James Madison Papers

James Madison to James Breckenridge, 8 January 1828

Montpellier Jany. 8. 1828

Dear Sir

I have recd. yours of Decr. 23. The difficulty I fear will be as great as the importance of providing as successor to Mr. Long. You know his anxiety to secure the appointment given him in the London University; to which is to be added the necessity he states of his returning to England on other accounts, at the expiration of his stipulated term; so that there is no chance of his permanent stay with us.

I have just recd. a letter from Mr. Brougham Chairman of the Council to the London University, saying that Mr. Long’s presence will be called for within the Autumn of this year, and that the Council are very anxious that he may be released from his engagements here in time to be then there. My answer which it was proper to hasten, urges the greater difficulty here of providing a temporary substitute substitute for him, than where adequate Teachers are so much more numerous; and hopes this consideration will be allowed its due weight by the Council; admitting at the same time our desire that Mr. Long may not be ultimately disappointed of the place he has so much at heart. This I conceived to be the vie<w of the> case prevailing with the Visitors; Mr. L. appearing to have acted on the occasion with fa<irness & consis>tency, and with a desire to mitigate as much as he could, the inconveniency to the University <from his leaving> it. A compulsive detention of him with the loss of an object which he represents as of v<ital importance> to the welfare of himself and his connections in England, would indeed impair not a little <the advan>tage expected from his compleating the term of his contract with our University. I do not altogether despair that the London Council may withdraw their application, tho’ it is quite probable that the letter of Mr. B. has its origin in the suggestion of Mr. Long’s friends, if not of himself. It is possible also that delays may occur in opening the University which may remove the difficulty. That relating to the vacancy in the Chair left by Mr. Bonnycastle is still unremoved, awaiting a close of the correspondence on the subject in the hands of Genl. Cocke & Mr. Johnson With great esteem & regard

James Madison

RC (ViU); draft (DLC). RC damaged by removal of seal; words and letters in angle brackets supplied from the draft. RC addressed to Breckenridge at Fincastle, Botetourt County, Va.

Index Entries