Thomas Jefferson Papers

John Richardson to Thomas Jefferson, 16 January 1810

From John Richardson

Poplar Forres, Jenuary 16th 1810


My being desireous to inform you in wrighting, My fulfilment, in Complying With your direction that you left with Mr Perry, I have used Every Exertion To finish the plastering before this date But finding it ought of my power It being solely from bad mannagmint in Mr griffin I had no other assistance but phill, which he had Every thing to put in place, And put in order before I Could do any thing, Mr griffin gave himself no troughble about nothing when he wair not interested, as he has frequently told me when I would make application to him, his answer to me would be, that if I did not make my man phill do what I want done, It mought go ondone, on munday we had some words respecting his Conduct to me, which I am Confident will be dissegreeable to you when you heare it, But as dissegreable as It is, I am in hops you will Excuse me if I should mention some of them, the numerous quantity of his Connection that lives upon you weekly, Is a proventitve of my living as a macanick, and withall there is two familys to be served before I Can be admitted, and has been Ever since I have been at the forres, which I am Confident you are not apprised off, I have quited for several reasons which I will inform you, there is too much party work going on here, which you are not apprised of, which wounds my feeling to think your property are Confiscatid in such a manner and you know nothing about it. Lastly I Cannot persuade Mr griffin to git lime, had there been lime I would1 have finish if I had to bord myself untill it wair Compleat, There is nothing more I Can do untill further orders from you, the Center room to plaster and the west room, I remain your devoted and Very humble Servant

John Richardson

RC (MHi); at foot of text: “Colo. Thomas Jefferson”; endorsed by TJ as received 31 Jan. 1810 and so recorded in SJL.

John Richardson (1762–1840), plasterer, served as a private in the Continental army during the Revolutionary War, married Mary Terrell in Campbell County in 1782, and eventually moved to Highland County, Ohio (DNA: RG 15, RWP; National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution, DAR Patriot Index [1994], 3:2458; John H. Gwathmey, Historical Register of Virginians in the Revolution [1938], 662; Lucy Harrison Baber and Hazel L. Williamson, Marriages of Campbell County Virginia, 1782–1810 [1980], 82).

On 11 Apr. 1810 TJ arranged to pay Richardson $51 for the plastering work he had done at Poplar Forest (MB description begins James A. Bear Jr. and Lucia C. Stanton, eds., Jefferson’s Memorandum Books: Accounts, with Legal Records and Miscellany, 1767–1826, 1997, The Papers of Thomas Jefferson, Second Series description ends , 2:1255).

1Manuscript: “hould.”

Index Entries

  • Griffin, Burgess; Poplar Forest overseer search
  • Hubbard, Phill (TJ’s slave); works at Poplar Forest search
  • lime (mineral); at Poplar Forest search
  • overseers; plantation management by search
  • Perry, Reuben; TJ’s carpenter search
  • Poplar Forest (TJ’s Bedford Co. estate); mismanagement at search
  • Poplar Forest (TJ’s Bedford Co. estate); Overseers at; plantation management by search
  • Poplar Forest (TJ’s Bedford Co. estate); plastering at search
  • Richardson, John; identified search
  • Richardson, John; letters from search
  • Richardson, John; on B. Griffin search
  • Richardson, John; TJ pays search
  • Richardson, John; works at Poplar Forest search