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Lead-Based Paint

Primary Source References to Lead-Based Paint

1804 June 20. (Jefferson to Gibson & Jefferson). "I enclose...a statement of...the following items from Philadelphia: 4. kegs white lead."[1] 

1804 December 2. "1. lb. giving 1. coat to 10. yards will require 424. to ever Cwt 3. galls. oil 127 galls. oil 2. galls. turpentine 85. galls. turpentine lb. 424 white lead unground @ 13.D. Cwt. 127. galls. linseed oil @ 1.20 85. do. spirtis turpentine @.50..." [2] 

1805 May 2. (Jefferson to John Taggert). "I take the liberty of requesting you to purchase for me 500 lbs. of unground white lead, and to ship the same by the first opportunity to Richmond."[3]

1805 November 9. (Jefferson to John Taggert). "I have occasion for the articles of oil, paint, &c. below mentioned...40. galls. of linseed oil...600. lb white lead, dry..."[4] 

1806 October 13. (Jefferson to John Taggert). "Procure for me the articles below mentioned, and to send them to Richmond...1. tierce of linseed oil, say 44. galls. 250 lb. of unground white lead..."[5] 

1807 October 12. (Jefferson to John Taggert). "Ask the favor of you to procure for me a barrel (say about 30. gallons) of linseed oil, and 200. lb. of dry white lead, and to request that they may be immediately forwarded to Richmond."[6] 

1809 January 26. (Edmund Bacon to Jefferson). "Nb. Burrill tells me you was to send some spanish Brown and oil for painting which he wants he says he has used 300 pounds white lead on the top of the house and that did not Give one Coat. He also says he will need 50 or 100 pounds dry lead burrill says it will take 60 Gallons of Oil."[7] 

1809 February 10. (Mr. Dalzel to Jefferson). "I have taken the liberty of forwarding a sample of I believe the first White Lead ever manufactured in the U. States."[8] 

1809 February 15. (Jefferson to John Taggert). "Send for me to Messrs. Gibson & Jefferson at Richmond, 60 galls. linseed oil, and 100. lb. of dry white lead."Massachusetts Historical Society. [9] 

1817 February 22. (David Higginbotham to Jefferson). "Some time ago you said you had some idea of painting your house again, we have now on hand the [best?] English white Lead and Spanish brown ground in oil in quarter kegs, its price will be $4 1/2 p keg for the former and $3 p keg for the latter..." [10]


1. Massachusetts Historical Society.

2. Ibid.

3. Ibid.

4. Ibid.

5. Ibid.

6. Ibid.

7. Ibid.

8. Library of Congress.

9. Massachusetts Historical Society.

10. Ibid.


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