Thomas Jefferson Papers
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William J. Coffee to Thomas Jefferson, 7 November 1818

From William J. Coffee

New York Nor 7th 1818

Honorable Sir

As I promised you when at monticello, so had I previous to the reciept of your Verey pleaseing and welcom Commission made moste of the necessary Inquires with relation to your Cisterrns, to day I have as fare as I can completed my Inquires on that Subject. A Part of duty I owe to you past Kindness. [Duch Terras] thar is no Such thing in this City thare was som yeares Ago Imported Such A Cement which was thought Excellent, for water uses but Owing to its high price and som other causes it is not now to be met with either in the commercial world, or in the building line. In fact it is Superseded by A cement caled Roman Cement but made in England in many Places it is much Cheape and by all that have used it in this great City thought to be the best Cement ever Introduced for works under water, this I my self know that in England 20 years Experianc has proved to the1 world its Value2

My Dear Sir on the other Sid and part of this you will find my ferther directions and Oppion and with them be Pleased to receve my best and kindest wishes for you and yous

W. J. Coffee

RC (DLC); brackets in original; addressed: “To Thos Jefferson Esqr Monticello State of Virgina”; franked; postmarked New York, 11 Nov.; with enclosure subjoined and TJ’s Notes on Roman Cement, [ca. 21 Nov. 1818], beneath endorsement; endorsed by TJ as received 21 Nov. 1818 but recorded in SJL as received a day later; with additional notation by TJ beneath endorsement giving Coffee’s address as “501. Greenwich street or to Dr Hosack N. York.”

1Manuscript: “to the to the.”

2Manuscript: “Valwe.”

Index Entries

  • building materials; cement search
  • building materials; tarras search
  • cement; for cisterns search
  • cement; Roman search
  • cisterns; at Monticello search
  • Coffee, William John; and cement for TJ search
  • Coffee, William John; letters from search
  • Coffee, William John; visits Monticello search
  • Monticello (TJ’s Albemarle Co. estate); cisterns at search
  • Monticello (TJ’s Albemarle Co. estate); Visitors to; Coffee, William J. search