Thomas Jefferson Papers
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Thomas Appleton to Thomas Jefferson, 7 July 1821

From Thomas Appleton

Leghorn 7. July 1821—

dear Sir

Your duplicate letters of 16. April, both reach’d my hands on the 1st of the present month, by Gibr & London; & by a singular combination, on the same day—I have also rec’d one from Mr Saml Williams of London, inclosing a bill on Leghorn for the proceeds of an exchange, remitted to him, by Mr Bernard Peyton. this bill discounted here, has produced net, one thousand Six hundred & eighty three Spanish dollars.1—the present letter will inform you, en abrègè, all that may be requisite; but not so detail’d, as I wish’d, for I must avail myself of a vessel which departs to-day for Boston, only having obtain’d this morning, the information from the contractor, to reply to your letter.—In the course of the week, I shall pay Mde Pini 444–Doll—& by the first succeeding opportunity, I shall forward you, her receipt.—On writing to a friend at Carrara, to inform Madme Raggi, of the money destin’d for her use, I was greatly Surpris’d to learn, that she died about three months since; the painful task of communicating this distressing information to her husband, must devolve, of course, on yourself; for it seems, the relatives, had determin’d to conceal it, from him; thus the Sum destin’d for her use, must remain in my hands, for your future disposal.—agreeably to my letter of 10r of October last.

Doll  Sp: Doll.
4 cor: cap: of  25210 english  in: dim: diam. of Column.— 180 720 .—
2 idem 20810  id   id       110 220
2 Mezzo id  id  id          70 140
4 Ionic id  26½  id          60 240
6. id id 2618  id          55 330
The expences of cases are invariably to the
charge of2 the purchaser
}  Say about 50
Spanish dollars— 1700 .—
To comply with the last Sentence of your instructions,
as there must be additional marble, & Some considerable3 extra work
to adapt them, agreeably to your request, to the brick columns
& which were not anticipated by me,4 I find the lowest price
requir’d by the contractor, will be on the 18 columns5 say
200 .—
Sp: Dollars— 1900

You will observe, Sir, in my letter of 10r Octr it is express’d, that the capitels are to be deliver’d here in 5 months after the reception of your order, & this is the shortest possible period; thus they will be in Leghorn in December—it may then require, all that month to find a proper conveyance to the U. S. So I should judge, they may be at monticello in all march.—Be assur’d, Sir, that every attention will be paid that your explanatory instructions may be fulfill’d, though your last Sentence, adds much to the labour & expence6—I have translated them faithfully into italian, & they will be, under the eyes of the contractor.—I have only, this morning rec’d the estimate of the cost of 10 cor: cap. & 8 mezzo. cap. of 32410 in: dim: diameter—they are indeed of a great Size, & will require nine months to compleat7—the increase of marble & labour is inconceivable to one8 not vers’d in Similar objects;9 thus they cannot be deliver’d here, at less than10 five hundred & thirty dollars each, for the whole capitels, & Two hundred & eighty dollars each for the mezzo capitels.—It may not be, perhaps, necessary to inform you, Sir, that the value of a block of marble, increases11 in the ratio of12 diamonds.—13

Thus then  10 capitels cost  530– Doll– each 5300 .—
  8 mezzo. id 280–    2240
7540 .—
18 cases probably Say 60
Spanish— 7600  Dollars—
for the capitels already order’d  say   1900
for those you may require say 7600
   Deduct Say receiv’d 1000
Sp: Dollars— 8500

Should you then remit this sum say 8500 Dollars to Saml Williams of London, whom I judge as Safe, as any man in Engd should there be found after, a fraction of balce due me, on the close of this commission I can, to save you the trouble of a 2nd remittance request you to pay it to a friend of mine in the U: S. & this will terminate the business. As in your inquiry of marble chimney pieces, you may have occasion, for your own use, is describ’d only to be “plain facings”—. without the dimensions I can only generally say, that plain ones, of common marble, may cost from 15 to 30 Dolls each, consisting of 4 members. the mantle, the frontispiece, & the two Side-columns14—in a word, Sir, when you shall inform me the dimensions, quality, & the price you will go to, I can only add, that the best possible, shall be Sent, for the price you may limit.—20 of similar work can be compleated in 3 months, or even less.15—If there should be requir’d any ornamentary vases, or emblematical Statues for the Summits, or nitches of your edifices,16 they can be furnish’d at moderate17 prices, as the quality of the marble, & the distance from18 which they are Seen, require only an ordinary quality & a Second order of workmen. Marble Squares for paving of vestibules or Arcades, of Say 12 inches Square, will cost here   Dolls the hundred Squares.—The Captain has now call’d for his papers, & compels me to close, with the renew’d expressions of my great respect & esteem

