Thomas Jefferson Papers

Thomas Jefferson to Charles F. Kupfer, 15 June 1819

To Charles F. Kupfer

Monticel[l]o. June 15. 19.


On the 6th of May I wrote a letter (of which I inclose a copy) to messrs Smith and Riddle agents in Richmond for the manufactory of Window glass in Boston. it happened that they failed about the time of the date of my letter, but it was not known to me till some days after. as they have not sent me the glass therein requested, nor written to me, I presume I am not to expect the supply from them and therefore address myself to you directly. the delay which has already taken place will occasion me considerable suffering, as it is immediately wanting. I must therefore pray you to send it with all possible dispatch either to the same or any other agents to whom payment shall be immediately made or if you have not yet an agent appointed send the boxes to Capt Bernard Peyton of Richmond1 and the cost shall2 be remitted to yourselves. I inclose 2. cards to be nailed on their respective boxes which will sufficiently indicate to Capt Peyton how to forward each box.

The University we are building within 3. miles of this place will require between 4. and 5000. sq. feet of glass all 12. by 18.I.3 during the present and next year, and still largely afterwards. not so much this year as the next, having already recieved a considerable part for this year from Smith & Riddle. this renders a reappointment of agents for your manufactory at Richmond, interesting. I must ask the favor of a line as soon as you recieve this, informing me whether and when I may count on the arrival at Richmond of the supply now asked for, as it is indispensable that I should make sure of an immediate supply.4 I tender you my salutations and assurances of respect.

Th: Jefferson

PoC (ViU: TJP); on verso of reused address cover of Thomas Cooper to TJ, 18 Apr. 1819; dateline faint; at foot of text: “Mr Kupfer”; endorsed by TJ, in part, as written to Kupfer “at the Glass manufy Essex street Boston.” Enclosure: TJ to Smith & Riddle, 6 May 1819. Other enclosures not found.

Charles F. Kupfer (ca. 1767–1848), manufacturer and merchant, became the foreman and clerk of the Boston Crown Glass Company in 1793. The firm reorganized as the Boston Glass Manufactory in 1809, with Kupfer as one of the directors. After he left the company in 1824, he remained in Boston as a merchant and a director of the American Bank (Joan E. Kaiser, The Glass Industry in South Boston [2009], 7, 10, 233; Boston Commercial Gazette, 27 Mar. 1817; Independent Chronicle and Boston Patriot, 14 Apr. 1824; Boston Courier, 7 Sept. 1826; Boston Daily Atlas, 1 Aug. 1848, 12 Jan. 1849).

1Preceding two words interlined.

2Manuscript: “shal.”

3Preceding four words interlined.

4Omitted period at right margin editorially supplied.

Index Entries

  • Boston, Mass.; glass from search
  • Boston Glass Manufactory search
  • building materials; window glass search
  • glass, window; Boston search
  • glass, window; for University of Virginia search
  • glass, window; TJ orders search
  • Kupfer, Charles F.; and Boston Glass Manufactory search
  • Kupfer, Charles F.; identified search
  • Kupfer, Charles F.; letters to search
  • Peyton, Bernard; forwards goods for TJ search
  • Smith & Riddle (Richmond firm); and glass for TJ search
  • Smith & Riddle (Richmond firm); and glass for University of Virginia search
  • Virginia, University of; Construction and Grounds; building materials for search