Martha Jefferson Randolph to Thomas Jefferson Randolph

Dear Jefferson

The floor of the portico is ript up and the red dirt in it all loosened and partly thrown out. Gormon says that he can do nothing without Thrimston and that it will take him still a week. if it is possible to spare him so long for pity sake let him remain, as we shall all be mired in the very drawin[g] room and dining room if we remain till after harvest in our present condition—necessity has no law so that if you can not do without Thrimston he must go, but1 you will be the death of me if you do take him in our present distress of most horrible dirt and discomfort answer if you please your most affectionate and afflicted mother

RC (ViU: CC); in the hand of Martha Jefferson Randolph; undated; addressed: “T. J. Randolph Tufton.”

In June 1823, TJ engaged John gorman, stonecutter, to cut and install new bases and capitols for the columns of the west portico at Monticello. thrimston Hern had already been working with Gorman, learning the stonecutter’s craft at TJ’s request, since at least 1820 (John Gorman to Thomas Jefferson, 1 July 1820 [CSmH]; John Gorman to Thomas Jefferson, 12 June 1823 [MHi]; MB, 2:1392).

1Manuscript: “but but.”