Thomas Jefferson Papers

Christopher Anthony to Thomas Jefferson, 27 July 1819

From Christopher Anthony

Lynchburg July 27 1819


The bearer hereof Mr Gorman a stone cutter by trade has been employed for uppwards twelve months in the marble quarry near this place: Having had no direct agency in the managment of the business myself, I have but little personal knowledge of his conduct, but have been informed by my Brother, (whose information is fully confirmed by our observation as far as it gos) that he is an industrious man and a good workman.

Mr Gorman wishes employment as a stone cutter at the university: at his solicitation I have taken the liberty of addressing this letter to you. I am fully of opinion he will faithfully perform whatever engagment he may make.

I remain your most obedient humble sevant

Christopher Anthony

RC (ViU: PP); endorsed by Arthur S. Brockenbrough: “C. Anthony Recom: J. Gorman.” RC (ViU: TJP-ER); address cover only; with PoC of TJ to Martha Jefferson Randolph, 24 Aug. 1819, on verso; addressed: “Thomas Jefferson esquire now in Bedford”; endorsed by TJ as received the day it was written and so recorded in SJL.

Christopher Anthony (1776–1835), attorney and public official, was born in Bedford County. In about 1798 he moved to Richmond and worked as a merchant, and in 1803 he relocated to Goochland County and continued in the mercantile line. Anthony served on the jury in Aaron Burr’s treason trial in Richmond in 1807. After he became a magistrate in Goochland and acquired a slave, he was expelled in 1808 from the Society of Friends. Turning away from business, Anthony studied law and was licensed to practice in 1810, after which he moved permanently to Lynchburg and became a prominent attorney. He represented Campbell County in the Virginia House of Delegates for one session, 1816–17, and he served on Lynchburg’s Anti-Jackson Committee of Vigilance and Correspondence in 1832. In his will Anthony listed assets he valued in excess of $20,000, including four town lots in Lynchburg, a 320-acre plantation, a saw- and gristmill, and twenty-one slaves (Margaret Anthony Cabell, Sketches and Recollections of Lynchburg by the Oldest Inhabitant (Mrs. Cabell) 1858 [1858; repr. with additional material by Louise A. Blunt, 1974], 38–55; William Wade Hinshaw and others, Encyclopedia of American Quaker Genealogy [1936–50; repr. 1969–77], 6:153, 227, 295; David Robertson, Reports of the Trials of Colonel Aaron Burr [Philadelphia, 1808], 1:422–6, 430; Campbell Co. Order Book, 10:99; Leonard, General Assembly description begins Cynthia Miller Leonard, comp., The General Assembly of Virginia, July 30, 1619–January 11, 1978: A Bicentennial Register of Members, 1978 description ends , 285; Lynchburg Virginian, 11 Oct. 1832; Lynchburg Hustings and Corporation Court Will Book, B:175–9, 224–9, 259–90; Richmond Enquirer, 13 Oct. 1835; gravestone inscription in Presbyterian Cemetery, Lynchburg).

John Gorman (ca. 1786–1827), stonecutter, was born in Ireland and lived in Lynchburg by 1818. The next year he moved to Charlottesville, where he did stonework on the pavilions, several hotels, and the Rotunda at the University of Virginia. Gorman installed capitals and the bases of columns for TJ on the west portico of Monticello in 1823. In 1821 he declared his intention to become a citizen of the United States. Late in his time spent working at the university, Gorman developed a reputation for poor work habits and insobriety. He bought a slave and household wares at the 1827 Monticello estate sale but died in debt shortly thereafter (Letter of Recommendation for Gorman from William J. Lewis, John E. Woodson, and Jonathan Bailey, 26 July 1819 [ViU: LRW]; Lay, Architecture description begins K. Edward Lay, The Architecture of Jefferson Country: Charlottesville and Albemarle County, Virginia, 2000 description ends , 96, 99, 309; 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 , 2:1392, 1394; Albemarle Co. Order Book [1820–21], 424; Arthur S. Brockenbrough to TJ, 29 Apr. 1826; John H. Cocke to Brockenbrough, 17 July 1826 [ViU: PP]; Gorman’s Bill from Monticello Estate Sale, [after 19 Jan. 1827] [ViU: TJP-JK]; Charlottesville Virginia Advocate, 25 Aug. 1827, 16 Feb. 1828; gravestone inscription in Riverview Cemetery, Charlottesville).

Index Entries

  • Anthony, Christopher; identified search
  • Anthony, Christopher; letter from search
  • Anthony, Christopher; recommends J. Gorman search
  • building materials; marble search
  • Gorman, John; as stonecutter search
  • Gorman, John; identified search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Correspondence; letters of application and recommendation to search
  • marble; in Va. search
  • patronage; letters of application and recommendation to TJ search
  • quarries; in Va. search
  • Virginia, University of; Construction and Grounds; stonecutters for search
  • Virginia; quarries in search