James Madison Papers

James Madison to Henry B. Bascom, 10 November 1827

Montpr. Novr. 10. 1827

Dear Sir

Your letter of Ocr. 19. was recd. in due time. The acknowledgment of it has been delayed by a wish to accompany it with a Copy as requested of the Enactments of our University, which I did not obtain till two days ago

I congratulate you on the encouraging prospect which dawns on the Infant Establishment under your presiding care. A temporary deficiency in the articles of apparatus & Library, is generally felt in Learned Institutions, the offsprings of individual efforts, in a Country not abounding in individual wealth. In our University, tho’ now under State Endowment, the Library is on a scale little comporting as yet with that of the Plan. The Books are however systematically chosen, and form a nucleus for an excellent collection. No catalogue has been provided, or I wd. add a copy to that of the Enactments

I cannot too much commend the prudent rules by which it is proposed to manage the economic interests of the College. Experience shews the evil tendency of incurring debts beyond resources, in the case of public bodies as well as of individuals; and the Spanish adage festina lente conveys a lesson particularly applicable to the case of new undertakings, having difficulties to overcome with a scantiness of means. With great esteem & good wishes

Draft (DLC).

Index Entries