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Title: Letter from Alexander J. Davis to David L. Swain, July 5, 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 Jesse Brown
Text encoded by Sarah Ficke
First Edition, 2005
Size of electronic edition: ca. 13K
Publisher: The University Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Chapel Hill, North Carolina
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:
2005-11-11, Sarah Ficke finished TEI/XML encoding.
Title of collection: University of North Carolina Papers (#40005), University Archives, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Title of document: Letter from Alexander J. Davis to David L. Swain, July 5, 1850
Author: A. J. Davis
Description: 4 pages, 4 page images
Note: Call number 40005 (University Archives, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill)
Editorial practices
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Letter from Alexander J. Davis to David L. Swain , July 5, 1850
Davis, Alexander Jackson, 1803-1892

Page 1
N.Y. July 5, 1850

Gov. Swain

Dear Sir:

I received yours of 30th inst. and had expected to hear from you before preparing working drawings, although I meant to send some drawings elucidating the design, with those to Raleigh but have had no time, as I have been exclusively engaged upon the Hospital ever since I sent last to you. All day yesterday, 4th, from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. I was engaged upon your specification and that for the Hospital, and at it again this morning before 6. Never have I applied myself with the same industry to any plan, as to this Hospital, and tomorrow I hope to send to Raleigh, and in the roll, your specification. I have sought in vain for the tracing I kept of your Hall and have endeavored to recal the section to mind, so as to prepare a working drawing of the window, which I now send, with the cornice, and a rear elevation, shewing the door, which must be of the size figured. The two lower parts of the door open, the top is fixed panel. The architrave or moldings round the door

Page 2
had better be of wood at both fronts or ends as they are exposed to getting bruised. They might however be of stucco as those on the side round the windows are specified, and would not then be cut or hacked. Wood however could be more easily repaired, and the cornice of door at least must be of wood, and the whole if well sanded over the paint would not get hacked.
The basement window may be hinged at the top, or side, and be in one sash I have shewn it covered by a blind, meant to be stationary, but with swivel boards to turn on pivots in usual manner. This would defend the glass, and not greatly obstruct the light. The panel between the windows is to be in the same plane with the sash above, set back as far as the sash is, and the sill of the sash above projects over the panel thus: and rises, and the upper sash falls being intended to be hung with weights, in the usual manner. The upper sash of course must project its thickness over the other in order to be pulled down at pleasure for ventilation.

Page 3
The specification I send you is not to be given out, but it is to serve as a text or explanation, as far as it goes, and therefore I have marked upon the margin notes, leaving it to you to decide between two modes of executing parts of the work, as your builders may find most expedient and easy.
Perhaps you will find it difficult to get stone so large for the water table, as 2 ft. deep by 9 or 12 inches thick. The thickness is of little moment if the top, or wash between the antae can be flanched up with cement, so as to prevent the weather getting in behind. The whole might be cemented like the church, and if care were taken to sod close up to it the stucco would not get spattered and dirty, and come off low down as it generally does when exposed to damp and the access of rude people. It will be still less likely to come off with the hollow basement wall intended behind this course or water table.

Page 4
With the remarks I make you will be enabled to talk over these minor matters with the builder, before contracting with him and put into the specification where indefinite a description of what you may decide to be most economical and fitting, having a copy of the leading path, a small part of the whole extracted for the builder's use, you keeping the printed one to superintend by.
The door under the portico was made 6 by 13 if I remember. It would be better 6 by 15, as I have figured the rear door, and any portion may be made to open, with the panels fixed.
I set the building 3 ft. above the present surface, and propose that one foot of this be rising ground all round the house so as to shew 2 ft. below the bottom of the antae, or top of water table.
When other drawings are wanted state and describe them in the letter, as to the dimensions by scale, as I have no copy of the drawings I can depend upon.

Yours Respectfully,

A. J. Davis