James Madison Papers

To James Madison from Benjamin Henry Latrobe, 14 March 1809

From Benjamin Henry Latrobe

Washington, March 14h. 1809


The plan on which the Presidents square is proposed to be planted having been approved by the late President U.S. I had given the necessary directions prior to the 4th. of March last.1 The principal work which will be done during my departure will be the planting of trees & shrubs near the outer Wall as far as the Ground is finished, the manuring such parts as were omitted on account of the want of time, & the commencement of the work on the carriage house. I have the honor to be Yrs

B H Latrobe
Surv pblic Bldgs US.

RC (DLC). Docketed by JM.

1During the Jefferson administration extensive landscaping was begun on the grounds of the President’s House. “A stone wall was built around the immediate private grounds … and a road was constructed around the whole” (Hamlin, Latrobe, pp. 300–301). Latrobe’s plan for proposed alterations of the President’s House, including entryways and plantings, is reproduced in Malone, Jefferson and His Time, 5:533. The plantings made under Latrobe’s direction are described in Ralph Ketcham, James Madison: A Biography (New York, 1971), p. 478.

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