Thomas Jefferson Papers
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Joseph C. Cabell to Thomas Jefferson, 8 December 1818

From Joseph C. Cabell

Richmond 8th Decr 1818.

Dear Sir,

The Senate formed a House to-day: the House of Delegates yesterday. A conference between Messrs Carr and Gordon & myself held this morning resulted in an agreement to get Mr Taylor of Chesterfield to bring forward the subject of the University in the House of Delegates. Not to speak of those other circumstances in his favor, which should induce me to prefer him, we thought his position in the State, would give him less the appearance of local feelings & interests. I introduced those gentlemen to him1 & Mr Taylor undertook the task at our request. The Report was read, and received with great attention in both the Houses. A resolution to print a number of copies passed each House. The ability and value of the Report I am informed are universally admitted. It was referred in the lower House to a select committee, and the Speaker is friendly to the measure. Present prospects are very favorable to a successful issue. Some votes about Wm & Mary may be lost: but nothing like a serious diversion in favor of a western scite is, I believe, to be apprehended. Philip R. Thompson of Kenawha, & the delegates from that Quarter will vote for Charlottesville. From the rest of the west I have not had time to hear. A portion of the Assembly will be opposed to the whole subject: and how far a combination between this part and the Lexington Interest may jeopardize the measure I cannot now determine. All that I can now positively affirm is that the clouds seem to be scattering and the prospect to smile. I will do myself the pleasure to write you from time to time. My friends advised me to push on to Wmsburg and to stay there till the entire recovery of my health: but feeling myself getting better, I resolved to stay and do what I could to promote this business. At Bremo my fevers returned, but since I left that place, my recovery has been advancing uninterruptedly. I shall proceed to Wmsburg, and stay a week or two, as soon as the subject of the University shall be put on a footing satisfactory to my mind.

I am, Dr Sir, sincerely & faithfully yours

Joseph C. Cabell

P.S. Mr Hunter of Essex will support the Report.

RC (ViU: TJP-PC); endorsed by TJ as received 14 Dec. 1818 and so recorded in SJL. RC (DLC); address cover only; with PoC of TJ to Wilson Cary Nicholas, 1 Apr. 1819, on recto and verso; addressed: “Thomas Jefferson Monticello”; franked; postmarked Richmond, 8 Dec.

On this date Samuel taylor of chesterfield successfully moved in the Virginia House of Delegates that five hundred copies of the University of Virginia Commissioners’ Report be printed for the members of the General Assembly, including delegates on a select committee the House created to consider the communication. Taylor was then named to the select committee, along with delegates John Bowyer, of Rockbridge County; Samuel Carr, of Albemarle County; Briscoe G. Baldwin, of Augusta County; William C. Rives, of Nelson County; Charles Yancey, of Buckingham County; Archibald Magill, of Frederick County; William F. Gordon, of Albemarle County; Andrew Alexander, of Rockbridge County; William S. Archer, of Amelia County; John Robertson, of the city of Richmond; George Townes, of Pittsylvania County; Philip R. Thompson, of Kanawha County; Lewis C. Tyler, of James City County; Robert Mallory, of Orange County; James Machir, of Hardy County; William Steenbergen, of Shenandoah County; John Hooe, of King George County; Joseph J. Degraffenreid, of Lunenburg County; and Edmund Penn, of Amherst County (JHD description begins Journal of the House of Delegates of the Commonwealth of Virginia description ends [1818–19 sess.], 16; Leonard, General Assembly description begins Cynthia Miller Leonard, comp., The General Assembly of Virginia, July 30, 1619–January 11, 1978: A Bicentennial Register of Members, 1978 description ends , 293–5).

The House speaker was Linn Banks. Delegates philip r. thompson and James hunter of essex both ultimately voted in favor of “An Act for establishing an University,” which established Central College as the University of Virginia (JHD description begins Journal of the House of Delegates of the Commonwealth of Virginia description ends [1818–19 sess.], 112 [19 Jan. 1819]).

1Word interlined in place of “each other.”

Index Entries

  • Alexander, Andrew; and establishment of University of Virginia search
  • An act for the establishment of an University (1819) search
  • Archer, William Segar; and establishment of University of Virginia search
  • Baldwin, Briscoe Gerard; and establishment of University of Virginia search
  • Banks, Linn; as speaker of Va. House of Delegates search
  • Bowyer, John; and establishment of University of Virginia search
  • Bremo (J. H. Cocke’s Fluvanna Co. estate) search
  • Cabell, Joseph Carrington; and establishment of University of Virginia search
  • Cabell, Joseph Carrington; health of search
  • Cabell, Joseph Carrington; letters from search
  • Cabell, Joseph Carrington; proposed visit to Williamsburg search
  • Carr, Samuel (TJ’s nephew); and establishment of University of Virginia search
  • Degraffenreid, Joseph J.; and establishment of University of Virginia search
  • Gordon, William Fitzhugh; and establishment of University of Virginia search
  • Hooe, John; and establishment of University of Virginia search
  • Hunter, James; and establishment of University of Virginia search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Writings; Proceedings and Report of the Commissioners for the University of Virginia search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Writings; Rockfish Gap Report of the University of Virginia Commissioners search
  • Lexington, Va.; as potential location for state university search
  • Machir, James; and establishment of University of Virginia search
  • Magill, Archibald; and establishment of University of Virginia search
  • Mallory, Robert; and establishment of University of Virginia search
  • Penn, Edmund; and establishment of University of Virginia search
  • Proceedings and Report of the Commissioners for the University of Virginia (Thomas Jefferson); printed search
  • Rives, William Cabell; and establishment of University of Virginia search
  • Robertson, John (1787–1873); and establishment of University of Virginia search
  • Steenbergen, William; and establishment of University of Virginia search
  • Taylor, Samuel; and establishment of University of Virginia search
  • Thompson, Philip Rootes; and establishment of University of Virginia search
  • Townes, George; and establishment of University of Virginia search
  • Tyler, Lewis C.; and establishment of University of Virginia search
  • Virginia, University of; Establishment; and General Assembly search
  • Virginia, University of; Establishment; commissioners’ report search
  • Virginia; General Assembly search
  • Virginia; House of Delegates search
  • William and Mary, College of; and state university for Va. search
  • Yancey, Charles (1770–1857); and establishment of University of Virginia search