Thomas Jefferson Papers

To Thomas Jefferson from William Matthews, 25 April 1826

Charlottesville April 25th 1826


I enclose you a copy of a subscription paper which has been presented to a number of the students at the University and a sufficient number has subscribed to enable me to commence the school, at the time specified.

A difficulty presented itself to me a few days since, which causes me to address you.—The time which I have to drill and instruct the students, has to be so early in the morning (from 5 to 1-2 after 6.A.M); in order that it may not interfere with their studies; that I am compelled to take a place for the purpose of drilling them, convenient to the University.

[. . .] place allotted the students for exercise would answer the purpose of this school; and I should be pleased to use it but fearing there might be objections on the part of the Visitors or Faculty, I take this method of inquiry—the consequences of which be pleased to inform me.

I have an object in view which will perhaps dissipate some of the objections which might be advanced against a strangers opening of a Military School, at the University. I am, desirous of showing by actual performance that I could discharge the duties required of the Military Instructor who has to be appointed, to drill the students; were it not for the confidence I have of my competency to act in such a situation, I would be far from trying to undertake. An answer will greatly oblige a stranger,

very respectfully &c

William Matthews


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