Thomas Jefferson Papers

From Thomas Jefferson to Thomas Claxton, 18 June 1802

To Thomas Claxton

Washington June 18. 1802.

Dear Sir

Your favor of the 13th. is recieved. the samples of straw floor cloths are beautiful, especially the finest one; but would not answer for the purpose I have in view which is to lay down on the floor of a dining room when the table is set, & be taken up, when the table is removed, merely to save a very handsome floor from grease & the scouring which that necessitates. the straw would fur up with the grease itself, & would also wear with such repeated rolling & unrolling. but I thank you much for your information of the cost of English painted cloth. at 3. dollars a square yard, the floor cloth would cost me 100.

D. which is far beyond the worth of the object.—

no doubt a Pianoforte would be a perfectly proper piece of furniture; but in the present state of our funds, they will be exhausted by articles more indispensable. before providing one also I should like to be still better assured by experience of the superiority of Hawkins’s method indeed he has invented a new instrument called a Claviole of high expectations.—our workman on the blinds goes on well. he reforms a window a day. Accept my respects & best wishes

Th: Jefferson

PrC (MHi); at foot of text: “Mr. Claxton”; endorsed by TJ in ink on verso.

Sometime after TJ received Claxton’s FAVOR OF THE 13TH, he made the following calculations under the heading “Prices”: “floor English painted canvas 3. D pr. cloth. sq. yard

the canvas itself before painted costs 1. D pr. sq. yard

Chinese straw floor cloth costs 67. cents pr. sq. yard.”

(MS in DLC; undated; entirely in TJ’s hand; with TJ’s note at foot of text: “see Claxton’s lre from Phila June 13. 1802”).

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