Montpellier Mar. 21. 1831
I have just recd. your letter of the 15th. with the papers returned from Richmond by Mr. Venable. I am certainly not wanting in any of the recollections which ought to inspire my best wishes for the prosperity of Nassau-Hall. But the particular relations in which I stand to another Institution, more than that, deficient, both in Professorships, and in the means of providing them would of course afford the stronger claim on my limited resources. And I will be candid enough to state that these are subject to claims more imperitative than any that could proceed from either of those quarters. I do not detain the subscription paper, because I am quite sure that no effective use could be made of it within the circle of my communication.
The States are now generally engaged in providing within themselves, the means of Education in its higher as well as ordinary branches. And it may be expected that New Jersey, among her other merits, will feel an emulation that will not permit a diminution of the external aids attracted by the reputation of her ancient Seat of the Muses, to be unsupplied by a wise liberality.
Mrs. Madison is gratified by the kind sentiments expressed in your letter, and joins me in the offer of cordial respects & salutations.
RC (NjP); draft (DLC).