James Madison Papers
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To James Madison from Thomas Jefferson, 17 February 1814

From Thomas Jefferson

Monticello Feb. 17. 14.

Dear Sir

In my letter of yesterday I forgot to put the inclosed one from mr Mill, which I now send merely to inform you of his wishes, and to do on it what you find right.1 He is an excellent young man, modest, cautious & very manageable. His skill in architecture will be proved by his drawings & he has had a good deal of experience. He married a daughter of Colo. Smith of Winchester formerly (perhaps now) a member of Congress. Affectionately yours

Th: Jefferson

RC (owned by University Archives, Stamford, Conn., 1997); FC (MHi: Coolidge Collection).

1Jefferson evidently enclosed Robert Mills’s letter to him of 28 Jan. 1814, requesting that Jefferson recommend Mills to JM for the position of surveyor of the public buildings at Washington, recently vacated by Benjamin Henry Latrobe (DcWaGWG: W. Lloyd Wright Collection). Mills (1781–1855), a native of South Carolina, had studied architecture with Jefferson and Latrobe. He designed numerous public structures, including the Washington Monument in the District of Columbia, and directed the renovation of the U.S. Capitol (Looney et al., Papers of Thomas Jefferson: Retirement Series, 2:438). In 1836 Mills finally received a federal appointment as architect for the construction of the Treasury and Patent Office buildings (Rhodri Windsor Liscombe, Altogether American: Robert Mills, Architect and Engineer, 1781–1855 [New York, 1994], 187–88).

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