Thomas Jefferson Papers

William J. Coffee to Thomas Jefferson, 5 January 1820

From William J. Coffee

new York 5th Jan 1820

Honoured Sir

After having promised to see you in person and to undertake the management of one of your Cisterns in Nov last, I Can Scarcely tell what to Say in extenuation unless it is to beg pardon if I have given any disappointment; the fact is, time has so Slipped thro’ my fingers in a manner I cannot well account for, and untill the present1 moment, I have not had the Satisfaction of informing you that I have at last finishd my Labours, with regard to those models in terra Cotta which your taste in the fine Arts has done me the Honour to patronize; they are on the 23–Decr2 Shipped on board the Schooner Rising States, & Consigned to Captain Peyton to whom I must beg your goodness to write that they may be carefully conveyed to monticello.3 I must also take the liberty of requesting you to Inform mr Randolph and Mrs Bankhead as to the tenor of this letter; & untill I have the Pleasure of Seeing you which I hope will be very Soon, be pleased to Accept my best wishes.

Sr. I am Respectfully Yours

William J: Coffee

NB  In One of the Cases are two Busts of mr Jefferson Randolph, one of which I have the Pleasure of requesting mrs Randolphs Acceptance

RC (DLC); endorsed by TJ as received 16 Jan. 1820 and so recorded in SJL.

Coffee had offered in November 1818, not nov last, to come to Monticello and oversee work on its cisterns (Coffee’s Memorandum on Roman Cement, [ca. 7 Nov. 1818], enclosed in Coffee to TJ, 7 Nov. 1818).

1Word interlined as “preset.”

2Preceding four words interlined with no insertion mark.

3Omitted period at right margin editorially supplied.

Index Entries

  • Bankhead, Ann (Anne) Cary Randolph (TJ’s granddaughter; Charles Lewis Bankhead’s wife); and W. J. Coffee’s terra-cotta busts search
  • cisterns; at Monticello search
  • Coffee, William John; and cisterns at Monticello search
  • Coffee, William John; letters from search
  • Coffee, William John; terra-cotta busts by search
  • Monticello (TJ’s Albemarle Co. estate); cisterns at search
  • Peyton, Bernard; and goods for TJ search
  • Randolph, Mr.; and W. J. Coffee’s terra-cotta busts search
  • Randolph, Mrs.; and W. J. Coffee’s terra-cotta busts search
  • Randolph, Thomas Jefferson (TJ’s grandson; Jane Hollins Nicholas Randolph’s husband); W. J. Coffee’s terra-cotta bust of search
  • Rising States (schooner) search
  • sculpture; W. J. Coffee’s terra-cotta busts search