Thomas Jefferson Papers

Thomas Jefferson to Hugh Chisholm, 31 August 1817

To Hugh Chisholm

Poplar Forest Aug. 31. 17.

Dear Sir

I have duly recieved your letters of the 10th & 23d and am glad to learn that the bricks are in such forwardness. I wish you would by every week’s mail drop a line stating what the progress then is. I am anxious to know that the cellars are dug, and their walls commenced laying. but be careful to inform me in time and exactly by what day you will have got the walls up to the surface of the earth; because there mr Knight must begin, and by that day I will make it a point to be in Albemarle, and have him there.

I take no interest in the partnership I suggested to you1 other than as I supposed it would be agreeable. however, in acting for myself I might indulge partialities, I have no right to do so in a public concern. to have the work done in the best manner, is the first object, and the second to have it done at a fair price for both parties. I have offers from some of the best workmen in Lynchburg. the finest plaisterer I have ever seen in this state is anxious to undertake with us. I consider it as the interest of the College the town and neighborhood to introduce a reform of the barbarous workmanship hitherto practised there, and to raise us to a level with the rest of the country. on a trip to the Natural bridge, I found such brickwork and stone-work as cannot be seen in Albemarle. I hope we shall take a higher stand, and do justice to the high advantages that particular portion of our state possesses.

Accept my respects & best wishes

Th: Jefferson

PoC (ViU: TJP); on verso of reused address cover of James Ligon (for Patrick Gibson) to TJ, 11 Aug. 1817; at foot of text: “Mr Chisolm”; endorsed by TJ.

The finest plaisterer was probably Joseph Antrim, to whom TJ paid $12 for thirty-six yards of plastering work on 30 Aug. 1817 (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 , 2:1338).

1Preceding two words interlined.

Index Entries

  • Antrim, Joseph; and plastering for Central College search
  • Antrim, Joseph; TJ pays search
  • Central College; brickmasons for search
  • Central College; cellars at search
  • Central College; plasterers for search
  • Chisholm, Hugh; and brickwork for Central College search
  • Chisholm, Hugh; letters to search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Travels; to Natural Bridge search
  • Knight, David; and brickwork for Central College search
  • Natural Bridge, Va.; TJ visits search