Thomas Jefferson Papers

Enclosure: Thomas Jefferson to John Kemp, 6 November 1788


His Excellency Thos. Jefferson Esqr. To John Kemp

Nov. 6th. 1788

To a new Crane Neck Chariot
The body painted a pale Laylock Colour the beeds mouldings & lamps pick’d out a dark Colour, lin’d with a light Colour best second Cloth trim’d with a rich lace of three Colours laylock & white with a brimstone Colour Silk Lay in Do.; best plate Glasses, & Inside trunk.
To a new light tho strong Crane Neck Carriage, Long thro beeded moulded Cranes with £ flaps before & behind, tenanted to frame through the hind beds. strong springs & extrees, with the best wrought boxes to Do. & screw’d ends, the hind footboard rais’d on short blocks footmans step behind, open fore end the Carriage Carv’d with scrowl & dubs fluted beeded & sham panneld strong wheels with feather edge spokes, spring stays with Collar & Cup stays to Do. to the hind & fore end, Covering the Compass Irons of the Coach box with the best neats Leather welted. Covering & stuffing the pole, the splintre barr rowls cover’d, french pole pieces, hammer Cloth to match the lining with 4 rows of broad Lace to Do., the Carriage painted a patent yellow, pick’d out edged striped & ornamented with yellow, pick’d out edged striped & ornamented with Dark Grey £ 110 0 0
Extra Work to the body
A Sett of Venetian blinds & bolts compleat 4 4 0
A Sett of spring Curtains Compleat 3 10 0
x A Sett of Festoon Curtains with Silk Tossels & fringe Compleat } 3 3 0
A large Octagon behind with Venetian blind & Glass to slide, festoon & spring Curtains to match the others, silverd rowler trimming &c. Compleat } 5 5 0
A Sett of long silver’d rowlers with buttons rivetted in them Compleat } 0 14 0
A Cricket or seat for a third person with Ironwork Compleat fixd to the fore end } 0 16 0
A Cotton false lining Cutting out, making & putting in Compleat Colinder’d } 3 3 0
double footmans holders to match the trimming made up with 4 plated buckles billet leathers chapes & loops & silver’d double staples with silver’d screws Compleat } 0 10 6
plated mouldings round the roof back & quarters of the body & plated octagon frame, plated Locks to the doors, & plated buckles to the main & check braces & lamp straps } 5 0 0
x A pair of Globe Lamps with plated reflecters fastnings straps & props Compleat } 3 0 0
Double steps to the body 1 1 0
An oil skin seat Cover lin’d with flannel & bound with yellow binding } 2 2 0
To painting alleg[o]rick Circles on a Gold ground on the doors & fore end } 1 0 0
A pair of private Locks & plated escutcheons 0 18 0
Extra Work to the Carriage
x A large trunk cover’d with leather lin’d with linen cradle & straps compleat for the inside. A large neats leather Cover for Do. } 4 10 0
x Fitting the trunk to the hind part of the carriage, with 2 blocks 4 plates & Collar’d bolts, 2 new trunk straps 7f/6I long Compleat for trunk } 0 18 0
x A new patent chain belt of 7F/6I long cover’d with leather lock & key for Do. to secure the trunk to the hind part of the carriage } 1 1 0
x A strong drag chain Compleat 0 9 0
x A drag staff with joint fastning to Do. & strap to hold it up } 0 12 0
A new pole hook to pole & putting it on with screws 0 5 0
A new strap with plated buckle for Do. 0 1 6
x A Tool budget cover’d with leather 3 buckles & straps to Do. & 2 strong buckles & straps to buckle it to the hind part of the carriage } 0 16 0
x A new strong screw’d wrench, a claw’d hammer pincers & ripping chizzel } 0 14 0
x A new spare screw’d perch bolt & key 0 5 0
x Four strong spare crane bolts 0 5 0
x Six spare spring & carriage bolts 0 5 0
x Two dozen spare linspins 0 5 0
To four new strong Harness made of the best Neats Leather, modern broad brass furniture best polishd bitts with barrs, & polish’d Iron Work, the harness made compleat with 3 setts of traces to go either four in hand, one or two postilions, with additional reins white fronts & roses } 20 10 0
To two new best double welted saddles with spring girths & polish’d stirrups compleat } 4 10 0
To a new strong packing case & a large sheet of matting taking the harness to pieces & packing them up in Do. } 0 12 0
£ 180 5 0
Deduct for prompt payment 5 per Ct. amounting in the whole to whole to £ 9 0 0
£ 171 5 0

Mr. Jefferson will observe that there is a difference of 13/6 between this Bill and that which I sent him before—it is occasioned by the two Articles which are marked ❮ above. This will go to a new account.

J Trumbull

MS (MHi); the invoice is entirely in Kemp’s hand and the appended note is in that of Trumbull; endorsed by Trumbull: “Mr. Kemp’s Bill to Mr. Jefferson for Carriage 6th Novr. 1788. £171..5.”; and by TJ: “Prices Chariot”; for the explanation of certain check marks made by TJ see below.

The invoice sent … before was enclosed in Trumbull to TJ, 18 Nov. 1788 and has not been found. The earlier invoice evidently totalled £179 11s. 6d. and it was after receiving it that TJ jotted down the following notation:

“Cost of Chariot & Harness £179–11–6
deduct Harness   25
deduct for prompt paiment    7–14–6
lay on 12 pr. cent duties   18– 7
 165– 4
In ordering another carriage a saving might be made of £16–3 by omitting only useless articles to wit  146–17
saving   16– 3
lay on duty 12 per cent   16– 7
 147– 1”

On the verso of this calculation TJ listed the following, which evidently was jotted down after receipt of the later invoice:

“festoon curtains 3– 3
trunk 4–10
chain 1– 1
drag chain 9
drag staff 12
tool budget 16
spare articles 14/5/5/5/5/ 1–14
Harness & saddles 25   
packing case 12
prompt payment 9  0
180– 5

£132.10=G[uineas].126+4/=D588.88” (MS in MHi; undated). It will be noted that the “useless articles” are those that TJ checked in the invoice, though one item (the globe lamps) is not included in this memorandum even though it bears a check mark.

The picking out on a carriage is “the ornamenting the ground with various contrasted colours … … … to lighten the appearance, and shew the mouldings to advantage” (OED description begins Sir James Murray and others, eds., A New English Dictionary on Historical Principles, Oxford, 1888–1933 description ends under pick, citing W. Felton, Carriages [1801], i, 193).

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