Thomas Jefferson Papers

Enclosure: Arthur S. Brockenbrough to the University of Virginia Board of Visitors, 26 November 1821


Arthur S. Brockenbrough to the University of Virginia Board of Visitors

Proctors Office, November 26, 1821.


In compliance with the duty enjoined on me, I now lay before you, the following report of the state and condition of the buildings of the University of Virginia, accompanied with a statement of the amount of the Proctor’s drafts on the Bursar for the last 12 or 14 months, and the balance that will be required to complete the unfinished buildings and their appendages. The estimates that are made on those that are unfinished, are put down at the average cost of others that are finished and prices fixed.—There may be some little variation in the cost of the unfinished buildings, but not to materially affect the estimates. You will find the balance required to complete the present buildings, exceeds the former estimates. If this was a novel case in building, I should feel much chagrined at it; but as we have numerous precedents before us in all great public works, and indeed in all large private buildings, (occasioned by innumerable contingent and other expences that man cannot foresee, and which is known to all that are any way conversant in building).1 I am the better satisfied, as it cannot be expected, that I should be freer from error in estimates than others, (many of whom have much more experience) and where so much is left for conjecture. The present funds at the disposal of the Visitors, will, it is hoped, be found adequate, to complete what has heretofore been contracted for; all engagements have been made with an eye to economy.

The following is the present state of the buildings:—

Pavilions.—Of the ten directed by law for the accommodation of the Professors, seven of them are so nearly completed, that a few days notice to complete the painting, would be sufficient to put them in a proper state for the reception of the intended occupants; the other three are so far advanced in wood work, that the plaistering may be done as early in the spring as the weather will permit; you may calculate on their being finished by autumn.

Hotels, or Boarding Houses.—Three of those buildings are now complete for the reception of tenants; three more, including the one for the residence of the Proctor, which may be converted into a boarding house in a short time, if circumstances should require it, are so far advanced, that you may calculate on them also by the beginning of autumn; they are calculated to dine about fifty students each.

Dormitories.—There are one hundred and nine of those rooms, intended for students; fifty-one of which are plaistered and finished; twenty-two ready for plaistering; and thirteen others that will be ready by the spring; the balance twenty-three, that may be calculated on by midsummer, which will complete the establishment, as far as I have been directed to contract.

I am, gentlemen, Most respectfully, Your obedient humble servant,


Printed in Report and Documents for 1821 description begins Report and Documents respecting the University of Virginia, Richmond, 1821, containing a 29 Nov. 1821 report by the Board of Visitors and supporting documents description ends , 32; between dateline and salutation: “To the Rector and Visitors of the University of Virginia.” Also enclosed in Brockenbrough to TJ, 25 Nov. 1821, and TJ to Thomas Mann Randolph, 4 Dec. 1821. Enclosures: enclosures no. 8 and 9 below.

The hotel intended for the residence of the proctor was later designated Hotel E.

1Period editorially moved outside parenthesis.

Index Entries

  • Brockenbrough, Arthur Spicer; as University of Virginia proctor search
  • Brockenbrough, Arthur Spicer; letter from, to University of Virginia Board of Visitors search
  • Garrett, Alexander; as University of Virginia bursar search
  • Literary Fund; University of Virginia Board of Visitors reports to search
  • Virginia, University of; Board of Visitors; annual reports of search
  • Virginia, University of; Board of Visitors; letters to, from A. S. Brockenbrough search
  • Virginia, University of; Construction and Grounds; building costs search
  • Virginia, University of; Construction and Grounds; dormitory rooms search
  • Virginia, University of; Construction and Grounds; Hotel E search
  • Virginia, University of; Construction and Grounds; hotels search
  • Virginia, University of; Construction and Grounds; pavilions search
  • Virginia, University of; Construction and Grounds; progress of search