Thomas Jefferson Papers
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Thomas Jefferson to Charles Johnston, 15 November 1812

To Charles Johnston

Poplar Forest Nov. 15. 12.

Dear Sir

I sent here from Albemarle a Plaisterer to plaister my house. I did not order on any plaister of Paris because I understood it could always be bought in Lynchburg, and the small quantity of only 5. bushels was necessary. I am disappointed however in my expectation of buying even that quantity in Lynchbg, and being told you have some there which you had brought for the purposes of your farm, I take the liberty of requesting you to spare me 5. bushels. I will either have the same quantity brought from Richmond to replace it, or as your communications there are so much more perfect and direct than mine if you will take the trouble I will gladly pay you the price now at whatever advance you shall suppose it to have got to by the circumstances of the war, with the transportation Etc. I am the more in hope this will not be inconvenient to you as the plaister is not usually put on the farm till spring, and there will therefore be abundant time to have it replaced. the plaistering of a house being a permanent thing, I am unwilling to have a permanent eyesore in it, occasioned by this small failure.

Accept the assurance of my great [estee]m & respect.

Th: Jefferson

PoC (MHi); one word faint, probably due to polygraph malfunction; at foot of text: “Charles Johnson esq”; endorsed by TJ.

Johnston replied the same day in a missing letter recorded in SJL as received 15 Nov. 1812 from Sandusky, Johnston’s Campbell County estate.

The plaisterer was Isham Chisholm. TJ paid Johnston $6.75 for 5 bushels of plaister of paris on 19 Nov. 1812 (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 , 2:1284).

Index Entries

  • Chisholm, Isham; and plastering at Poplar Forest search
  • gypsum (plaster of paris); at Poplar Forest search
  • Johnston, Charles; and plastering at Poplar Forest search
  • Johnston, Charles; letters from accounted for search
  • Johnston, Charles; letters to search
  • Lynchburg, Va.; plaster at search
  • Poplar Forest (TJ’s Bedford Co. estate); plastering at search