Benjamin Henry Latrobe (1764-1820) moved to Virginia from England in 1796. He is best known for his work on the United States Capitol. In 1803, President Thomas Jefferson summoned him to Washington to complete the building, a project which preoccupied Latrobe for the rest of his life.
On July 13, 1796, Latrobe sketched several buildings at Rippon Lodge while he was Thomas Blackburn's guest. Latrobe seems to have had a friendly relationship with Blackburn, since letters he wrote to Blackburn described people who they both knew.
During his visit, Latrobe described and drew wasps that lived in the walls at Rippon Lodge. His notes about the wasps were detailed, but he did not write about the people living at Rippon Lodge.
?The house on the left hand must have been built near 100 Years ago, as the oldest people now living do not remember to have heard when and by whom it was built. The family makes use of both houses, neither of them being sufficiently commodious of itself. It seems to have been the intention of Coln. Blackburn to have united them by a large Room between the two?
Benjamin Latrobe's comments about his Sketch of Rippon Lodge, the House of Colonel Thomas Blackburn, July 13, 1796.