University of Va. July 21st 1834.
An improvement in canals having presented itself to me I was desirous of asking the opinion of either Genl Macomb, or Genl Gratiot upon that subject, as well as upon some points connected with our School of Civil Engineering. Expressing to Mr Cabell my reluctance to intrude myself on these Gentlemen, he suggested that it would not be improper to ask the favor of a letter from you. I confess that it is with much reluctance that I trouble you on a subject of so little importance as my own speculations; but if your acquaintance with either of these Gentlemen, or the few moments of your valuable leisure will permit me the favor of a line, I shall feel greatly obliged. With respectful remembrances to Mrs Madison, and with the sentiments of profound respect due to yourself I remain Dear Sir Your Obedt Servt