The liberality ever evidenced by you, on every occasion that offered an opportunity either to cherish the moral principle, or to ameliorate the condition of many, will not fail to suggest an apology for soliciting the patronage of your named to the Subscription enclosed. To you, Sir, who have accurately weighed and so justly appretiated the respective advantages likely to result from various public Institutions to the promotion of laudable policy and your truly philanthropic views, a commendation of our undertaking is superfluous. Should it seem to you, that no advantage to our Country is likely to accrue even from the cultivation of the Fine Arts, this circumstance alone may well afford the strongest reason for relinquishing the enterprise in contemplation. While a promising prospect once opened to your view, to reason from the past, fixes your patronage, adds one more Item to the Catalogue of the acknowledgements of a free and enlightened Nation, and confirs an Obligation
On Your most obt hble servant
DLC: Papers of Thomas Jefferson.