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Thomas Claxton (d. 1821), long-term Doorkeeper of the U.S. House of Representatives, was also the "Agent for furnishing the President's House" for both John Adams and Thomas Jefferson. According to historian Marie Kimball, Claxton was "Jefferson's man-Friday in [the] task of furnishing" the executive mansion.1
Before Jefferson began his second term in office, Claxton worked with Maryland Congressman Joseph H. Nicholson to increase the initial appropriations for the President's House by $14,000. Nicholson was a powerful Republican and also a Jefferson ally. Claxton was pleased to report success to Jefferson and offered himself as purchasing agent for new acquisitions.2
As his presidency drew to a close, Jefferson commended Thomas Claxton for his fine work in securing furniture. "I say with pleasure," wrote the President, "that the integrity, diligence & economy with which you have employed the funds destined to that object, have given me perfect satisfaction."3
- Nancy Verell, 10/1/15
- 1. Marie Kimball, "The Original Furnishings of the White House," Magazine Antiques 16, no. 1 (1929): 36.
- 2. Claxton to Nicholson, February 14, 1805, and Claxton to Jefferson, March, 1, 1805, Coolidge Collection of Thomas Jefferson Manuscripts, Massachusetts Historical Society. Transcription of the Claxton letter to Jefferson available at Founders Online.
- 3. Jefferson to Claxton, February 19, 1809, Thomas Jefferson Papers, Library of Congress. Transcription available at Founders Online.