James Madison Papers

Board of Visitors, University of Virginia, 19 July 1827

Thursday. July 19. The board met, present the same as yesterday.

Resolved that the Bursar of the University be authorised to borrow from Thomas Jefferson Randolph, trustee of Mrs Martha Randolph, a Sum not exceeding Twenty thousand dollars, at an interest of Six per centum, per annum, payable Semi-annually, at the office of the Farmer’s bank of Virginia, in Richmond.

For the money so borrowed, a stock shall be created, irredeemable for twenty years, and afterwards redeemable as shall be expressed in the certificates hereby directed to be issued.

For each Sum of five hundred dollars so borrowed, a certificate shall be issued to the lender, signed by the Rector and countersigned by the Bursar, under the seal of the University; to the effect following:

The Rector & Visitors of the University of Virginia, owe to Thomas Jefferson Randolph, trustee for Mrs Martha Randolph, the Sum of five hundred dollars, for so much money borrowed of him, pursuant to an act of the General assembly, passed on the day of , entitled which Sum they promise and oblige themselves and their successors to pay or cause to be paid to the Said trustee, his executors, administrators or assigns, at the expiration of [twenty years] from this date, at the office of the Farmer’s bank of Virginia, in Richmond, together with six per centum, per annum, interest thereon, payable at the Said office, on the 1st day of January and the first day of July, in each year.

In testimony whereof, We, the Rector & Bursar of the Said University, acting under a resolution of the board, passed on the 19th of July 1827, have hereunto Set our hands and caused the Seal of the University to be affixed, this day of , in the year Eighteen hundred and

A. G. J. M.

Bursar Rector


The certificates so issued shall be numbered in succession 1. 2. 3 &c. Numbers 1. & 2. shall be made payable twenty years after date; Numbers 3. & 4. twenty one years after date; numbers 5 & 6, twenty two years after date; and so each two successive numbers shall be made payable one year later. But on each certificate, except numbers 1. & 2., there shall be an endorsement bearing even date with the certificate, and signed by the lender, to the following effect:

Memorandum—Though the principal sum appearing due by the within certificate, cannot be demanded by the holder till the time at which it is made payable within, yet it will be at the pleasure of the Rector & Visitors to pay the Sum at any earlier period, after the expiration of twenty years from the date.

Given under my hand, this day of , eighteen hundred and

T. J. R.


Pursuant to the said memorandum, this board retains the full power of paying the principal sum which shall be due on each certificate, at any time after the expiration of twenty years from its date; although it may be made payable, on the face of the certificate, at a later period.

For the payment of the interest, and redemption of the principal of the loan hereby authorised, the board pledges the annuity of the University payable from the Literary fund.

The Money borrowed in pursuance of this resolution, shall be applied to the payment of the debts of the University, due & to become due; to the finishing of its buildings; to supplying water to the University, and purchasing a fire engine & hose.

The celebration of the anniversary of Independence & of Washington’s birthday, in a manner becoming a literary institution, is recommended to the Professors & students, as a duty worthy of constant observance. But no festivities which naturally lead to excess, are admissible on the occasion. Public dinners therefore, are strictly prohibited; though a ball or other evening party attended by professors & students, having its pleasures chastened by the company of ladies, is allowed, under such regulations as the faculty may prescribe.

The celebration most appropriate to a University, must blend literature & science with the indulgence of patriotic feeling.

The board therefore recommend for the fourth of July, the reading of the Declaration of Independence, with suitable solemnities; orations, on the day and on other subjects, historical, literary and scientific—to be spoken or read, under the regulation of the faculty. They recommend that the subjects of composition shall be given to the students, a suitable time before hand; that each student who pleases, compose an oration or write a discussion, on such as he may select; that these compositions, with the name of the author sealed, be submitted to the faculty, for their inspection & criticism; that such as are deemed proper to be publicly read or spoken, have their seals broken and be returned to their authors, for the purpose of being read or spoken; and that those which may not be deemed proper for public exhibition, be returned to their authors, with the seals unbroken.

For the 22d. February, they recommend, under similar regulations, compositions on subjects illustrating the life and character of Washington, and other Suitable subjects; to be publicly read or spoken, as may be deemed proper by the faculty.

Resolved that Martin Dawson be authorised & desired to examine and settle the accounts of the Proctor since the period of the last examination and settlement: And that J. H. Cocke & J. C. Cabell, or either of them, be a committee to examine & settle in like manner, the accounts of the Bursar.

Resolved that, from the commencement of the session, till the last of April, the hours of lecture shall commence at half after Seven, & follow in the succession heretofore prescribed, till half after one; and there shall be an interval of one hour, for dinner, so as to postpone the last prescribed lecture to the hours between half after two and half after four o’clock.

From the last of April till the end of the session, the lectures shall commence at half after five in the morning; and continue till half after seven. Then allowing half an hour for breakfast, shall commence at eight, and continue in regular succession, each occupying two hours, till two o’clock in the afternoon.

The days for lectures in the several schools, and the order in which they will succeed each other, shall be as heretofore prescribed by this board.

Resolved that in every instance in which an infraction of any regulation on the part of a student, comes under the notice of a professor, it shall be his special duty to make an official report of the case to the Chairman.

Resolved that, in addition to the examinations already required, it shall be the duty of the Professors of the University, to prescribe to the students in their respective classes, frequent & regular themes; adapted to their previous acquirements, and calculated to develope and strengthen their mental faculties.

