Our Collection

At the Institute’s core is the Gilder Lehrman Collection, one of the great archives in American history. More than 70,000 items cover five hundred years of American history, from Columbus’s 1493 letter describing the New World to soldiers’ letters from World War II and Vietnam. Explore primary sources, visit exhibitions in person or online, or bring your class on a field trip.

Jefferson, Thomas (1743-1826) to James Dinsmore re: building bed at Monticello, with sketches

High-resolution images are available to schools and libraries via subscription to American History, 1493-1943. Check to see if your school or library already has a subscription. Or click here for more information. You may also order a pdf of the image from us here.

Log in
to see this thumbnail image

Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC07509 Author/Creator: Jefferson, Thomas (1743-1826) Place Written: Washington Type: Autograph letter signed Date: 1808/12/30 Pagination: 1 p. + addr 24.6 x 19.9 cm

A high-resolution version of this object is available for registered users. LOG IN

Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC07509 Author/Creator: Jefferson, Thomas (1743-1826) Place Written: Washington Type: Autograph letter signed Date: 1808/12/30 Pagination: 1 p. + addr 24.6 x 19.9 cm

Background Information:

Full Transcript: Washington Dec.30. 08
Sir
By Davy you will receive a bundle containing 2. bells, & 4. bell-levers, the planes you wrote for, & 2 kneebolts. In a separate roll is the sand-paper you desired. The folding ...mahogany sash which closes the alcove of my bed is too heavy & troublesome. I wish you to make a folding frame to fit the alcove & to be covered with paper on both sides. The frame must consist of 3 parts united by 2 pr. of hinges [inserted: on each side] in this manner (observing first that it is to open vertically, and not horizontally as the mahogany one does.) The piece a is in place of a stud, only to be thin, & of such breadth as to give it sufficient strength & it will need very little. It is to be bolted at bottom into the floor, & at top into the rabbet of the architrave. To it are to be fastened on each side the two wings b & c [struck] by hinges on which these wings will open easily so as to let them get at the bed to make it up. When open they will stand thus the piece a remaining fixed. The two bolts which I send you were got for the piece a but by mistake were got as knee bolts, & therefore will not do. But I recollect to have seen in the stores at Milton & Charlottesville [inserted: round] bolts of the same kind, but not kneed, which therefore I would pray you to get. They ought to be much smaller than these. You will find paper for this object in my cabinet. There are 2 rolls & I think they lie on the book shelves of the Eastern angle. If not there, they are somewhere in the Cabinet. My best wishes attend you.
Th: Jefferson
Mr. Dinsmore
See More

People: Jefferson, Thomas, 1743-1826

Historical Era: The New Nation, 1783-1815

Subjects: PresidentHome FurnishingsConstructionMonticelloArtisans

Sub Era: The Age of Jefferson & Madison

Order a Copy Citation Guidelines for Online Resources