Thomas Jefferson Papers

James Oldham to Thomas Jefferson, 3 January 1822

From James Oldham

University January 3–1822.


Since the 2 of November last I have repetedly solicited a settlement of my worke with the Proctor, of this fact, their is evidence—on yesterday I renewed the subject again when he positively refused to do any thing with it—and decleared that I should not receive one cent of pay until it suted him to give it—I am advised to make an appeale to Mr Jefferson and to give a statement of the Condition of my worke which will be seen in the following memorandum—

Pavilion 1—finished inside, except the handrail which is redy and will be finished in one day when I receive the Locks and Hinges to complete the doors—

The 4 dormitories ajoining finished and have been occupied during the summer—the Closet doors are unhung—Hotel A east finished complete one week before the meteing of the bord of visitors—locks & hinges wanting and have been repeetedly asked for—

The 9 Dormitories, the floors are all finished and the inside worke nearely all prepared—all the sashes for these ware made in June last and those for the Hotel made in the month of may, not one of them Glaized—

Hotel A, West, all the sashes glaized and fited compleet, the cornice all prepared and the archetreves for the windows and door insid nearly done and the shingling bords suffitient to compleet the roofs of 2 Dormitories & Piaza of Hotel prepared ++ the scantling for the raseing floore and roof of this house is not yet received, but has been pressed for with all the force I posses I am redy to pledge myself that the finished work will exceed the sum of six thousand dollars by the Proctors own measurement—

admit the lowest sum of $6000
ad to this sum an account due to me since the years 19 & 20, for Lumber waggonage horse hire, Kiln drying, Plank and Cash advanced the sum of } 221 =37
$6221 – 37
Total sum received 2309 =94
$3911 =43

From 2½ to 3 days would be suffitient time to measure and estimate all my worke that is finished & unfinished the working draughts being redy at hand—as it would require some time for the Arbitrators to meete I perposed theare appointment first to be done, then to prepare the estimate of worke and lay that which may be in dispute before them—that you sir will direct the course to be pursued in this business and in the mean time permit me to have a little money as I am in grate neede sincearely hoped for—

J. Oldham

Tr (ViU: Oldham Papers); in the hand of chancery court clerk William S. Eskridge and with most of what are presumably Oldham’s misspelled words underscored by Eskridge, in whole or in part; exhibit “H” conjoined with Tr of Oldham’s Bill of Complaint against the University of Virginia Board of Visitors and Proctor, [before 26 Sept. 1825]; at foot of text: “Endorsed—A Copy of a letter sent to Mr Jefferson respecting a settlement—January 3rd 1822.” Recorded in SJL as received 3 Jan. 1822, with the additional bracketed notation: “inclosd it to mr Brocko.” Enclosed in Oldham’s Bill of Complaint. TJ’s note to Arthur S. Brockenbrough enclosing this letter and his reply to it of this date is not recorded in SJL and has not been found.

hotel a east was later renamed Hotel B.

Index Entries

  • Brockenbrough, Arthur Spicer; as University of Virginia proctor search
  • Brockenbrough, Arthur Spicer; letters to accounted for search
  • building materials; lumber search
  • building materials; plank search
  • Eskridge, William Scott; as chancery court clerk search
  • horses; cost to hire search
  • lumber; kiln for drying search
  • lumber; used at University of Virginia search
  • Oldham, James; as builder for University of Virginia search
  • Oldham, James; finances of search
  • Oldham, James; letters from search
  • Virginia, University of; Board of Visitors; meetings of search
  • Virginia, University of; Construction and Grounds; disputes with workmen search
  • Virginia, University of; Construction and Grounds; dormitory rooms search
  • Virginia, University of; Construction and Grounds; Hotel A search
  • Virginia, University of; Construction and Grounds; Hotel B search
  • Virginia, University of; Construction and Grounds; kiln for drying lumber search
  • Virginia, University of; Construction and Grounds; Pavilion I search
  • Virginia, University of; Construction and Grounds; wages for workmen search
  • Virginia, University of; Construction and Grounds; wagons for search
  • wagons; for University of Virginia search