Thomas Jefferson Papers

To Thomas Jefferson from James Traquair, 12 May 1801

From James Traquair

Philada. May 12th. 1801.

Dear Sir

Yours of the 8th. instant I have just received:—if you should want a stone cutter in July you could not have applied in a better time,—I do not believe there ever was a better sett of Stone Cutters employed by one Man on this side the Atlantic than I have at present;—and by that time the Bank of Pennsa. will be near finished, so that it will be no inconveniency to me to spare you one of the best of them; and by that means R. Richardson may learn as much as I wished him when with me.—I expect you have recieved my last inclosing Mr. Stewarts Agreement.—

I am Sir with due respect Yours &c.

James Traquair

RC (MHi); at foot of text: “The Honble Thomas Jefferson President of the united States”; endorsed by TJ as received 16 May and so recorded in SJL.

TJ’s letter of the 8th instant has not been found. My Last: also missing is Traquair’s letter of 8 May, recorded in SJL as received on the 11th, and the enclosed agreement with William Stewart, who assumed charge of the blacksmith shop and nailery at Monticello. A highly skilled artisan, Stewart crafted much of the intricate ironwork used in the renovation of Monticello and trained Joseph Fossett and other smiths before he was dismissed for alcoholism in 1807 (MB description begins James A. Bear, Jr., and Lucia C. Stanton, eds., Jefferson’s Memorandum Books: Accounts, with Legal Records and Miscellany, 1767–1826, Princeton, 1997, The Papers of Thomas Jefferson, Second Series description ends , 2:1052; Stanton, Free Some Day description begins Lucia Stanton, Free Some Day, Thomas Jefferson Foundation, Inc., 2000 description ends , 133; McLaughlin, Jefferson and Monticello description begins Jack McLaughlin, Jefferson and Monticello: The Biography of a Builder, New York, 1988 description ends , 65–8). According to SJL, TJ and Stewart exchanged more than 30 letters between 8 May 1801 and 23 May 1807, but none have been found.

Index Entries