James Madison Papers

To James Madison from Benjamin Henry Latrobe, 29 May 1809

From Benjamin Henry Latrobe

Washington, May 29h. 1809.


I have the honor to lay before you an account of the expenditure of 5.000$, advanced to me on account of the furniture of the President’s house.1

It will appear from the account itself that some of the payment have been made only on account of Claims. The Vouchers therefore being incomplete, untill the whole accounts shall have been liquidated, it has not be[en] possible to settle thus far the payments made, to my credit at the Treasury. This will be done, as soon as I am enable[d] to compleat the payment of all accounts rendered in full.

A further advance to this object, is therefore respectfully solicited. I am with highest respect Yrs. faithfully

B Henry Latrobe


Account current, B Henry Latrobe, with the Furniture of the President’s House

May 29h. 1809.
Dr. $
To this Sum paid to him on account by a Warrant on
the Treasury
Contra   Cr.
By this Sum pd. Louis Deblois for two Mirrors
& expenses
By do ——— do ——— to settle small accts. 550.—
Mem: This Sum has been nearly expended for Articles
of household use & repairs and is to be
accounted for by Mr. Deblois.
By do ——— Louis Mark of New York for Table Linnen,
& Looking Glass, on acct.
By do. ——— Paul S. Brown for China, 556.15
By do ——— Charles Bird, for knives, fork bottle
stands, Waiters, Andirons, &c.
By do. ——— John Cox, for sundries
( remittance to Peter Harvie Pha.)
By do ——— Geo: Blake for a Guitar 28.00
By do ——— Andrew Hazlehurst for a Pianoforte, 458.00
By Commission @ 2 Cent 100.—
Bills payable, ascertained.
To Hohman, for repairs of Copper Vessels & new ones, 92.62½
To Louis Mark, 3 large Chimney Glasse[s] 600.37½
To Labille, upholsterer, not less than 150.— 
And for the Curtains Chairs & Sofas of the drawing
room will be wanted a payment of about

An additional advance is therefore respectfully solicited of 3 or 4.000 dollars.

B Henry Latrobe.

RC and enclosure (DLC). Docketed by JM. Enclosure in Latrobe’s hand.

1“An Act making provision for the further accommodation of the household of the President of the United States” of 2 Mar. had authorized JM to sell furnishings of the President’s House that were “decayed, out of repair, or unfit for use,” employing the proceeds and a $14,000 appropriation to buy “such articles of furniture as he shall direct.” The appropriation and proceeds from sales were paid into the President’s Furniture Fund (established early in John Adams’s administration), of which JM had appointed Latrobe agent (U.S. Statutes at Large description begins The Public Statutes at Large of the United States of America … (17 vols.; Boston, 1848–73). description ends , 2:533).

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