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Enclosure: Thomas Appleton’s Agreement to Hire Giacomo Raggi and Michele Raggi, 17 February 1819

Enclosure

Thomas Appleton’s Agreement to Hire Giacomo Raggi and Michele Raggi

Livorno a 17. Febraro 1819.

Per l’Atto presente benche privato, da valere, e tenere come se fosse un Publico Instrumento, apparisca e sia noto Qualmente

Fra l’Illmo Sig Tommaso Appleton Console Generale degli Stati Uniti d’America in Livorno, ed in questa Parte nella Qualità di Incaricato dal Sig Tommaso Jefferson di Virginia in America da una, ed i Sigi Michele Raggi, di Condizione Scultore Ornatista, e Jacopo Raggi Scultore di Architettura ambi di Carrara al presente degenti in Livorno dall’altra Parte, resta convenuto e Stabilito, si Stabilisce, e conviene quanto, e come appresso cioè.

I Prefati Sigi Michele e Jacopo Raggi promettono, e si Obligano di imediatamente transferirsi in Virginia in America, ed ivi impiegare la loro Opera, ed Industria aprò e Sotto la Direzione del prefato Sig Tommaso Jefferson, il Primo in Qualità di Scultore Ornatista, e il Secondo di Scultore Architetto, e ciò con gli Appresso Patti e Condizione.

Primo detti Sigi Michele e Jacopo Raggi dovranno prontamente, e col Primo Incontro che gli verrà procacciato dal Sig Console Tommaso Appleton partire e transferirsi in Virginia in America, ed ivi impiegare la loro Opera in ciò che riguarda la loro Professione aprò e Conto del detto Sig Tommaso Jefferson per il tempo e termine di Anni Tre decorrendi dal Giorno della Celebrazione dell’atto presente obligandosi, conforme si Obligano di lavorare in qualunque Sorte di Lavoro sempre però riguardante la loro Respettiva Professione che gli sarà Ordinato dal Sig Jefferson.

Secondo La Spesa del Viaggio di Andata dovrà essere pagata dal Sig Tommaso Jefferson il quale parimenti dovrà pagare la Spesa del Viaggio di Ritorno in Italia, qualora Spirati i Tre Anni piaccia ad essi di Tornare in questa Provincia.

Terzo Il Sig Tommaso Jefferson dovrà Somministrare a detti Sigi Michele e Jacopo Raggi durante i detti Anni Tre l’Alloggio, ed il Vitto giornaliero proporzionato e decente alla loro Professione, ed in oltre dovrà pagare a ciascuno di Essi Pezzi Duri di Spagna Cinquecento Ventisei e Lire Due, ogni Anno durante i detti Anni Tre a titolo di Onorario

Quarto I detti Sig Michele e Jacopo Raggi convengono di lasciare in mano del detto Sig Jefferson la quarta Parte dell’Annuo suddetto Onorario esigerla dal medesimo alla Terminazione di Anni Tre

E Fermo Stante quanto Sopra dichiarano, e Confessano di avere ricevuto prima della Celebrazione dell’Atto1 presente dal Sig Tommaso Appleton come Incaricato suddetto del Sig Jefferson la somma e quantità di Pezzi Duri Quattrocento, cioè Pezzi Duri di Spagna Duecento Ciascuno, in tante buone ed Effettive Monete d’Argento delle quali ne fecero e fanno a detto Sig Appleton Amplia Ricevuta e quietanza colla Renunzia all’Eccezione del non Numerato Danaro

E tal somma dichiarano, e confessano di aver Ricevuto in Anticipazione ed in Conto del Suddetto Convenuto Onorario, da doversi Il Sig Jefferson rimborsare colla retenzione di equivalente Somma dell’Onorario di Primo Anno

Io Michele Raggi Th: Appleton
Io Giacomo Raggi

Editors’ Translation

Leghorn 17. February 1819.

Let this act, though private, be valid and considered as if it were a public instrument, and allow it to appear and be known as such

Between, on the one part, the illustrious Mr. Thomas Appleton, consul general of the United States of America at Leghorn, acting as an agent of Mr. Thomas Jefferson, of Virginia in America, and, on the other part, Messrs. Michele Raggi, ornamental sculptor, and Giacomo Raggi, architectural sculptor, both of Carrara and currently living in Leghorn, the following is agreed to and established and has been so established and agreed to, to wit.

The aforesaid Messrs. Michele and Giacomo Raggi promise and bind themselves to relocate immediately to Virginia in America, and there to employ their labor and industry for the benefit and under the direction of the aforesaid Mr. Thomas Jefferson, the first in his capacity as an ornamental sculptor and the second as an architectural sculptor, according to the following agreements and conditions.

First, the said Messrs. Michele and Giacomo Raggi will promptly and on the first occasion that the Consul Thomas Appleton arranges for them, depart and relocate to Virginia in America and there do the work pertaining to their respective professions for the benefit and on behalf of the said Mr. Thomas Jefferson for the time and term of three years from the day this agreement is signed, committing themselves to perform whatever tasks Mr. Jefferson orders, always provided that it falls under their respective professions.

Second, Mr. Thomas Jefferson must pay their outward travel expenses and, likewise, the cost of their return to Italy if, on expiration of the three years, they wish to come back to this place.

