James Madison Papers
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Francis Walker Gilmer to the Rector and Visitors of the University of Virginia, 25 January 1825

Francis Walker Gilmer to the Rector and Visitors
of the University of Virginia

Richmond 25th. January 1825

It was my intention on leaving England, to have drawn up during the voyage, an extended report of all my proceedings on the mission with which I was entrusted. A most boisterous passage, with continued & severe sickness prevented me, and since my arrival, I have had neither leisure nor strength for the undertaking. A short account of my pecuniary transactions however, I feel myself bound to present. That is rendered very simple, by my never having had in my hands, a shilling of the money. All the payments were made directly by Gowan & Marx (Bankers,) to the persons entitled to receive the money.

I have to account with the university, for a bill drawn in Richmond on the 29th. april 1824, by Joseph Marx & Son, on Gowan & Marx of London, for £1800 Sterg. due at 60 days sight, & indorsed by Wm. Nekervis Cashr. of the Farmer’s Bank of Virginia.

This bill was presented for acceptance, on the 13th. June, and was of course due on 16th. August.

The following are the drafts I made on Gowan & Marx.
£. S. D
Sepr. 20th. in favour of George Blaettermann—
advance as professor in the University1 80. 0. 0
29th of John Tuther (optician) part of2
apparatus 21.16. 6
Octr. 1. Letter of credit in favour of 1.129. 7. 6
Bohn (Bookseller)
do. Ths. H. Key—advance as Professor3 50. 0. 0
do. Dr. R. Dunglison do. 50. 0. 0
do. Cary (optician) amount not exactly
ascertained as some of the instruments
were to be made4 205.15. 0
3d. Ch. Bonnycastle—advance as Professor 50. 0. 0
do. for further apparatus 50. 0. 0
1.636.19. 0
Leaving a balance in the hands of
Gowan & Marx, due the university of 163. 1. 0

This however will be diminished by insurance, package, drayage &c. &c.

It will be observed, that the books already arrived5 do not, include all enumerated in the annexed catalogue, because some of the books were to be shipped from the Continent directly to the United States. They however, are not to be paid for, until shipped, which was to be early in November.6

(B.) is the catalogue of books with the prices annexed.7

(C) is a very full catalogue of instrumental books furnished by the learned Dr. Parr.8

(D.) is a catalogue of the library of the Royal Institution presented by Mr. Harris.9

(I.) is a list of instruments already furnished, & of others to be delivered in London by 25th octr ’24.10 (Some delay I fear is likely to occur as to part of them, from a misunderstanding between Cary the Maker & G & M. about a deduction of 10 pc. on some of the articles.)

(K.) is a letter confidential in its nature. I do not wish its contents to be made known to any one, but the visitors, and desire it may be returned to me, after it has been submitted to them.

(M.) is a letter from the Revd. John Lynes, offering to the university the library of Dr. Parr at his death.11 He married a grandaughter of Dr. Parr, & will be his executor.12 The proposal is also mentioned in a letter from Dr. Parr to me.

I have already informed the Rector by letters from New York, of the persons employed as Professors in the different departments, and have forwarded to him their several contracts. I have the honor to be with great consideration & respect, your very hum. Sert &c. &c.

Francis W. Gilmer

Ms, copy, and enclosures (ViU: Special Collections). The copy is undated. Minor differences between the copies have not been noted. For surviving enclosures, see nn. 8–11.

1Copy does not have this line.

2Copy has “chemical” before “apparatus.”

3Copy has “part of 1st quarter salary” instead of “advance as professor.”

4This line does not appear in the copy.

5Copy has “already landed in Baltimore” instead of “already arrived.”

6In the copy this sentence reads: “They have probably not yet arrived, & are not paid for, as appears by the annexed letter of Gowan & Marx to me (‘L’).”

7In the copy the sentence continues: “to which I afterwards directed 3 others to be added.”

8The eighteen-page list of books, dated 23 Aug. 1824, and marked “(C)” is docketed by Gilmer: “For the University of Virginia. This Catalogue of Books was furnished by the venerable Dr. Samuel Parr (of Hatton,) and written by Mr. Benjamin Kennedy, the best scholar at Cambridge in the summer of 1824.”

9Copy adds here “I add also a complete catalogue of Bentham’s works, given me in London: & the examination questions at Reading.” The second edition of A Catalogue of the Library of the Royal Institution of Great Britain, by William Harris, its secretary, was printed in London in 1821. It was listed in A Catalogue of the Library of the University of Virginia (Charlottesville, Va., 1828), 107, as a gift of “Mr. Harris.” A copy of “Heads of Public Examination of the Second and Fourth Classes of Reading School,” by Richard Valpy, master, dated 20 Oct. 1823 (3 pp. printed; docketed by Gilmer: “Presented to the university of Va. by F. W. Gilmer”), is in the Correspondence of Francis Walker Gilmer, Special Collections, University of Virginia Library.

10Copy adds here “& to be shipped immediately.” The enclosure has not been found, but there is a two-page list in Gilmer’s hand, entitled “Instruments to be furnished for the University of Virginia by Mr. Cary optician 182 Strand,” of eighteen items costing £337.14.0. On the verso of the list is “Mr. Tuther (High Holborn) 221,” (listing twenty-six items at a cost of £21.16.4) and “Supplement for Electrical Experiments” (listing fourteen items at a cost of £21.17.0).

11Copy adds here “which will probably soon happen.” The letter of the Rev. John Lynes to Gilmer, 11 Sept. 1824, marked “M,” is in the Correspondence of Francis Walker Gilmer, Special Collections, University of Virginia Library.

12Copy ends here.

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