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The Builders and Workers of Thomas Jefferson’s Academical Village: Tasks and individuals, including slaves

The Builders and Workers
of Thomas Jefferson’s Academical Village

Research by Richard Guy Wilson

 


Tasks and individuals, including slaves

The following list gives some idea of the magnitude of the various tasks and the individuals involved. The names are assembled from various sources including records kept by the Proctor. After their name is their role, when it could be determined, with quotation marks indicating an identification in the Proctor’s records.

Beyond the description of the jobs they performed, very little is known about these people. We believe that some worked on other projects in Virginia and are interested in knowing more about them. To help us locate more information, please upload your stories or documents here.

Tasks and individuals, including slaves

Abile – Crenshaw  |  Dangerfield – Guthery  |  Hardin – Lindsay  |  Madison – Nunn  |
Oldham -Sturtevant  |  Thacher – Zigler

  • Abile, J. S.
  • Abner, T.
  • Anderson, Edward—Provides Nova Scotia plaster from Richmond
  • Antrim, Joseph—”Plasterer”
  • Appleton, Thomas—Provided 1,400 marble squares for Rotunda paving
  • Arthur, B. and Co.—Provided “slaves”, also “sash weights”
  • Babi, S.
  • Bailey, Lewis—Ditching for pipes
  • Baily, Temple
  • Bargamin, Anthony—Puts on covering of Rotunda’s roof, had previously covered the dome of Richmond’s City Hall
  • Barksdale, Nelson—Provided lumber including flooring planks
  • Barnett, William—"Laborer"
  • Bassett, H.—"In charge of laborers"
  • Baylor, David—Wagoner for John Van Lew & Co.
  • Billy—"Negro"
  • Bishop, J. T.
  • Bishop, John—Wagoner, hauled lumber for Ware
  • Black, James
  • Blackburn, Thomas—Carpentry, Western Range
  • Blackford, Arthur and Co.
  • Blackford, Benjamin—Large numbers of “large sash weights” from Isabella Furnace
  • Boin, William
  • Boxley, P.—Provided "Negroes"
  • Bowen, William—Delivered shingles
  • Brackenbrough, Jr., Dr. John—Proctors brother, arranges for Warwick to sell Copper at 26 cents per pound instead of 35 cents per pound and contracts Anthony Bargamin
  • Braham, N.
  • Brand, Chiles—White washing rooms, laborer
  • Brockenbough and Hume—Provided hardware
  • Brooks, A. H.—Supplier of "tin" for pipes and roofs
  • Brooks, Robert
  • Brown, Mathew—"Brickmason," worked on Pavilion III
  • Campbell, James—Stone cutter employed by John Gorman, also laid stone foundations for serpentine garden walls and area wall around one of hotels
  • Campbell, Samuel—Stonemason employed by John Gorman
  • Carter, Curtis—"Brickmason," manufactured bricks in Richmond, worked on Pavilions I, IV, IX, Hotel A with Phillips
  • Carter, John
  • Carter, Lewis S.—Plasterer and painter for Observatory built by William Leitch and Samuel Campbell
  • Cason, Robert—Wagoner for John Van Lew & Co.
  • Chamberlain, Nathaniel—"Brickmason" and made bricks, worked on Rotunda with Thorn
  • Childs, H.
  • Chisholm, Hugh—"Brick worker", worked on Pavilion III
  • Christian—Wagoner, transported tin plates for additional coverings of dome of Rotunda from Daniel Warwick
