Thomas Jefferson Papers
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Thomas Jefferson to Michael Atkinson, [ca. 21 July 1815]

To Michael Atkinson

[ca. 21 July 1815]

I shall have occasion for 600. feet, running measure of scantling 5¼ Inches square, clear of the saw, all of heart poplar, without a speck of sap. when we use it it will be cut into lengths of 2 f 8 I. for ballusters.

the stocks therefore must be of such lengths as to cut into these smaller lengths of 2 f 8 I. without waste.

for example a stock of  8.f. will give 3. lengths
10 f.  8 I. will give  4. lengths
13 f. 4 I. 5  lengths
16 f 6  lengths

to be done immediately so as to be ready on our arrival.

Th: J[e]fferson

PoC (MHi); on verso of reused address cover to TJ; undated; signature faint; subjoined to covering letter; at head of text: “A note for mr Atkinson.” Not recorded in SJL. Enclosed in TJ to Joel Yancey, 21 July 1815.

Michael Atkinson operated a sawmill in Campbell County, where he paid tax on six slaves in 1816 and lived until at least 1820. TJ had engaged Atkinson’s services for his Poplar Forest estate by 1814. He paid Atkinson a total of $113.89 between 20 May and 29 Sept. 1815 (TJ to Jeremiah A. Goodman, 11 July 1814; 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 , 2:1309, 1310, 1314; Vi: RG 48, Personal Property Tax Returns, Campbell Co., 1816–20; DNA: RG 29, CS, Campbell Co., 1820).

Index Entries

  • Atkinson, Michael; and millwork for TJ search
  • Atkinson, Michael; identified search
  • Atkinson, Michael; letter to search
  • Campbell County, Va.; sawmills in search
  • lumber; used at Poplar Forest search
  • mills; saw search
  • poplar; lumber used at Poplar Forest search
  • Poplar Forest (TJ’s Bedford Co. estate); lumber for search