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    • Latrobe, Benjamin Henry
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    • Jefferson, Thomas
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Mr Latrobe presents his most respectful Compliments to the President U.S.—& thanks him for the Inventory sent him. Mr. Latrobe’s object in going to Philadelphia is to take some measures necessary for the supply of sundry materials for the Pblic Bldgs, & articles of furniture for the Presids. house. He intends to return without fail on the 2d. of March. Before the President’s journey to...
Mr LeMair has no inventory of the furniture of the President’s house, but he informs me that Mr Claxton’s is perfect excepting as to some articles of Plate made at Richmond. Under the circumstances of the case, if Mr Madison does me the honor to confide the future expenditure to me, it would be necessary for me to possess the inventory as soon as possible, or otherwise to refer the Member of...
Your letter of the 29th. relative to the Glass supplied to you from the public Stock, was received on Sunday and I have since then searched all the papers belonging to the office for an account of it, an employment which took up the whole of yesterday, & part of this morning before I succeeded. I hope this will plead my apology for the late answer to your note. It was Mr Lenthall’s habit to...
The impossibility in the present hurry of the Post office of ascertaining correctly the balances of the appropriations & indeed the variation hourly taking place in them by the payment of accounts, induced me to alter in the Report the passage rela tive to them, & to State merely tha t they were so nearly exhausted that the Work must soon close an d Workmen be discharged unless the legislature...
Mr. Latrobe intended to have waited on the President this evening, but as he has returned the report, with his approbation, he will immediately cause two copies to be made of it, & then wait upon the President with them.— The Weather has for two days prevented the Gates being put into the Walls. If fair tomorrow the breach will be made & the Gates fixed.— DLC : Papers of Thomas Jefferson.
I have the honor to enclose a sketch of my report on the public buildings. I will wait upon you on Tuesday in hopes of receiving your instructions on this subject With the highest respect I am Yrs. DLC : Papers of Thomas Jefferson.
The several appropriations made at the last session of Congress for the progress of the work on the Public Buildings, have, during the late recess of the Legislature been applied to their specific objects in the manner which I now beg leave to report to You.  1. South Wing of the Capitol In this wing all the wood work & the covering of the Roof have been painted,—the Iron railing of the...
The fall of the arch or Vault of the Court room in the North Wing of the Capitol on Monday last, & the death of Mr. Lenthall who was buried in its ruins, must be known to you through the medium of the National Intelligencer & the Monitor in all its circumstances. Among the multitude of vexations, regrets, & business which this unfortunate event has thrown upon me, I feel extremely mortified...
Since your departure the public Works have made regular progress, nor has any thing occurred which would have authorized, my trespassing on your time by a letter.—I have been since then in Philadelphia & New York, & returned hither about three weeks ago.—The confinement of my wife & the loss of our child has since my return delayed the statement I am now going to make of the present situation...
The stone for the Steps of the President’s house is, in part arrived, & I am in hopes that the remainder will come up this week. It is now to be decided where it shall be wrought. GRAPHIC IN MANUSCRIPT If it could be prepared immediately on the spot marked ⊙ not less than 250 Dollars would be saved out of the expence of hauling & time which would be necessary if wrought out of the...
I herein enclose the strongest specimen of the plant which under the name of Dryrot commits such ravages upon the timber of buildings,—which I had ever met with. It was taken from the timber upon which the principal piers of the Senate chamber were built. The timber itself is reduced almost to powder, being more decayed than any other part of the work. We have now pulled them all down, & I...
Since your departure I have made every possible exertion to forward the progress of the public Works,—and will concisely state their present situation. 1. North Wing, Capitol .— To support the Vaults of the Courtroom-cellar , it was necessary to take up & vault the floors of the stairs & north lobby against which . This has been done, & the vaults are finished. The Cellar of the Court is also...
Since I dispatched my letter of this morning, I have gone over with Mr Lenthall the papers in the office, & the following is the result.  Our large stone has cost $1.75 ⅌ perch such as we have always used at the Capitol; but small stone fit for the Wall, if mixed with larger, may be had at $1.12 ½ , say with Waste, and laying up close, $1.30 One man will lay a perch of Wall & point it on both...
In reply to the letter I have had the honor to receive from you this morning I beg to submit the following estimate & remarks.— Estimate of the prime cost of Stone walling, in Washington, May 1st. 1808. 1./ The price at which we have paid for rough Stone for the last Season at least, (I believe for 3 Years past) is ⅌ perch delivered at the Wharf.— $1.75 It will not be lower this season,...
A Report has just now been made to the House on the public Buildings. It contains all the arguments that can be adduced in favor of the appropriation & the best defence that could have been urged as to the deficit. To me it is highly flattering, a circumstance not less pleasing to my self love, & useful to my professional standing, than agreeable to every feeling of my heart in reference to...
