Thomas Jefferson Papers

Benjamin Henry Latrobe to Thomas Jefferson, 20 November 1817

From Benjamin Henry Latrobe

Washington Novr 20t 1817

Dear Sir,

Your letter has remained a week unanswered in consequence of my absence, but immediately on my return I wrote (yesterday)1 to Philadelphia, desired one of the Carpenter’s pricebooks to be sent to You, which I have no doubt will be done without Loss of time.—

I am under the necessity of resigning my situation at the Capitol. The present Commissioner Colonel Lane, has from the first week, treated me as his Clerk, & certainly not with the delicacy with which I treat my mechanics. The public have sufferred beyond calculation by the effects of the system, & more by its administration. I will not trespass upon your time to explain, but perhaps some enquiry made by made in2 Congress on the subject. I have had no access to the President since the first days of his Administration, during which he acted in regard to the public Works with a justice & decision, which in spite of the Commissioner, has given us this incomparable marble. I shall ever revere his character, as then exhibited.—

I shall probably reside in Baltimore where I am building the Exchange, unless I could Succeed Mr Baldwin in Virginia

Most truly Yrs

B H Latrobe

RC (DLC); at head of text: “Thos Jefferson Esqe”; endorsed by TJ as received 23 Dec. 1817 and so recorded in SJL.

For Latrobe’s description of the marble used in the United States Capitol, see his letter to TJ of 28 June 1817.

1Omitted closing parenthesis editorially supplied.

2Thus in manuscript, with “may be made in” possibly intended.

Index Entries

  • Baldwin, Loammi; engineer to Va. Board of Public Works search
  • Baltimore, Md.; Merchants’ Exchange building search
  • books; of builders’ prices search
  • building materials; marble search
  • Capitol, U.S.; B. H. Latrobe works on search
  • Capitol, U.S.; construction and repair of search
  • Capitol, U.S.; marble for search
  • Lane, Samuel; as commissioner of public buildings search
  • Latrobe, Benjamin Henry; and builders’ prices search
  • Latrobe, Benjamin Henry; letters from search
  • Latrobe, Benjamin Henry; resigns from work on U.S. Capitol search
  • Latrobe, Benjamin Henry; works on Baltimore Merchants’ Exchange search
  • marble; for U.S. Capitol search
  • Monroe, James; and U.S. Capitol construction search
  • Philadelphia; builders’ prices in search