Thomas Jefferson Papers

Matthew Brown to Thomas Jefferson, 10 December 1817

From Matthew Brown

10th Decbr 1817


Agreeably to an application Through Mr S. J. Harrisson To Build the Central College I make the Following proposition.

For making & Laying Common Brick finding all the materials &C, 15$ Pr thousand all hard, oil Brick 30$ Rubed & guaged work 10/6 Pr foot Superficial measure Cornice & parepet walls 25 Cts Pr foot Runing measure Extra

the time mention In which half of the work to be Done is too Short but the whole may be Completed In good time In full on say by 1st November 1818—which is safe—for Brick work on account of Frost

Matt, Brown

RC (ViU: TJP); dateline beneath signature; addressed: “Mr Thomas Jefferson Poplar Forest”; inconsistently endorsed by TJ as received 9 Dec. 1817 from Lynchburg.

Matthew Brown (born ca. 1775), bricklayer and farmer, lived in Albemarle County by 1804 and in Lynchburg by 1817. He worked in Charlottesville the next year doing brickwork for what would become the University of Virginia, later returning to Lynchburg. In 1833 Brown had a tavern in Amherst County. In 1850 he was a farmer in the same place, where he paid personal property taxes through the following year (Channing Bolton Brown, Book of Brown: The History of a Family [1967], 17–8; Woods, Albemarle description begins Edgar Woods, Albemarle County in Virginia, 1901, repr. 1991 description ends , 92–3, 154; Richmond Enquirer, 21 Aug. 1810; 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, 2 vols., The Papers of Thomas Jefferson, Second Series description ends , 2:1371; Brown to Nelson Barksdale, 29 Sept., 19 Dec. 1818 [ViU: PP]; Lynchburg Virginian, 4 July 1833; DNA: RG 29, CS, Amherst Co., 1850; Vi: RG 48, Personal Property Tax Returns, Amherst Co., 1851).

Rubbed (rubed) brick is “a soft clay brick with a smooth polished surface, chiefly used for ornamental and high-quality brickwork,” while gauged (guaged) brick is “cut or rubbed accurately to a uniform size” (OED description begins James A. H. Murray, J. A. Simpson, E. S. C. Weiner, and others, eds., The Oxford English Dictionary, 2d ed., 1989, 20 vols. description ends ).

Index Entries

  • Brown, Matthew; and brickwork for Central College search
  • Brown, Matthew; identified search
  • Brown, Matthew; letters from search
  • building materials; bricks search
  • Central College; brickmasons for search
  • Harrison, Samuel Jordan; and brickmasons for Central College search
  • weather; frost search