James Madison Papers

James Madison to Joseph C. Cabell, October 1833

[1833 Oct.]

Dr. Sir

I have seen no evidence yet that a Successor has been appointed to Mr Breckenridge. I hope the Govr. has not waited for the formality of a notice of his death as the event was a matter of certainty & notoriety, and as well known to the Govr. as it could be to any of the Visitors, I took for granted that there wd. be no scruple or delay in filling the vacancy. On the first suggestion that I might possibly be in an error, I wrote to Mr. Johnson, requesting him <to> ascertain the views of the Executive on <...> occasion. I enclose his answer which explains <th>e ground on which I have looked for an appoint< >ed, and I wish it may have taken place. Return if you please, the letter, at your leisure

I enclosed to Mr Randolph several letters recommending a successor to Docr. Dunglison. It is the only contribution I had to make for the use of the Board. The difficulty of duly providing for the case, is I fear insurmountable; and the effect of a bad choice must be fatal to the Medical School. As a preferable course may it not be well to make the experiment of a temporary arrangement. Patterson, I understand is scientifically competent, a good Lecturer and popular among the Students. His Northern reputation might also have something of a countervailing attraction One advantage of a provisional arrangement, is that the door will be open for the return of Dunglison, in the event of disappointed calculations, which some, I learn regard as not very improbable.

The Board I am sure will act for the best, as I am that they are the best Judges of what is so <...>. Be assured always of my great & c<or>dial esteem.


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