Resolved that, on the subject of publishing the names of the students with reference to their proficiency in their classes, the board refer it to the more deliberate consideration of the faculty whether they will make any publication in the newspapers at all.

If any such publication should be thought expedient, the board earnestly recommmend it to the faculty, to publish only the names of a few preeminently distinguished, in each class; exceeding in no class, either five in number, or one fifth of the whole.

They approve the classification of the whole number of students, as proposed by the faculty, so as to ascertain their relative proficiency. But they recommend that that classification shall be no farther used than to be laid before the visitors, and to enable the chairman to communicate to each parent & guardian, the standing of his own son & ward, without informing him of the standing of any other student in the class.

Resolved that the annual salary now paid to the Janitor be hereby augmented by twenty five dollars.

Resolved that the letter of Dr Emmet of July 10th., and the account of the Mutual assurance Society, be referred to the Executive committee, to be acted upon by them, as may be found expedient.

Resolved that, in answer to the letters of Mr Egan, the secretary is requested to inform him that, while the visitors feel interested in the prosperity of his school, & would cheerfully, if they could, contribute to its success; they do not consider themselves justified in recognising a connexion between it and the University, or in acceding to Mr. Egan’s request, by relaxing the laws which have been enacted for the government of their library.

Resolved that the regular session of the Rector and Visitors of the University shall hereafter be held annually on the 10th. day of July; or, if that be sunday, on the next day: and be continued at the discretion of the board.

Resolved that the Chairman of the Faculty shall be authorised to employ a suitable person to work the Lithographic press, when required by the Professors of the University; and to attend the professors of Natural Philosophy & Chemistry, in their lecture rooms & in the Laboratory

The person thus employed shall receive as a compensation for his services a sum not exceeding one hundred & twenty dollars per annum; and shall be removable at any time, at the pleasure of the Chairman of the Faculty.

Resolved that William Matthews, the Military Instructor, be authorised to have the use of the Library, on the same terms and conditions as if he were a student, so long as he may reside within the precincts of the University.

Resolved that no student, without permission of the faculty, shall leave any class which he may have entered, or leave the University before the end of the session. And if any shall offend herein, he shall be subject to any of the major or minor punishments, or may be refused admission into the University, at the next session, at the discretion of the Faculty.

Resolved That the school hitherto denominated the school of anatomy and Medicine, shall be hereafter called The School of Medicine; the professor thereof shall be called The Professor of Medicine; and there shall be taught therein, in addition to what is now required, Obstetricks and Medical Jurisprudence.

Students paying the professor his full fee, will have the benefit of attending all his classes; and those desiring to attend only the class of Medical Jurisprudence, shall be allowed to attend that, on the payment of a fee of fifteen dollars. Provided however, that if the Lectures on Medical Jurisprudence during the next Session, cannot be delivered within the regular hours of lecture assigned to the professor; and they should be delivered in extra-hours, the professor shall be entitled to a fee of fifteen dollars from every student attending these lectures.

Resolved as follows: All the duties originally assigned to the school of Natural history, except those pertaining to Chemistry, having been dispensed with for the present; and Materia Medica & Pharmacy having been assigned to the professor of that school, it shall hereafter be called the school of Chemistry and Materia Medica. The professor shall be called the Professor of Chemistry and Materia Medica. Every student paying his full fee, shall be entitled to the benefit of attending all his classes, whether of Chemistry or Materia Medica; and any student desiring to attend his class of Materia Medica alone, shall be allowed to attend that on the payment of a fee of fifteen dollars.

Resolved as follows—Every student paying to the professor of Moral Philosophy, his full fee, shall be entitled to the benefit of all his classes, including that of Political economy; and those desirous of attending the class of Political economy alone, shall be allowed to attend that, on the payment of a fee of fifteen dollars.

Resolved as follows—So much of the existing enactments, as requires a deposit of ten dollars to be paid to the bursar, in order to entitle a student to the use of the library; and as requires the librarian to report to the bursar, the fines and damages assessed against students, shall be, and the same is hereby repealed.

Every student who shall have matriculated and paid a deposit of ten dollars to the proctor, shall be entitled to the use of the library, upon the terms and under the restrictions prescribed by the enactments. It shall be the duty of the Librarian to report all fines and damages assessed against a student on account of the library, to the proctor; who shall charge the same to the student and deduct the amount from the deposit in his hands.

Resolved That if at the end of the present year, the number of students boarding at the hotels do not exceed one hundred & seventy five, the hotel keepers shall be reduced to five; and if the number do not exceed one hundred and forty, the number of hotel-keepers shall be reduced to four. And the executive committee are requested to cause the necessary previous notice to be given to such as are to be removed.

Resolved as follows—The board have considered the letter of Warner W. Minor, addressed to the Chairman of the Faculty, & dated on the 13th of June; and being of opinion that that letter is written in a very improper spirit, and that the transaction which it vindicates is an obvious breach of the enactments, they recommend the subject to the attention of the Chairman of the Faculty and the Executive Committee: advising that they shall require a strict conformity with the enactments in this respect; and, in default of such conformity, that they take the proper measures to inflict the penalties, and apply the necessary corrective.

The Board then adjourned to the second Monday in December next.

Nichs: Ph: Trist


Ms (ViU).

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