James Madison Papers

To James Madison from Benjamin Henry Latrobe, 23 February 1811

From Benjamin Henry Latrobe

Washington Feby. 23d 1811


Notwithstanding the exertions I have made to complete the estimates required by the resolution of the House of Representatives of the 14h. of January,1 devoting a considerable part of every night to that object I have only been able to accomplish it now. At the same time I submit a list of outstanding claims.2

The drawings to which I allude in my letter are upon such large & heavy boards that I cannot, I fear, bring them to the President’s house before tomorrow morning.3 But as the view alluded to is very nearly a copy of that which you have seen, if you could dispense with its being brought to You & permit it to be hung up in the house of Rep., I would place it there tomorrow or Monday morning, provided it may be convenient to send in your Message on that day, which owing to the late period of the session, & the dependence of the appropriation on this report, I should with great deference to you, solicit.

The Estimates for the Wings are so correct that I am very confident they will not be exceeded. That for the Center appears to me to be ample.4 It has been made with great care. I am with high respect Yrs &c

B Henry Latrobe

RC (DLC); FC (MdHi: Latrobe Letterbooks). RC docketed by JM.

1See Latrobe to JM, 18 Jan. 1811, and n. 1.

3No letter alluding to drawings has been found, but Latrobe was evidently referring to some drawings of the Capitol in a series of sketches he made between 1803 and 1812, very probably the perspectives of the east front drawn in 1806 and 1810 (see Van Horne, Papers of Latrobe description begins John C. Van Horne and Lee W. Formwalt, eds., The Correspondence and Miscellaneous Papers of Benjamin Henry Latrobe (3 vols.; New Haven, 1984–88). description ends , 3:36–37 n. 5).

4For these estimates, see Latrobe to JM, 23 Feb. 1811 (second letter). This letter, however, contains no estimate for the center of the Capitol, suggesting either that Latrobe revised it before sending it to the president or that JM or Latrobe decided to omit the estimate before sending the report to the House of Representatives on 25 Feb.

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