James Madison Papers
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To James Madison from Thomas Jefferson, 16 May 1824

From Thomas Jefferson

Monto. May 16. 24.

Dear Sir

You will see by the inclosed letter from mr. Cabell1 that a project is in agitation respecting Wm. & Mary Coll.2 which gives him much alarm. I communicate to you the letter as he requests, and with it my answer,3 as shewing the point in which I view it. I will ask their return when read, that I may be enabled to lodge my answer in Richmd. before his arrival there.

On the question of engaging a Medical professor, yourself, mr. Cabell, Genl. Cocke and myself concurred in the affirmative, mr. Johnson was in the negative. 4. being a majority of the whole board, I considered it as so decided, and gave the instruction accdly. Our agent sailed from N.Y. on the 8th. inst. I did not consult Genl. Breckenridge & mr. Loyall, because neither was acqd. with the previous proceedings on the subject, and their distance also, and the promptness of decision necessary did not give time. Ever and affectly. your’s

Th: J.

Draft (DLC: Jefferson Papers).

1Joseph C. Cabell to Jefferson, 5 May 1824 (Cabell, Early History of the University of Virginia, 305–8). Cabell informed Jefferson that “a scheme is now in agitation at this place [Williamsburg], the object of which is to remove the college of William & Mary to the city of Richmond,” and he continued, “it will most unquestionably be attempted, and will be powerfully supported.” Cabell ended by requesting the advice of Jefferson and JM as to the tack the supporters of the University of Virginia should take in the controversy.

2Jefferson first wrote then canceled “our university” here.

3Jefferson to Cabell, 16 May 1824 (ibid., 308–13).

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