James Madison Papers

James Madison to George Long, 8 September 1827

Montpr. Sepr. 8. 1827

Dear Sir

Your favor of Aug. 31. was duly recd. by the mail preceeding the last. Altho’ it ought not to produce surprize, that you should, on the expiration of your engagement here, prefer a residence in your native Country, I am very sure that I express a regret common to the Visitors that the University should lose a professor whose qualifications, can scarcely be hoped for in a Successor whether native or foreign.

With respect to your proposal to aid in the task of supplying the vacancy when it occurs I can readily take on me to assure you that the Visitors will learn with pleasure the interest you take in the success of the University, and that there can be no danger of a misconstruction of the friendly inducements to the proposal you make. What alone requires caution in my reply to it, is the difficulty that may be found in conducting the preparation of a Successor, in such a manner as neither to subject him to a possible disappointment, nor preclude the Visitors from that scope for comparison & choice, of which they might not be at liberty to deprive themselves

If the arrangement kindly proposed can be so managed as to give to the youth or youths in question the benefits of your preparatory instruction without any future controul on the decision of the Board, there can certainly be no objection to a communication of the contents of your letter, to my Colleagues; I suspend it however, till I may be favored with the result of your reflections on the view of the subject here presented.

Draft (DLC).

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