Thomas Jefferson Papers

Benjamin Henry Latrobe to Thomas Jefferson, 28 October 1817

From Benjamin Henry Latrobe

Washington, Octr 28h 1817

Dear Sir

I thank you for your letter of the   , & am much gratified by the approbation you express of my drawings. I hope you will do me the favor to let me know which of the pavilions you approve for your first work of next spring; with a sketch of its dimensions and its plan, that I may send you the working drawings & the details at large.

Some months ago, I sent to Jefferson & Gibson of Richmond a box for you, containing a Capital composed of Tobacco leaves & flowers. It is a cheap one, & of course cannot be expected to have great effect. If you can find a place for it, I would recommend that it be painted, & that the leaves of the upper tier, be colored in the lower part with a faint brown, (umber) as I shall do in the rotunda of 16 Columns in the North wing1 of the Capitol, in which I have applied them. Otherwise they do not sufficiently distinguish themselves.

We are getting on with the Capitol, as well as we can under a system not calculated for dispatch. Nothing but want of time has prevented my making for you a set of plans showing all the changes which the interior of the Capitol has undergone, much, I think, for the better accomodation of both houses of Congress.

Believe me with sincere attachment & respect Yrs

B Henry Latrobe.—

RC (DLC); endorsed by TJ as received 4 Nov. 1817 and so recorded in SJL. RC (DLC); address cover only; with PoC of TJ to John Trumbull, 8 Jan. 1818, on verso; addressed: “Thos Jefferson Esqr Monticello”; franked; postmarked Georgetown, 31 Oct.

1Manuscript: “Northwing.”

Index Entries

  • Capitol, U.S.; B. H. Latrobe works on search
  • Capitol, U.S.; tobacco-leaf capitals for search
  • Central College; designs for search
  • Gibson & Jefferson (Richmond firm); transports goods search
  • Latrobe, Benjamin Henry; and capitals (architectural) search
  • Latrobe, Benjamin Henry; and Central College design search
  • Latrobe, Benjamin Henry; drawings by search
  • Latrobe, Benjamin Henry; letters from search
  • Latrobe, Benjamin Henry; works on U.S. Capitol search
  • tobacco; leaf capitals search