James Madison Papers

James Madison to the President and Directors of the Literary Fund, 21 July 1830

July 21st. 1830.

The following report was made to the president and Directors of the Literary Fund.


In obedience to the law requiring the Rector and Visitors of the University of Virginia to make an annual report to the President and Directors of the Literary Fund to be laid before the Legislature at their next succeeding meeting, embracing a full account of the disbursements, the Funds on hand, and a general statement of the condition of the said University, the Rector and Visitors make the following report.

In conformity to the provisions of the Act of the General Assembly, establishing the University of Virginia, which requires of the Rector and visitors that they should annually visit the Institution, for the purpose of enquiring into the proceedings and practices thereat, & of examining into the progress of the Students, they held a stated annual meeting commencing on the 14th. of July and terminating on the 22d. of that month and embracing in their session the period of the public Summer examination.

During this time the Board were occupied in inspecting the institution, occasionally attending the examination of the Classes, and in discharging the other duties devolved upon them by the Legislature. As the result of inquiries instituted by them into the state and Condition of the University, and the progress of the Students, they are gratified in being able to state that the general management and economy of the Institution have been such as to meet the continued approbation of the Board. Where they appeared to be defective such remedies have been applied as were deemed most suitable and adequate. The general habits and proficiency of the young men who resort hither for instruction, bear ample testimony to the zeal and ability of the professors, to their own devotion and ardor in the pursuits of Science, and to the fidelity and judgment with which the laws and regulations enacted for the government of the University have been enforced.

The Board have been gratified to find a proof of the increased assiduity and success of the students in the circumstance of a much greater number having been received as graduates in the several schools, than at any former session.

The judicial office conferred on Professor Lomax has withdrawn him from the chair of Law in this Institution. In referring to the event the Board cannot satisfy their feelings without bearing testimony to the high legal attainments, the devotion to his duties and the other attractive merits by which he was characterised.

On the invitation of the Board Mr. John A. G. Davis consented to fill the vacated chair for the term of twelve months; and from the opportunities afforded the Members of estimating his fine talents, his legal acquirements, and his appropriate habits, a just confidence is entertained that the trust he has undertaken, will be ably and faithfully discharged.

The Board have deemed it expedient to provide for the employment of a tutor in the school of Modern Languages with a salary of five hundred dollars per annum, and one third of the fees paid in that school. To provide this renumeration it has been necessary to make a corresponding reduction in the emoluments of the Professor, in the discharge of the duties of whose chair he has been appointed to assist. The appointment thus provided for, is to be held during the pleasure of the Visitors. The Tutor is required to conform to all the laws of the Institution, and to reside within the precincts, where convenient accommodation<s> are to be assigned himself and Family within the Dormitories or Hotels and grounds of the University.

Some change has been also made in the Schools of Moral Philosophy and Antient languages. Instruction in Rhetoric & Belles Lettres, heretofore required to be given in the School of Antient languages has been transferred to that of moral Philosophy, while, in the latter, The Fee of fifteen dollars for attending the class of political Economy, has been abolished, and the Professor is entitled to receive a full fee from every student attending his school, in which political Economy is included.

Provision has been made enabling those who may be desirous of attending the class of physiology alone in the school of Medicine, to do so on the payment of a fee of fifteen dollars.

The Board have the Satisfaction to state that, notwithstanding the continued pressure of pecuniary difficulties experienced in the Country, the number of students attending the various schools of the University, during the recent Session, has suffered no diminution, but has rather increased when compared with the preceding one, having been, in that which has just terminated, one hundred and thirty three: The state of the schools being as follows:

Antient languages____52

Modern languages___39


Natural Philosophy__47

Chemistry & Mat: Med:__42



Mor: Philosophy____16


The accounts of the receipts, disbursements, and Funds on hand, as rendered by the Bursar and Proctor, are given with this report, as required by Law

James Madison


Ms (ViU).

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