James A. Bear Jr. and Lucia C. Stanton, eds., Jefferson’s Memorandum Books: Accounts, with Legal Records and Miscellany, 1767–1826, 1997, The Papers of Thomas Jefferson, Second Series description ends , esp. 2:1035; Woods, Albemarle description begins Edgar Woods, Albemarle County in Virginia, 1901 description ends , 92, 292; TJ to Oldham, 2 Jan. 1802 [PWacD: Sol Feinstone Collection, on deposit PPAmP]; Albemarle Co. Will Book, 15:451, 461–3, 510, 17:175–6).

1Reworked from “Mar.”

2Omitted word editorially supplied.

3Word interlined.

Index Entries

  • boats; transfer goods to and from Richmond search
  • building materials; window glass search
  • Cabell, Joseph Carrington; mentioned search
  • Currie, James (1745–1807) search
  • Gibson & Jefferson (Richmond firm); and window glass for TJ search
  • glass, window; Bohemian search
  • glass, window; English crown search
  • glass, window; TJ orders search
  • Hamburg (German city-state); glass from search
  • Monticello (TJ’s estate); builders at search
  • Oldham, James; and window glass search
  • Oldham, James; identified search
  • Oldham, James; letters to search
  • Richmond, Va.; boats transfer goods to and from search
  • Trieste search
  • venetian blinds search
  • Virginia, University of (Charlottesville); builders at search