James Madison Papers

James Madison to Henry B. Bascom, 21 July 1827

Montpellier July 21. 1827

Dear Sir

Your favour of June 26. inclosing a copy of the Charter of the College, having arrived during an absence from which I am just returned, I could not sooner acknowledge it. It gives me pleasure to find that the Trustees are about to attach to the Institution an Agricultural Department, an improvement well meriting a place among the practical ones, which the lights of the age, and the genius of our Country are adding to the ordinary course of public Instruction.

I wish I could give value to my commendation by pointing out the best mode of adapting the experiment to its useful object. The task, I doubt not, will be well performed by the Intelligent Councils charged with the Institution, aided as they are by the better models of rural Economy in your State than are presented in this.

The views of this subject which occurred to the Agricultural Society in the neighbourhood of our University, will be seen in a printed circular of which I inclose a copy, and with it an address to the Society, which will shew that our Agricultural practice is at  behind that of your State, as the latter can be short of the attainable standard. Perh<aps> the celebrated Establishment of Fellenberg in Switzerland, may give useful hints in combining agricultural with academic instruction, and both with the advantage of an experimental & pattern farm.

Repeating my wishes for the prosperity & usefulness of the Boston Seminary I tender you my respectful and friendly salutations

James Madison

RC (NjP); draft (DLC).

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