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Title: Letter from Robert Donaldson to David L. Swain, December 16, 1843: Electronic Edition.
Author: Donaldson, Robert, Jr., 1800-1872
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. 11K
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:
2005-07-11, Brian Dietz finished TEI/XML encoding.
Source(s):
Title of collection: University of North Carolina Papers (#40005), University Archives, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Title of document: Letter from Robert Donaldson to David L. Swain, December 16, 1843
Author: Robert Donaldson
Description: 3 pages, 3 page images
Note: Call number 40005 (University Archives, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill)
Editorial practices
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Letter from Robert Donaldson to David L. Swain , December 16, 1843
Donaldson, Robert, Jr., 1800-1872



Page 1
Blithewood Decr. 16th 1843

Dear Sir

Your favor of the 28th came to hand in due time and I have since communicated with Mr Davis . He is ready to make you a visit "about the middle of next month," for which purpose, remit, if you please, a Draft for $100 in my [power] upon some New York Bank and I will forthwith give him directions to proceed. The $100 will barely pay his traveling expenses, though he is willing for that sum to go on & stay three days, during which time he will make any pencil Drawings of Buildings, gates, &c &c that you may desire. But if more elaborate working drawings & specifications are required he will charge accordingly & as you may agree on before using them.
Mr Davis is the readiest & most skillful draughtsman that I know, and can furnish you with designs for Exterior Elevations or Interior Decorations — plans for Gates, Fences, & improving grounds about Buildings — in fact the danger is, when he mounts the Pegasus of Design, he may surprise the restraining taste of another.

Page 2
There is no room for attempting Landscape Gardening, about the College Buildings. All that can be done, in my opinion, is to trim the defective limbs of trees, remove the failing trees, grade the roads & cover them (if it can be got) with gravel, remove the surface stone from the grounds & enrich them so as to get grass to grow (at least in the more open spaces). The rears of the adjoining Lots to be excluded from sight by planting a thick belt of trees along the boundary of the campus. This belt may vary in width & be composed of any trees, most likely to you — viza. Willows, Elms, Thorns, &c.
Buy all the stable manure which you can get & mix it in alternate layers with swamp muck or vegetable mould, of which I think there is a deposit South East of the Colleges, and this compost will answer admirably for top dressing the campus and for planting trees & shrubs.
Substantiate walls of enclosure & handsome Gates, and good roads of approach to the Village is all that I would recommend to be attempted until you are ready to proceed with

Page 3
my favorite plan of a Botanic Garden &c about which I intend to write more fully.
Unless I am prevented by something unforeseen, I intend to visit North Carolina in March and as I shall have occasion to go into Chatham County, I may deviate from my route, so far as to go through C Hill, if you should think that I can be of any service in promoting the plans of improvement in what you are engaged.

Yours very truly,

Robert Donaldson

Gov. Swain

Chapel Hill


P S The Cedar tree or any evergreen will answer well for the belt of trees, but they are difficult to transplant

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