James Madison Papers

Timothy Clowes to James Madison, 25 May 1827

Chestertown, Eastern Shore, Md. May 25, 1827.


Some days since, I directed a letter to you, offering myself a Candidate for the place of Professor of Mathematics in the University of Virginia, which place I understood was soon to become vacant, by the resignation of the present incumbent.

I enclosed moreover, a letter of recommendation from Dr. Anderson, the very able Professor of Mathematics in Columbia College, N. Y. and I now forward a letter to the same effect from James Ryan Esq. the Author of several scientific works; and the Editor of "The Mathematical Diary" published in the City of New York.

It was my wish that the copies of certain certificates, which I forwarded to the Revd. Mr. Hatch, should be communicated to you, and the other members of the Board of Visitors. I trust that gentleman has fulfilled my wish on this subject.

It will no doubt be seen that these certificates have more particular reference to my proficiency in Classical Literature, than in Mathematical science. This perhaps may be accounted for, by mentioning that nearly all these certficates were obtained, while I was a candidate for the place, which I now occupy; in which I was to devote myself to the duties of Classical Professor, much more than to the Mathematics. But I have always delighted in Mathematical pursuits, and have spent many of my leisure hours in attending to those studies, which might qualify me to fill the Chair of Mathematics in some respectable College. I feel entirely confident therefore, that I should immediately fill the place, I am desirous of obtaining, with reputation and with usefulness; and that by bending my whole time and attention to the duties of my office, I should become entirely acquainted with them, in all their minutiæ, and in all their extent.

It is my earnest wish to devote myself to the duties of a single Professorship; and of all the Professorships known in our Colleges, I should much prefer that of Mathematics. I am Sir very respectfully your humble servt.

Timothy Clowes.

RC, enclosing letters of recommendation (ViU). Docketed by JM.

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