  • Clarke, J. S.
  • Cline, George—Wagoner for John Van Lew & Co.
  • Coffee, William J.—Oramental plasterer from New York, made much of the details.
  • Conway, Thomas B.—Provided/ships "stone" from Luther George and a quarry in Richmond
  • Cooper, Thomas—Plasterer on Pavilion III
  • Cosby, Dabney—"Brickmason"
  • Cowden, Joseph—Stone cutter
  • Craddock, John—Wagoner from Richmond for John Van Lew & Co.
  • Croft, Jacob—Wagoner from Shenandoah Valley, delivers 25 boxes of tin for D.W.&C. Warrick
  • Craven, John H.—Provided "lumber"
  • Crawford, Malcolm F.—Carpenter, provided contract for large number of wooden shutters for doors and windows of buildings
  • Crenshaw, William—Wagoner, delivers 19 boxes of window glass for Rotunda from Boston Class Manufactory’s new agent Thomas May
  • Cullen, John—"Stone contractor"
  • Dangerfield, William
  • Davis, D.—"Blacksmith, dressed tools for sculptors"
  • Dawson, Allan
  • Dick—"Negro"
  • Deitrick, William—Wagoner from Richmond for John Van Lew & Co.
  • Diggs, George P.
  • Dinsmore, James—"Master carpenter" did much of ornamental woodwork, born in Ireland, worked on Pavilion III, V, VIII and also Rotunda and Anatomical Theatre
  • Dobbs, M.—Worked on plumbing and made "pipes"
  • Dold, J.
  • Donaghue, William
  • Dowell,—"Raising of stone"
  • Draffin, Thomas—Provided "lumber" from Albemarle County, delivers sash pulleys
  • Dudley,—"Shingles"
  • Duke, Robert and J.—"Carpenters"
  • Eads, P.
  • Estes, William—Wagoner from Richmond
  • Fauver, Jacob—Wagoner for John Van Lew & Co.
  • Flanagan, Ambrose—provided "lumber, Roman cement"
  • Fowler,
  • Fowley, D.
  • Fray, Aaron—May have worked with Elijah Huffman in laying wooden piping
  • Fretwile, G.
  • Galeano, E.
  • Gallard, E.
  • Gardner,—Provided "shingles"
  • Garrett, Alexander—Bursar
  • Garth, Garland—Provided "lumber"
  • Garth, Jesse—Provided 1,898 ft. of lumber for Pavilion I and adjacent dormitories
  • Garth, Thomas
  • Garth, William
  • Garth, Willis
  • Gentry, Robert—"Stone hanging; hauling logs"
  • George, L. M.—"Stone"
  • Gibson, J.
  • Gleason, Michael—"Stone mason; quarrier"
  • Glenn, John—Hired by Blackford, Arthur & Co. to deliver “small Franklin stoves” for Pavilions I, II, IV, V, and sash weights
  • Gooch, D.
  • Gooch, J. W.
  • Goodman, Samuel
  • Gorman, John—"Stone mason" from Lynchburg, carved much of ornamental stonework; born in Ireland
  • Guthery, James—Provided "hardware—nails"
  • Guthery, William
  • Hardin, H.
  • Harner, Jacob—Wagoner for John Van Lew & Co.
  • Harper, C.
  • Harper, E.
  • Harris, Jacob
  • Harrison, James—“Overlooker of the laborers,” overseer of slaves
  • Harrow, J.
  • Brockenbrough & Harvie—Richmond merchants, provided 14 casks of nails and other materials
  • Haskell,
  • Hawkins, Allen
  • Hawley, Abram
  • Herron, James—"Overseer" of slaves; his wife "made Negroes’ clothes"
  • Holley, A.
  • Hollyman, Samuel—Hired by Blackford, Arthur & Co. to deliver “small Franklin stoves” for Pavilions I, II, IV, V, and sash weights
  • Hudson,—Supplied "rope"
  • Huffman, Elijah—Laid wooden pipe, “boring &laying water pipes”
  • Humphreys, William
  • Hutchins, J.