Third, during the said three years Mr. Thomas Jefferson must provide both room and board for the said Messrs. Michele and Giacomo Raggi commensurate with and appropriate to their professions. He must, furthermore, pay each of them five hundred and twenty-six Spanish pesos duros and two lire every year during the said three years as an honorarium

Fourth, the said Messrs. Michele and Giacomo Raggi agree to leave in the hands of the said Mr. Jefferson one-fourth of the aforesaid annual honorarium, which they may demand from him at the termination of the three years

And, given the above, they declare and avow that prior to signing this agreement they have received from Mr. Thomas Appleton, the aforesaid agent of Mr. Jefferson, the sum and quantity of four hundred pesos duros, that is to say, two hundred Spanish pesos duros each, in good and real silver coins, of which they gave and give a receipt for payment in full to the said Mr. Appleton, waiving the exception for unnumbered money

And they declare and avow that they have received this sum in advance and against the aforesaid agreed-upon honorarium, and that Mr. Jefferson is to be reimbursed by his retention of an equivalent amount out of the honorarium for the first year

I, Michele Raggi Th: Appleton
I, Giacomo Raggi

MS (ViU: TJP); in an unidentified hand, signed by Appleton and both Raggis; on stamped paper; with three signed attestations at foot of text: that of Domenico Galli and Domenico Antonio Rocchi certifying that the Raggis’ signatures were genuine; of Tommaso Francesco Donati, a native of Leghorn, doctor of canon and civil law and notary public, dated 17 Feb. 1819, stating that the signatures of the Raggis and Appleton were authentic; and of Edward Swords, chancellor of the American consulate at Leghorn, dated 19 Feb. 1819, confirming that Donati’s notarization was in his hand; endorsed by TJ: “Raggi Michele & <Jacopo> Jacomo.” Translation by Dr. Jonathan T. Hine. Also enclosed in Dabney S. Carr to TJ, 24 June 1819.

Giacomo Raggi (b. ca. 1773), architectural sculptor, and Michele Raggi (b. ca. 1783), ornamental sculptor, both hailed from Carrara in Italy. Having been recommended to TJ by Thomas Appleton late in 1818, they arrived in Albemarle County at the end of June 1819 and were charged with carving capitals for the columns of buildings at the University of Virginia. Unfortunately, in July they reported that the stone from nearby quarries was ill-suited for Corinthian and Ionic capitals. Two months later the Raggis proposed that they return to Italy to do their work, promising that they could complete it there at half the cost. A further attempt to renegotiate the terms of their contract led to a parting of ways early in September 1820. The sum total of Michele Raggi’s work at the University was, as TJ stated in 1821, “one Corinthian capitel, and one Ionic, both unfinished, and which we shall never use.” Michele Raggi, whom TJ described as “a good workman, but very hypocondriac,” sent a final few letters complaining of his treatment and requesting additional funds. Giacomo Raggi traveled between Europe and the United States repeatedly during the ensuing years and was hired in 1823 to furnish the bases for the columns of the university’s Rotunda. He never did so, however. As late as December 1830 he was in Albemarle County trying to gather subscriptions for a proposed statue of TJ and persuade the school to hire him to complete the portico of the Rotunda. Neither effort seems to have borne fruit (William B. O’Neal, “Michele and Giacomo Raggi at the University of Virginia: With Notes and Documents,” MACH 18 [1959/60]: 5–31; Appleton to TJ, 10 Nov. 1818, 10 June 1824 [second letter]; TJ to Arthur S. Brockenbrough, 2 July 1819, 21 Oct. 1825; TJ to James Breckinridge, Chapman Johnson, and Robert Taylor, 8 July 1819; Michele Raggi and Giacomo Raggi to TJ, [received 17 Sept. 1819]; TJ to John H. Cocke, 5 Sept. 1820; TJ to Appleton, 16 Apr. 1821; Minutes of University of Virginia Board of Visitors, 6 Oct. 1823; Giacomo Raggi to James Madison, 1 Dec. 1830 [DLC: Madison Papers]; Thomas Jefferson Randolph to Madison, 20 Dec. 1830 [ViHi: Randolph Papers]).

1Manuscript: “dll’Atto.”

Index Entries

  • Appleton, Thomas; Agreement to Hire Giacomo Raggi and Michele Raggi search
  • Appleton, Thomas; and stonecutters for Central College–University of Virginia search
  • currency; metallic search
  • Donati, Tommaso Francesco search
  • Galli, Domenico search
  • Italian language; documents in, by; T. Appleton, G. Raggi, and M. Raggi search
  • Italy; stonecutters from search
  • Raggi, Giacomo; as stonecutter for University of Virginia search
  • Raggi, Giacomo; identified search
  • Raggi, Giacomo; Thomas Appleton’s Agreement to Hire Giacomo Raggi and Michele Raggi search
  • Raggi, Michele; as stonecutter for University of Virginia search
  • Raggi, Michele; identified search
  • Raggi, Michele; Thomas Appleton’s Agreement to Hire Giacomo Raggi and Michele Raggi search
  • Rocchi, Domenico Antonio search
  • silver; currency search
  • Swords, Edward; chancellor of U.S. consulate at Leghorn search
  • Virginia, University of; Construction and Grounds; stonecutters for search
  • Virginia, University of; Construction and Grounds; wages for workmen search