Thomas Jefferson Papers

To Thomas Jefferson from James Traquair, 30 May 1801

From James Traquair

Philada. May 30th. 1801.

Dear Sir,

The Bearer is William Stewart, the smith you expected,—the people for whom he wrought, have failed and he has been a loser, which soured him so much, that he would go off at once:—I hope he will answer every expectation,—few can work better than him. I am Sir Yours respectfully

James Traquair

P.S. Knowing how fond you are of every useful improvement, I have the pleasure to say the Water Works are about finished:—the Engines answer exceedingly well, & now we have plenty of excellent water.—It does great credit to Mr. Latrobe.—As an Architect I think him the first I ever wrought under:—he combineth taste with strength and plainness with elegance & that, with the fewest expensive ornaments I ever saw.—It is a pity that such Talents should be lost to the Country:—Not meeting with the encouragement his abilities had a right to expect.—He proposes as soon as the Pennsylvania Bank is finished (which also doth him honor) to retire on a farm.—If any thing is wanting either in public, or to private gentlemen, I think him a fit person as Architect or Engineer.—I hope you will excuse my freedom, when I assure you I have not the smallest interest in the matter,—Nor does he know I have written this:—My sole motive is the good of the Country which I have much at heart.

James Traquair

RC (MHi); above postscript: “The Honble Thos. Jefferson Prest of the United States”; endorsed by TJ as received 20 June and so recorded in SJL.

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