Th: Appleton

RC (DLC); endorsed by TJ as received 1 Oct. 1821 and so recorded in SJL. Dupl (DLC); varies from RC, with only the most significant differences noted below; endorsed by TJ as received 27 Oct. 1821. Dupl (DLC); address cover only; with Dft of TJ to James Monroe, 29 Mar. 1823, on verso; addressed: “To Thomas Jefferson, esq—Monticelli U:S: America”; stamped “SHIP”; franked; postmarked. Dft (Lb in NNGL); varies from RC and Dupl, with only the most significant differences noted below; at foot of text: “Sent by Roseway Capn Dill for Boston. 10 July—Sail’d direct for Boston Dupte by Schn Ranger Capt Hedge July 14—Sail’d via Cagliari & arriv’d in america 1st October.”

en abrègè: “in brief.”

1Dupl here adds “say 1683. which Still leaves you a Small benefit, although the charges in London, for discounting postage &c were £8 Stg.” Similar addition in Dft.

2Dupl and Dft: “cases, it is invariably customary to charge.”

3Word interlined. Dupl: “a very considerable.” Dft follows RC.

4Instead of preceding two words, Dupl reads “in my letter of 10r of Octr.”

5Dupl: “capitels.”

6Text from “though” to this point interlined in Dft. Dupl: “labour, & hindrance of the workmen.”

7Dupl and Dft here add “from the reception of your order.” In Dft canceled phrase follows: “each capitel will require 240 Palms of 10 inches of marble, & which <on the Spot> at the Quarry of Carrara, will cost abut 150 Dollars & the labour of 2 master workmen 4 months on each capitel.”

8Manuscript: “to one to one.”

9Preceding fifteen words not in Dupl or Dft.

10Reworked in Dft from “can be delivered at.”

11Sentence to this point in Dft reads “The price of a block of marble, increases in value.” Dupl follows Dft, omitting “a block of.”

12Preceding four words interlined in Dft in place of “like.”

13Dupl here adds “and without being conversant, with the block requir’d for certain dimensions, it is difficult to conceive the measure of one requisite for so large a Size as 32410 inches diminish’d diameter of the column.” Similar addition in Dft.

14Instead of text from “each” to this point, Dupl reads “according to the kind you may require.” Dft ends sentence with “each.”

15Preceding three words not in Dupl or Dft.

16Dupl here adds “as you will have observ’d, are in almost all the Edifices of Palladio, both public & private.” Similar addition in Dft.

17Dupl and Dft: “very moderate.”

18RC: “form.” Dupl and Dft: “from.”

Index Entries

  • Appleton, Thomas; account with TJ search
  • Appleton, Thomas; and capitals for University of Virginia search
  • Appleton, Thomas; and families of G. Raggi and M. Raggi search
  • Appleton, Thomas; and marble for TJ search
  • Appleton, Thomas; and P. Mazzei’s estate search
  • Appleton, Thomas; letters from search
  • building materials; bricks search
  • building materials; chimneypieces search
  • building materials; marble search
  • building materials; marble, Carrara search
  • Dill, Mr. (ship captain) search
  • Hedge, Warren (ship captain) search
  • Italy; marble from search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Business &amp; Financial Affairs; account with T. Appleton search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Business &amp; Financial Affairs; debt to P. Mazzei search
  • marble; Carrara search
  • marble; chimneypieces search
  • marble; for University of Virginia search
  • Mazzei, Philip; TJ’s debt to search
  • Palladio, Andrea; referenced search
  • Peyton, Bernard; payments made for TJ search
  • Pini, Elisabetta Mazzei (Philip Mazzei’s daughter; Andrea Pini’s wife); and P. Mazzei’s estate search
  • Raggi, Giacomo; family of search
  • Raggi, Mrs. (Giacomo Raggi’s wife); death of search
  • Ranger (schooner) search
  • Roseway (schooner) search
  • Virginia, University of; Construction and Grounds; capitals for search
  • Virginia, University of; Construction and Grounds; marble for search
  • Williams, Samuel (ca.1759–1841); and remittances to T. Appleton search