I presume you have heard that we have established in your native state an University for the purposes of educn on a scale of we were much squibbed for having sought some Professors of the first advancement from countries in advance of us. our sister instns in this country would have wished us with their refuse professors to have placed ourselves at the tail instead of the head of their line. we however have no cause to repent of the course we have pursued. the 5. Professors whom we obtained abroad as happy a selection as we could ourselves have wished. of the 1st order of science in their respective lines, accomodating themselves cheerfully to the new circumstances in which they are placed zealous to promote the instn, we have something upwds of 100. students , and for order and good conduct, they have surpassed. the Professors themselves say this, and tell me further that about ⅓ of them are close laborious students, other 3d so, and ⅓ only disposed to bridle & do little. and on the whole the instn is going on with a degree of prosperity beyond all my expectns. I inclose you a hand bill containing more particular details, as some youths from your quarter may perhaps be disposed to come and finish here. from the Southern & Western states generally. among other objects our instn is the collection of a Museum of Nat. hist. of Minerals, & of curiosities in general of art or nature. those of Indian arts stand very near to nature itself. Your situation is so favble for assisting us in this collection that I cannot help solliciting your attention to us. born, I believe, and raised, I am sure, within sight of our University, you must feel double sympathies for the county and nbhood of your birth. our county (of Alb.) subscribed itself 30.M.D. towds this instn from you, one of it’s sons of whom it is proud, they hope they may ask contribns also not of money, but of those things which your situan peculiarly places in your reach. I give the whole of which is considble and much indeed of which was furnished me from the expedn of yourself & Govr Lewis to the Pacific. if you have a Correspdt at N.O. be would be a safe intermediate, and might address to me as ‘Rector of the Univy of Virga to any of our middle Atlantic ports who will pay expenses and forward them on to Richmd should you ever revisit your native state I shall be very happy to recieve you at Monto and should take great pleasure in accompanying you to our Univy in the mean time accept assurances of my contind frdship and great respect.
DLC: Papers of Thomas Jefferson.