To the President of the United States of America. The Report of the Surveyor of the Publick buildings of the United States, at Washington March 23d. 1808 My Report on the progress and state of the publick buildings of the United States in the City of Washington during the year 1807 has been delayed untill all the work performed at the Capitol and the Presidents house could be measured and the...
I herewith have the honor to send you two Copies of my report on the public buildings, the statements being corrected agreeably to your observations. It has been delayed by the copyist, & is even now not as fair, as I could have wished. With the highest respect Yrs. faithfully DLC : Papers of Thomas Jefferson.
Agreeably to your desire I submit to you an estimate of one intercolumnation as erected on each side of the Presidents house, calculating for a Stone entablature, on the South front,—and also stating the difference if the entablature be of Timber. Should the public offices be accomodated in these rooms, the necessary security from fire might require them to be arched as in the Treasury...
Mr. Latrobe offers his most respectful compliments to the President UStates & sends his annual report for consideration. It has taken up the whole of his time & attention for the last two months.—The accounts may be perhaps more clearly stated but their result is correct.— Mr L. will have the honor of waiting on the President on Wednesday morning for his further instructions unless it should...
I am exceedingly sorry that the verbal, & written orders given on my departure for Philadelphia respecting the cistern, have not been attended to. I will immediately attend to it, & have the leaks stopped from the place which is discovered to be tight, upwards. This however can only be a temporary measure,—but a Vat-cistern will forever cure the defect, and I will apply to the Secy. of the...
I arrived here on Wednesday evening, having been 11 days on the road, 3 of which were spent in waiting till it was practicable to cross the Susquehannah. The last fortnight of my stay in Philadelphia was devoted to the providing of curtains to be hung round the house of representatives by direction of the Committee appointed to devise the means of rendering the Hall less objectionable on the...
I have been twice at the Pr. House in hopes of having the favor of a few minutes conversation with you before my departure; but was both times so unfortunate as to find you engaged, and at the same time to be so pressed myself that I could not watch the opportunity of speaking to you.— I have I hope left nothing in a state to suffer by my absence, & I shall return as soon as I can arrange my...
I do not leave Washington till Tuesday next, before which period I hope to have the pleasure to wait upon you. The House of Representatives, exhibited only one leak in the Dome, but a very bad one in the flat under the dome at X [GRAPHIC IN MANUSCRIPT] at the NE Corner. The rain poured in a stream into the lobby. I think it can be easily cured, & probably arose from a drift of Snow. The...
Last night, the wind having changed suddenly to the N. West it was exceedingly cold for a short time,—and this morning the condensed vapor was found to have dropped upon the decks in 3 or 4 places in the Hall of Representatives, but in one place exactly over one of the decks, a quantity fell equal to about a Wine Glass full. On going onto the roof I found the Cause of this difference. In...
I forgot to mention this morning,—that since my measurement & certificate of Mr Barry’s account he has threatened that unless I immediately complete his measurement he shall charge two Dollars a day for waiting here, & he has stated that you had ordered that no money should be paid out of the funds appropriated to the President’s house untill his demands were satisfied.—I feel an objection to...
B. Henry Latrobe presents his most respectful compliments to the President of the UStates, & begs to know when he may wait upon him, or whether it is rather the wish of the President to come up to the Capitol when Mr Latrobe may attend him.— The Glass for the roof of the Capitol was brought up to the building this morning and will be begun to be put on on Monday.— DLC : Papers of Thomas Jefferson.
Your absence from Monticello having prevented my hearing from you before this day, I had proceeded to carry up the Chimnies agreeably to the plan I sent to you. They must be capped as nearly level with the top of the Dome as possible, & I must contrive some kind of a sky light in the center of them. It would not well have done to have carried them straight up; for 4 of them would have come out...
The arrangements proposed by me for the use of the rooms with North wing of the Capitol may be postponed untill your arrival, when on inspection of them, it may perhaps occur to you to give directions different from those which I have proposed, or which have yet been suggested. The extremely inconvenient accomodation of the court will no doubt strike you, & in the mean time, I will write to...
I much fear that in performing my duty, and endeavoring to give you all the information possible on the State of the public buildings, I claim an unreasonable portion of your time & attention.—My present letter is on a subject on which I see only one mode of proceeding, and that one , involves a mode of finishing the roof of the North wing on which I solicit your opinion and direction:...
In my last I informed you of some difficulties which had occurred respecting Mr. Lenthall and our carpenters. I have fortunately arranged every thing with bothe parties to my perfect satisfaction, and hope to derive advantage from the perfect explanation which has taken place. The work that has been done upon thereof has been entirely successful. The West part has not leaked a drop during the...