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Additions to Old East and Old West

Additions to OLD EAST and OLD WEST were designed by A. J. Davis.

11 May 1846. Dabney Cosby to David L. Swain.

 "Albert comes up to help his bro. do the Plaistering [sic] in the halls."

Old East (Addition of Third Story)

11 May 1846. Dabney Cosby to David L. Swain.

Dabney Cosby was a Raleigh architect and builder and was the subcontractor in charge of masonry on the additions to Old East and Old West completed in 1848. He penned this note introducing Albert, who "comes up to help his bro. do the Plaistering in the halls." Cosby tells President Swain, "You may rely on what he tells you . . . his Plaistering and Roughcasting has preference to any done in this part of the state."

1 September 1847. David L. Swain to William A. Graham.

"a Cabinet maker rather than a carpenter ought to be employed to put up the
shelves in the new libraries."

1 September 1847. David L. Swain to William A. Graham.

As the additions to Old East and Old West neared completion, President Swain wrote to former governor William A. Graham, now a member of the Board of Trustees and resident of Hillsborough. Swain believed that "a Cabinet maker rather than a carpenter ought to be employed to put up the shelves in the new libraries." The libraries are those of the Dialectic and Philanthropic societies, whose chambers are to be located in the additions. Swain wonders whether Evans, a free man of color in Hillsborough, "might answer our purposes."

 

17 November 1847. Thomas Day to David L. Swain.

"Day encloses an estimate for the shelves; a copy of Swain's reply dated November 24 is on the verso."

17 November 1847. Thomas Day to David L. Swain.

Thomas Day encloses an estimate for the shelves; a copy of Swain's reply dated November 24 is on the verso.

6 December 1847. Thomas Day to David L. Swain.

"For unknown reasons Evans was not hired to do the woodwork in the society libraries, but another free man of color, Thomas Day, was."

6 December 1847. Thomas Day to David L. Swain.

For unknown reasons Evans was not hired to do the woodwork in the society libraries, but another free man of color, Thomas Day, was. Day was a skilled and respected cabinetmaker who had a shop in Milton, near the Virginia border. Contemporary documents indicate that he was the owner of slaves as well as real estate. Here he writes to President Swain that it would be better for him to build the shelves in his shop than to build them on site. "The plank has to be of superior quality," he explains, "& dried in a steam kill which I have here . . . I think I can prepare the whole shelving & boxing here with the assistance of my Pour saws and bring it in waggons."