Thomas Jefferson Papers

Notes on Building the Jail, [June 1802]

Notes on Building the Jail

[June 1802]

Notes for building the jail

Walls. to be built of granite 2. f. thick
the mortar half of good lime in all the walls
half of clean gritty sand in all the inner walls
one fourth of clean gritty sand
one fourth of fine sifted gravel from
the beach of the Potomac
} for the outer walls
overcast on the outside with plaister of Paris
plaistered & white washed within.
Roof. to have rafters 9. I. apart. raised 2/9 of it’s span hipped at the
ends. covered with slate

entablature, a regular Tuscan from Palladio.

Floor. of upper rooms. joists 9. I. apart 4. I. thick.
countersealed with brickbatts grouted.
paved with thin tile.
of Cells. a horizontal pavement first laid down on earth1 of
the largest peices of granite.
on this pieces of granite 2 f. wide, & of any thickness &
length laid edge up & grouted, so that the upper edges
shall form an even floor.
of the jailor’s lower room to be filled with earth & paved with
of the passages. to be arched with brick & paved with brick
over that.2 the passages under the ground floor, being arched above,
are to be left open, and a hole of 9. I. square
communicating to every necessary, that they may be cleansed
a semicircular aperture at the end of the passage through the
underpinning large enough for a man to enter.
the necessary within each cell to be a circular hole in the
floor 9 I. diameter, barred across thus with a lid
shutting smooth with the floor
Doors. 3 f. by 6 f3 single iron grated doors for the 2. outer doors, the two
passage doors below & 6. doors above
double grated doors for all the cells on the South side of the passage 16
a single grat[ed] […] [for each] of the North cells […]
Windows. 3. f. square, double iron grated below (except in the
jailor’s room, [single] […]
single grated above, […]
window shutters to all strong 34
fireplaces. the cells adjoining the jailor’s room to have fireplaces.
the jailor’s room below & all the
rooms above to have them
} with grates for coal
all the flues to issue in 4 shafts on the ridge pole & to be
barred in 2. places 2. f. one above the other

a right to be reserved to make changes at any time at the rates agreed for similar work, and where none such is in the agreement, to be arbitrated

PrC (DLC: TJ Papers, 124:41561); torn; faint; entirely in TJ’s hand; endorsed by TJ in ink on verso: “Jail.”

Daniel C. Brent began advertising for proposals for BUILDING THE JAIL in Washington on 30 June. Sealed proposals would be received until 7 July at Brent’s office in Stelle’s Hotel, where a plan of the jail, “the references thereto, and the manner in which the work is to be executed, may be seen there at any time” (National Intelligencer, 30 June 1802; Alexandria Times; and District of Columbia Daily Advertiser, 1 July 1802).

1Preceding two words interlined.

2TJ here canceled “[…] the […] of the floor of the passage, to be open.”

3Preceding dimensions interlined.

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