Thomas Jefferson Papers

Thomas Jefferson to Edmund Meeks, 19 July 1819

To Edmund Meeks

Poplar Forest July 19. 19


When I left home, I was not certain whether the sawing was done here,1 which I wished you to work up. I find however that it is done. I wish you therefore to come with the three carpenters under you, as soon as they have done what I directed. that is to say, they were to assist in cleaning out the canel on the other side of the river, and to put in the sleepers of the North pavilion & secure all the plank & sheff belonging to it: Jefferson had also something to be done which I wish you to do. It is so inconvenient for the house to spare the little mule & cart, and so few tools will be wanting here that they may bring them on their shoulders. they will need 2. hand saws, 2. jack planes, 2 pr chissels broad & narrow, some augers for common framing, a foot adze, and one of the narrow adzes which were made here to dig gutturs in the joists. these things divided among three will weigh little. let them bring their own provision for the road. I bear your travelling expences. at Brown’s in Warren, at the ferry there, at Noah Flood’s, Henry Flood’s, and Hunter’s, they will charge your expences to me, or you may get money of mr Bacon on my account as you chuse. I tender you my good wishes & respects.

Th: Jefferson

PoC (MHi); on verso of reused address cover to TJ; at foot of text: “Mr Meeks”; endorsed by TJ.

Edmund Meeks (ca. 1792–1854), carpenter, was a native of Virginia. TJ employed him as head carpenter at Monticello from 1819 to 1823 at an annual wage of “600. ℔ pork & £45.” Meeks was still in Albemarle County in 1830, but he moved by 1840 to Alleghany County and by 1850 to Monroe County (later in West Virginia), where he died (Edmund Bacon to TJ, [before 1 Aug. 1820]; 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 , esp. 2:1357, 1359, 1401; DNA: RG 29, CS, Albemarle Co., 1830, Alleghany Co., 1840, Monroe Co., 1850; Monroe Co. Death Register [Wv-Ar]).

sheff (sheaf): “a certain quantity of timber” (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 ). jefferson: Thomas Jefferson Randolph.

1Word interlined, with caret mistakenly inserted after the comma.

Index Entries

  • adzes search
  • augers search
  • Bacon, Edmund; pays TJ’s expenses search
  • Brown, William (of Warren); tavern of search
  • building materials; lumber search
  • building materials; plank search
  • carts; for transportation between Monticello and Poplar Forest search
  • chisels search
  • Flood’s Ordinary (Buckingham Co.; proprietor Henry Flood) search
  • Flood’s Ordinary (Buckingham Co.; proprietor Noah Flood) search
  • Hunter, Robert; Campbell Co. innkeeper search
  • lumber; used at Poplar Forest search
  • Meeks, Edmund; as carpenter search
  • Meeks, Edmund; identified search
  • Meeks, Edmund; letter to search
  • Monticello (TJ’s Albemarle Co. estate); mules at search
  • Monticello (TJ’s Albemarle Co. estate); North Pavilion search
  • Monticello (TJ’s Albemarle Co. estate); slaves at search
  • mules; at Monticello search
  • planes (woodworking) search
  • Poplar Forest (TJ’s Bedford Co. estate); builders at search
  • Poplar Forest (TJ’s Bedford Co. estate); lumber for search
  • Poplar Forest (TJ’s Bedford Co. estate); slaves at search
  • Randolph, Thomas Jefferson (TJ’s grandson; Jane Hollins Nicholas Randolph’s husband); work done for search
  • saws; handsaws search
  • slaves; travels of search
  • tools; adzes search
  • tools; augers search
  • tools; chisels search
  • tools; handsaws search
  • tools; planes (woodworking) search
  • Warren, Va.; ferry at search