Thomas Jefferson Papers

To Thomas Jefferson from the District of Columbia Commissioners, 24 August 1801

From the District of Columbia Commissioners

Washington 24th. August 1801.


We should think an apology very necessary for intruding on your retirement, were we not convinced that your solicitude for the advancement of the City authorizes this Liberty.—

In reviewing the objects you were pleased to recommend to our attention, and calculating what has been done, and what is yet to accomplish, we find our means will be inadequate to fulfil the whole of your intentions respecting the Roads, within the Estimate. We therefore thought it proper to state what has been executed, and the Expenditures.—

For work executed
The former Expenses on Pennsylvania Avenue and the
Capitol-Hill, since the Month of June inclusive
} Dolls Cts
The work on the President’s Square, and on 15th. Street
west, gravelled principally, has cost
} 693.00
The work on new-Jersey Avenue, including a good
Road up the Hill, and a free-Stone Bridge, has cost
}  872.99
Dolls 3,695.99
For work to be done of necessity.
The Road between the upper end of Pennsylvania
Avenue and the upper Bridge on Rock Creek, has
been calculated, and the work by mensuration to
make an easy Passage, will cost $800—The people of
George Town have taken and will require as much
Sand &c, as will lessen the Expense—Dolls 100—
} 700.00
Work Contemplated
The circular Road on the west of the Capitol continued
into A Street north, and A Street South, also 1st. Street
east on the Capitol Square, between the two above
mentioned Streets; but particularly A Street, north
now commenced, and 1st. Street east in front of Mr.
Carroll’s Buildings—
} =
To round Pennsylvania Avenue from the President’s
Square, to 26th Street west, ready to receive the
} =
To continue from the new Bridge down new-Jersey
Avenue, rounding it, so as to receive the Gravel
} =        

These last objects are unprovided for, and as we cannot execute the whole, we solicit your Determination respecting the choice, should we be enabled to expend a few hundred Dollars more than the Sum calculated.

We have the satisfaction of informing you that the Brick-work of the chamber of Representatives advances with such rapidity, that the whole will be finished ready for the Roof by the end of next Week, & the Roof is in forwardness.

Previous to the departure of our Colleague, Mr White, for Winchester, some Days ago, he joined in our opinion respecting the propriety of making this statement, as soon as the proper returns were collected.

We have the honor to be, Sir, with sentiments of the highest respect and consideration, Yr. Mo. Obt. Servts.

William Thornton

Tristram Dalton

RC (DLC); at foot of text: “President of the United-States”; in William Brent’s hand, signed by Thornton and Dalton; endorsed by TJ as received 27 Aug. and so recorded in SJL. FC (DNA: RG 42, DCLB).

In a letter to TJ of 20 Aug., Alexander White announced his imminent departure for Winchester for “particular business” and his anticipated return on 5 or 6 Sep. (RC in DLC; at foot of text: “President of the U. States”; endorsed by TJ as received 27 Aug. and so recorded in SJL).

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