  • Irvin, D.
  • Irving, G. N.
  • Isaac—Laborer of William B. Phillips, laid bricks for cistern
  • Isaacs, D.
  • Jack—"Waggoner"
  • Jackson, Thomas—Wagoner, hauled supplies for John Van Lew & Co.
  • James Brown
  • Jamison, Andrew—Wagoner hauled for John Van Lew & Co. from Richmond
  • Jerry—Laborer of William B. Phillips, laid bricks for cistern
  • John—"Negro"
  • Johnson, A.
  • Bramham & Jones—Merchants, provided general merchandise in use of building
  • Jones, Sarah D.—Makes clothing for slaves
  • Jones, Thomas
  • Jones, William
  • Kennedy, John—Plasterer and painter for Observatory built by William Leitch and Samuel Campbell
  • Kerris, J.
  • Kingsolving, G. W.—Assisted the Raggi brothers
  • Kirby, James
  • Knight, David—"Brickmason" worked on Pavilion III
  • Koiner, Phillip—"Wagonner" from Shenandoah Valley
  • Lacey, D. N.
  • Lahy, M.—"Stone quarrying"
  • Lasbot, Louis
  • Laporte, P.
  • Lawber, Edward—From Philadelphia, painting and glazing
  • Lear, John
  • Leitch, James
  • Leitch, Joseph
  • Leitch, Samuel
  • Leitch, William—From Charlottesville, ironmongery supply
  • Leonard, Uriah—"Blacksmith"
  • Lewes, A. H.
  • Lewis, Jesse—"Smithy"
  • Lindsay, Robert—Provided "timber"
  • Madison.
  • Massie, J.
  • Mathes, J.
  • Maverick, Peter—From Newark, NJ. Engraved proof plate of Jefferson’s drawings given to him by William John Coffee
  • May, Thomas—Boston Glass Manufactory’s new agent handling the University’s orders
  • Mayo, John
  • McColloch, N.
  • McCulloch, Robert—"Timber"
  • McKay, Angus—Assisted Lawber in "glazing, painting"
  • McShane & Company—Baltimore company which cast replacement bell for Rotunda in 1886 after the original bell was cracked in a student prank.
  • McSparran, Erasmus N.
  • Megginson, William—Paid for batteau transportation on the James with Peter Rutherford
  • Merrieweather, W. D.—"Lumber"
  • Meyers, Jasper—Deliver of casks, copper and shovels for John Van Lew & Co.
  • Meyers, Peter—Brickwork Pavilion V
  • Miller, Thomas
  • Milliway, George—Hauling timber
  • Minor, P.—"Waggonage"
  • Mitchell, William—From Orange County, provided "lumber"
  • Mitchie, Jonathan—"Lumber"
  • Modena, F.
  • Mohler, Jacob—Wagoner, delivers Boston Crown Glass from Andrew Smith (rep for Boston Glass Manufactory) along with paint and whiting
  • Monroe, James
  • Mooney, William
  • Moore, Ben
  • Moore, Isaac
  • Morton, Thomas
  • Munday, Walker—"Overseer"
  • Ned and Dick
  • Negris, Paul
  • Neilson, John—Born in Ireland, master woodworker, assisted on Rotunda, Anatomical Theatre, pavilions, and dormitories
  • Nelson—"Negro"
  • Norris, D.
  • Norris, Opie
  • Nunce—"Hired Negroes" "lumber"
  • Nunn, John—Provided Negroes
  • Oldham, James—"Carpenter" and woodworker
  • Owens, David—From Albemarle County, provided "lumber"
  • Owens, Mr.—Advises Jefferson on the proper way to lay roads in according to the Scottish road surveyors method John Loudon McAdam from New York
  • Page Carter B.—Provides screws and Russian hemp for window sashes.
  • Patterson, John
  • Paul, Hugh
  • Peck, Lyman—"Carpenter"
  • Peck and Crawford
  • Pendleton, Hembro—Wagoner, hauled supplies for John Van Lew & Co
