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Title: Letter from Alexander J. Davis to David L. Swain, March 4, 1850: Electronic Edition.
Author: Davis, Alexander Jackson, 1803-1892
Funding from the University Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill supported the electronic publication of this title.
Text transcribed by Bari Helms
Images scanned by Bari Helms
Text encoded by Brian Dietz
First Edition, 2005
Size of electronic edition: ca. 10K
Publisher: The University Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Chapel Hill, North Carolina
2005
© This work is the property of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. It may be used freely by individuals for research, teaching and personal use as long as this statement of availability is included in the text
The electronic edition is a part of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill digital library, Documenting the American South.
Languages used in the text: English
Revision history:
2005-08-03, Brian Dietz finished TEI/XML encoding.
Source(s):
Title of collection: David L. Swain Papers (#706), Southern Historical Collection, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Title of document: Letter from Alexander J. Davis to David L. Swain, March 4, 1850
Author: A. J. Davis
Description: 3 pages, 3 page images
Note: Call number 706 (Southern Historical Collection, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill)
Editorial practices
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Originals are in the Southern Historical Collection, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
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Letter from Alexander J. Davis to David L. Swain , March 4, 1850
Davis, Alexander Jackson, 1803-1892



Page 1
Belmead, Va. Residence of Philip St. Geo. Coske, Esq.
N.Y. Monday, March 4, '50

My dear Sir:

I have been so overwhelmed with business that I could not tell when I might visit Chapel Hill, and therefore contented myself by writing to Gov. Morehead begging to put off the visit to Raleigh until April or thereabout, trusting that you would learn of him as to the probable time of my visit. I have had but this one day to devote to your new building, since seeing Mr. Mickle , and tomorrow he is to leave.
I have prepared this day the drawings I now send and they seem to me to be all you will want to enable you to go on with the mason's work, and in the mean time, (or perhaps time enough when I visit the south) I can explain and makeout such other details, as the carpenter may require.
It seems to me that it will be doing your town a

Page 2
wrong, to copy any building that you may have already in it; besides the church is too grave and simple to express the purpose of an assembly room. I have therefore made a front, still similar to the church but lighter in the details with a Corinthian column, and richer cornice (from an example at Athens). The height is the same in both, but the cornice does not project so much in the latter, and there might be four columns instead of two, and not more than 4 ft or 4 ft. 7 inches apart. This would leave a free space for passage and you may judge if the front would be more elegant, or express the "Library and Assembly Room." This room is small enough already; so is the portico; and therefore if you would enlarge the front anti-rooms beyond 7 ft. of — add as much more to the length of the building as you please. Or if 4 columns be decided, fill the corner by extending the 7 ft. room into it, as shewn by the flap — returning to the two columns, but adding illegible in place of the two outer columns.
I keep a sketch of the plan, and as you may decide upon the leading parts write me if you require other details or explanations. The floor of great room will require a wall in cellar under the middle of same for support.

Page 3
The ceiling I make nearly flat, shewing the principal trusses of roof running across furred to and plastered, the part below is in two inclined planes thus: A. B.
This is the cheapest mode of breaking up the flat surface of ceiling, and would be more in pure Greek style than the arch. I think we must give up the arch on account of expense and want of height in side walls, and so of the sky light, which will not be wanted either for light or ventilation.

Yours respectfully & truly,

A. J. Davis

Gov. Swain