Thomas Jefferson Papers

Arthur S. Brockenbrough to James Oldham, 5 January 1822

Arthur S. Brockenbrough to James Oldham

University Va Jan 5–22


I have your communication of this date to Mr Jefferson written no doubt to injure me in the estimation of Mr J, and wherein you state “Since the 2nd Novr last I have repeatedly solicited a settlement of my work with the Proctor of this fact there is evidence”1 I admit that you have frequently mentioned the subject of a settlement by arbitrators, and I as often have proposed going on with the measurement and fixing the prices of the work, and such articles as we could not agree on to be settled by arbitration hereafter—Your course I did not think proper to take—my proposition you rejected—again you say, “on Tuesday I renewed the subject again when he positively refused to do any thing with it—and declared that I should not receive one cent of pay until it suited him to give it—” as well as my memory serves me (but perhaps it may not be as good as Capt Oldhams) our Conversation on Tuesday turned principally on the act for scaffolding lumber &c when I stated particularly there were Items in that acct. I would Settle for at any time, but I could not pick upon any particular day for an arbitration of the acct,—I made no Such declaration relative to your pay as you stated in your letter—I have called on you frequently for a memorandum of such Locks hinges &c as you wanted for the buildings you are working on—I have never received a memorandum of the articles—as for hinges I sent to Charlottesville to get them for the Hotel if Mr Vowles word is to be taken in evidence it is your fault that the Hotel windows are not Glazed—Sir I will lay down explicitly the course I mean to pursue in this business—it is simply this—as fast as the buildings are finished I shall with the undertakers measure the work and make out the bills agreeable to the Philadelphia price book if the undertakers and myself can agree—on all settled Bills, I shall give drafts for the balances that may be due as fast as funds can be obtained to take them up—all unsettled Bills will be layed over until the entire completion of the buildings, to be then left to referrence, sooner than that unless expressly ordered I will not arbitrate any acct—

I am Sir your obt servt

A, S. Brockenbrough P. U Va

Since writing the within I have accidentally come across your memorandum of locks and hinges left I suppose with Mr Thornton.


Tr (ViU: Oldham Papers); in the hand of chancery court clerk William S. Eskridge; exhibit “No 2” conjoined with Tr of Oldham’s Bill of Complaint against the University of Virginia Board of Visitors and Proctor, [before 26 Sept. 1825]; between dateline and salutation: “Capt James Oldham.” Enclosed in Oldham’s Bill of Complaint.

1Omitted closing quotation mark editorially supplied.

Index Entries

  • Brockenbrough, Arthur Spicer; as University of Virginia proctor search
  • Brockenbrough, Arthur Spicer; letter from, to J. Oldham search
  • building materials; lumber search
  • Eskridge, William Scott; as chancery court clerk search
  • lumber; used at University of Virginia search
  • Oldham, James; as builder for University of Virginia search
  • Oldham, James; letter to, from A. S. Brockenbrough search
  • The House Carpenters’ Book of Prices, and Rules for measuring and valuing all their different kinds of work; and wages at University of Virginia search
  • Thornton, Mr.; and University of Virginia search
  • Virginia, University of; Construction and Grounds; building materials for search
  • Virginia, University of; Construction and Grounds; disputes with workmen search
  • Virginia, University of; Construction and Grounds; hotels search
  • Virginia, University of; Construction and Grounds; wages for workmen search
  • Vowles, John; and University of Virginia search