  • Perry, John M.—Contractor, master brickmason, provided bricks, and lumber, plastering, worked on Rotunda, most pavilions, hotels, dormitories, serpentine walls
  • Perryman, A. P.
  • Peyton, Bernard—Managed University’s bills of exchange and arranged for tar to be shipped from Richmond
  • Phillips, William B.—Contractor from Richmond with Curtis Carter, "master builder" "brickmason", supplied bricks, worked on Pavilion I, IX, hotels, dormitories, serpentine walls
  • Pickett, George
  • Piper, Daniel—Installed gutters and drain pipes at Paviliions I, IV, VI, VII
  • Pitt, Joseph—"Turner"
  • Pollock, John—Provided "waggonage" for "lumber" "hardware"
  • Porterfield, J.
  • Priddy, J.—Provided "nails"
  • Quinn, M.
  • Raggi, Michele—Ornamental stonemason, came from Italy)
  • Raggi, Giacomo—Ornamental stonemason, came from Italy)
  • Ramsey, William—"Lumber"
  • Raphael, Isaac
  • Richards,—"Lumber"
  • Roberts, N.
  • Rodes, John—"Lumber"
  • Rogers, J.
  • Rogers, M. G.—Provided "shingles"
  • Rutherford, Peter—Paid for batteaux transportation on the James River with William Megginson
  • Sabbaton, P. A.—"Window weights"
  • Sam—"Negro"
  • Sampson, John
  • Sandridge, Joseph—"Hiring of negroes"
  • Saunders, E. J.
  • Seckirk, William—Provided "laborers"
  • Sellers, Coleman—From Philadelphia firm of Sellers & Pennock, provides “hydraulion” (fire engine) and 200 ft of hose
  • Shiflett,
  • Shucy, Adam
  • Shuey, Jacob—"Wagonner" from Shenandoah Valley
  • Slaughter, J.
  • Smith, Andrew—Provides Boston Crown Glass and also provides Roman cement.
  • Smith, D.—"Laborer"
  • Spooner, George Wilson—"Lumber"
  • Sprouce, C.
  • Stewart, Archibald
  • Stone, Henry
  • Stone, James—Hauling timber
  • Stuart, A.—"Advertising"
  • Sturtevant, Phillip—Richmond artisan contracted to carve wooden composite capitals for Rotunda’s Dome Room, as well as 11 sets of wooden blinds.
  • Thacher, N.
  • Thorn, Abiah B.—"Stone work" "brickmason" from Philadelphia, worked on Pavilion VIII, hotels and Rotunda
  • Timberlake, William
  • Timberlake, W. T.
  • Van Lew, John and Co.—From Richmond, supplier of "hardware"
  • Vowles, John—Assisted Lawber as "painter" and "glazer" born in England
  • Wall, Henry—Wagoner for John Van Lew & Co.
  • Ware, Richard—From Philadelphia, worked as "brickmason" and as “carpenter", and was in charge of Pavilions II, IV, VI
  • Warwick, D. W.—Provided "nails"
  • Warrick, D.W. & C.—Smallest Richmond supplier contacted by University, provided various “sundries”
  • Watson, J.
  • Wells, J. C.
  • Wertenbaker, C.
  • Whister, A.
  • White, David—Plasterer, stucco and ornamental plastering
  • Widderfield, James W.—"Journeyman" and "carpenter"
  • Williams, A. C.
  • Willis
  • Willard, Simon—Of Roxbury, Massachusetts. Contracted to “build as good a clock as can be found in America” for the Rotunda on Jefferson specifications
  • Wilson, Samuel—Wagoner for John Van Lew & Co.
  • Winn, John and Co.—Provided "sheet iron"
  • Wood, John H.—Transported stone and rock
  • Wood, Warner—Albemarle County, provided "lumber"
  • Wren, Alfred—"Lumber"
  • Yancy, Joel
  • Zigler, A—“The pump man,” finishes installing water pipes in the Rotunda

