Thomas Jefferson Papers

Thomas Jefferson to William A. Burwell, 25 December 1819

To William A. Burwell

Monticello Dec. 25. 19.

Dear Sir

In the execution of a law for surveying our coast, a mr Hassler was employed, and procured from London in 1815 a set of the necessary mathematical and Astronomical instruments. the survey I am told has been lately relinquished, and possibly the government having no particular use for them, might be willing to accomodate our University with these instruments, at a price reasonable for them and within our reach. this rests, I presume, with the Secretary of the treasury. will you do us the favor to inform yourself and us whether we can acquire them, and what was their cost? perhaps the Secretary would be so kind as to have a copy taken for us of the bill of their cost to be a guide to us hereafter, should we not get these.

[I thank?] you for the beautiful specimen of marble, and the employment of it will do honor to our country in all future time. I salute you with affection and respect.

Th: Jefferson

PoC (DLC); on verso of a reused address cover from Joseph C. Cabell to TJ; torn at seal, with three words rewritten by TJ; at foot of text: “Mr Burwell”; endorsed by TJ.

The secretary of the treasury was William H. Crawford.

Index Entries

  • Burwell, William Armistead; and scientific instruments for University of Virginia search
  • Burwell, William Armistead; in U.S. House of Representatives search
  • Burwell, William Armistead; letters to search
  • Burwell, William Armistead; sends marble specimen to TJ search
  • Crawford, William Harris; as secretary of the treasury search
  • Hassler, Ferdinand Rudolph; and instruments for U.S. Coast Survey search
  • marble; Potomac search
  • marble; sent to TJ search
  • scientific instruments; for U.S. Coast Survey search
  • scientific instruments; for University of Virginia search
  • Treasury Department, U.S.; and U.S. Coast Survey search
  • Virginia, University of; Faculty and Curriculum; scientific instruments for search