Charlottesville

Jan. 13- '96

My dear Mr. Gordon,

I enclose you some papers
that will be rather a shock to you but that
will speak for themselves. It makes me
more and more convinced that we can't
safely undertake this task which is before
us without having a thoroughly trained
inspector and not only that but a supervising
architect. Men who will be entirely in
our interests and who will be paid by
ourselves and who will be making us
frequent reports. Neither Thornton or Echols
are fit for this sort of thing; they haven't
the practical experience nor are either of
them very practical men. We ought to
take the whole affair out of the hands of
the buildings and grounds, excepts as
to the transference of money. As you are
probably aware I have been very much
dissatisfied with the character of the work
that has been done in the reconstruction
of the two terraces, but being very distrustful

of my own knowledge of such things I
could never shape it in such a way as to
prove to myself that I was not making a
mountain of a mole-hill. The whole thing
has made me right sick. If we are to
undertake this work with an architect who
makes all sorts of errors in his strain sheets;
with a superintendent like Echols, who has
not verified any calculations, and another
superintendent like Thornton who accepts
strains and deems safe what, when brought
to the tables of experienced facts, proves to be
unsafe and another superintendent like
the venerable Rector who has neither the
time nor the tables nor probably the
capacity to make reliable calculations the
result will be that you and McCabe
will be damned and properly damned for
the balance of your lives and the
venerable Rector will probably be hung &
Properly hung. As you may remember as
I said before may Heaven bless all
mixed Committees and save me the

trouble of having so far to force my
conscience as to bless them. Do pray
burn this letter; it is written in such
bad temper. I started in good humor
enough but as the thing has worked
upon me my gall has risen. I shall
expect you on Friday and you and I and
McCabe must talk these things over where
we can do it without any feeling that we
are treading upon other peoples toes and possibly
finding fault where fault is not due.
Send the papers back to me at once please.
Mr. McDonald has not turned up here
yet but we are expecting him every day.

Very sincerely yours,

W.C.N. Randolph