 

February 27, 2009     7 Comments

The Builders and Workers of Thomas Jefferson’s Academical Village: Recorded slaves

The Builders and Workers
of Thomas Jefferson’s Academical Village

Research by Richard Guy Wilson

 


Recorded slaves

The names of the many slaves who worked on the construction were for the most part not recorded; some African Americans were paid independently as indicated in the Tasks and Individuals, Including Slaves list and they may have been free. The following are the names and owners of some slaves:

  • Barrett—From Lucy L. Poindexter
  • Ben—From Blake Harris
  • Bob—From Charles Downing
  • Cocke, John Hartwell—Provides slaves for brick-making, 2 dismissed for size, also rents slaves to Professors
  • Elijah—Provided by Luther M. George; boatman, laborer, transported quarried stone
  • Fleming—Negro hired from Joseph Brand by proctor Arthur Spicer Brockenbrough
  • Frank, George—From Margaret Poindexter
  • Green, William—Slave, blacksmith, hired by Charles L. Bankhead from Proctor Brockenbrough
  • Harry—Negro hired from David Watts executer, Nathaniel Terry, by proctor Brockenbrough
  • Henderson, Jim—Negro hired from Richard Price
  • John—From Thos. Brokenbrough
  • John Edward—From John Douglas
  • Peyton—Slave of John Hartwell Cocke, cut stone for Anatomical Hall.
  • Phil—Negro hired from “Tayman Wayt” by Proctor Arthur Spicer Brockenbrough
  • Prince, Reuben—From Charles Poindexter
  • Carpenter Sam—Slave, Pavilion V, VII, Hotels A, D, F, and dormitories
  • Negro Sam—Transported coal from Smith’s Shop
  • Robert—Negro hired from Rezin Wheat by Proctor Arthur Spicer Brockenbrough
  • Sharper—From Gabriel Gray
  • Tom—From John F. Carpenter
  • Willis—From John Kelly

 

To help us locate more information, please upload your stories or documents here.

 

February 27, 2009     1 Comment

The Builders and Workers of Thomas Jefferson’s Academical Village: Slaves listed as University workers

The Builders and Workers
of Thomas Jefferson’s Academical Village

Research by Richard Guy Wilson

 


Slaves listed as University workers

These slaves are not listed as workmen on the actual building project but are listed as workers/maintenance within the University:

  • Commodore, Lewis—Bell ringer and janitor known as “Anatomical Lewis”
  • Nelson—Slave, works as stable servant and gardener for Professor Dunglison following removal from house service due to inability to do his duties

 

To help us locate more information, please upload your stories or documents here.

 

February 27, 2009     Comments Off on The Builders and Workers of Thomas Jefferson’s Academical Village: Slaves listed as University workers

The Builders and Workers of Thomas Jefferson’s Academical Village: Introduction

The Builders and Workers
of Thomas Jefferson’s Academical Village

Research by Richard Guy Wilson

 


The Builders

Jefferson wrote to James Dinsmore on April 13, 1817: “I suppose the superintendence of the buildings will rest chiefly on myself….I should wish to commit it to yourself and Mr. Neilson.… Will you undertake it?” The story of the construction of the University and the role played by the builders is complicated and much neglected. Between 1817 and 1826, several hundred individuals including slaves hired locally, stone cutters imported from Italy, and workmen from cities as far away as Philadelphia, such as Richard Ware, built the Grounds. Their roles varied: some were stone or brick masons, others specialized in plastering or cutting ornament, and some supplied materials. A few such as John Neilson (c. 1775-1827) and James Dinsmore (c. 1771-1830), who had worked previously for Jefferson at Monticello, modified aspects of his design, and Neilson made copies of his drawings. To relieve the seventy year old Jefferson of the daily task of overseeing the work, the Board of Visitors in 1819 hired Arthur S. Brockenbrough as Proctor, to supervise the construction. Some of the hardware and ornament were imported, but the majority of the building materials came from the area, such as the timber, or were made on the site, such as the brick.

The Workers

When the 1993 exhibition was first presented 300 names were known. Since that time, additional names have been discovered, however, substantive information about the workers lives has been sparse. We hope to add to our knowledge through your response to the lists provided here.

The lists:

Tasks and individuals, including slaves  Go to list >
Recorded slaves  Go to list >
Slaves not listed as workmen on the actual building project but listed as workers/maintenance within the University  Go to list >

 

February 27, 2009     Comments Off on The Builders and Workers of Thomas Jefferson’s Academical Village: Introduction