Thomas Jefferson Papers
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Minutes of Central College Board of Visitors, 7 October 1817

Minutes of Central College Board of Visitors

At a meeting of the Visitors &c held at Charlottesville 7 Oct: 1817.

On information of the amount of the subscriptions to the Central College, known to be made, and others understood to be so,1 the board resolves, that the Pavilion now erecting be completed as heretofore directed, with the 20. dormitories attached to it, and that two other pavilions be contracted for and executed the next year with the same number of dormitories to each, that one of these be appropriated to the professor of languages, Belles Lettres, Rhetoric, Oratory, history & Geography, one other to the professor of chemistry, zoology, botany, anatomy, and the 3d until otherwise wanted for a boarding house, to be kept by some French family of good character, wherein it is proposed that the boarders shall be permitted to speak French only, with a view to their becoming familiarised to conversation in that language.

The board is of opinion that the ground for these buildings should be previously reduced to a plain or to terrasses as it shall be found to admit with due regard to expence, that the pavilions be correct in their architecture and execution, and that where the family of a Professor requires it, 2 additional rooms shall be added for their accomodation.

On information that the revd Mr Knox formerly thought of for a Professor of languages is withdrawn from business, the order of July 28, is rescinded,2 and3 it is resolved to offer in the first place the professorship of Chemistry &c to Doct: Thos Cooper of Pennsylvania, adding to it that of law, with a fixed salary of 1000.D. and tuition fees of 20.D. from each of his students to be paid by them, and to accede also to the conditions stated in his letter of Sep: 16. to Th: Jefferson; and that he be4 advised with as to a qualified Professor of languages, or such other measures be taken to obtain one as shall be found most advisable: that the professor of languages should be engaged to take place on the 1st of April, and Dr Cooper5 as soon as the pavilion for him can be erected, or as6 he can otherwise accomodate himself with lodgings.

Resolved that every student shall be required to pay 60.d. per annum tuition fees of which 20.D. shall be paid to each professor he attend[s] and the surplus thereof if any, to remain for the use of the college, and that 15.D. be paid moreover for each dormitory by the students occupying them.

Resolved that any deficiency in the monies paid or payable by subscription or otherwise in or before April next, to pay for the Pavilions, and dormitories, the 1st year’s salaries to the two professors aforesaid, and other necessary expences, shall be obtained, if practicable by negociation with the banks on a pledge of the future instalments of subscriptions and of the College property as security and that of the latter installments the sum of 25,000 D. shall be disposed of as7 shall hereafter be directed either to the commonwealth or the banks or some other safe monied institution, on an interest sufficient to pay the annual salaries of the 2. professors aforesaid forever.

Resolved that the Proctor be authorized to hire laborers for levelling the grounds and performing necessary services for the works or other purposes.

James Madison
James Monroe
David Watson
J. H. Cocke
Jos: C: Cabell
Th: Jefferson

MS (ViU: TJP-VMTJ); in Cabell’s hand, signed by Madison, Monroe, Watson, Cocke, Cabell, and TJ; edge damaged, with missing text supplied from Trs; in TJ’s hand above signatures: “Oct. 7. 1817.” Tr (ViU: TJP-VMJCC). Tr (ViU: TJP-VMJHC). Tr (ViU: TJP-VMJB). Tr (ViU: TJP); extract entirely in TJ’s hand; similar extracts of Minutes of Central College Board of Visitors, 8 Oct. 1817 and 11 May 1818, subjoined; at head of text: “At a meeting of the Visitors to wit Jas Mad. Jas Monr. D.W. J.H.C. Jos. C. C. & Th:J Etc held at Charlottesville 7. Oct. 1817”; enclosed in TJ to Cabell, 1 Mar. 1819. FC (ViU: JCC); abstract in Cabell’s hand; lacking signatures; subjoined to similar FC of Minutes of Central College Board of Visitors, 28 July 1817.

1FC here adds “(to the amt of $40,000).”

2All Trs: “resumed.”

3Tr in TJ’s hand begins here and extends to end of paragraph.

4Text from this point to “professor of languages should be” not in Tr in TJ’s hand.

5Preceding eight words not in Tr in TJ’s hand.

6Tr in TJ’s hand here adds “soon as.”

7Cabell here canceled “follows.”

Index Entries

  • anatomy; collegiate education in search
  • belles lettres; collegiate education in search
  • botany; collegiate education in search
  • Central College; builders for search
  • Central College; dormitory rooms at search
  • Central College; funding for search
  • Central College; pavilions at search
  • Central College; proctor of search
  • Central College; professors for search
  • Central College; students at search
  • Central College; subscription for search
  • Central College Board of Visitors; Minutes of search
  • chemistry; collegiate education in search
  • Cooper, Thomas; and Central College search
  • French language; study of search
  • geography; collegiate education in search
  • history; collegiate education in search
  • Knox, Samuel; as educator search
  • language; collegiate education in search
  • law; collegiate education in search
  • oratory; collegiate education in search
  • rhetoric; collegiate education in search
  • subscriptions, non-publication; for Central College/ University of Virginia search
  • zoology; collegiate education in search