Thomas Jefferson Papers
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Jason Chamberlain to Thomas Jefferson, 10 May 1814

From Jason Chamberlain

Burlington, May 10, 1814.


I have the honour to acknowledge the receipt of your1 note. I shall think myself happy to have done the least, to oblige a man to whom every virtuous American will readily acknowledge himself under so many obligations.

I take the liberty to send you one of my Orations. It was written in haste, and in obedience to the wishes of our Corporation. It became my duty to defend the study of the Languages, which I sincerely think is useful. I would not, however, introduce them to the exclusion of one of the sciences, and I would also recommend the study of the modern Languages, and particularly the French, to the one, who is desirous of a finished education.

We have every reason to believe that our Lake, (Champlain,) was formerly much larger than at present. Our large flats have every appearance of having been overflowed. Lake shells are found in great abundance, in the rocks, more than two miles from the Lake. They may be taken entire, by breaking the stones of which they compose a part. The aspect of the land, and the quality of the soil, indicate that the waters have receded some distance from their former banks. I believe that some of the barriers, in the St. Lawrence, have, in times past, broken away, and that all the Lakes are much smaller than they were in former ages. I suggest this idea, because I know that you have not been inattentive to the natural history of our country, while your Administration forms so splendid a period in our civil history.

With veneration for your publick character, and private worth,

I am your most obedient,

Jason Chamberlain.

RC (MHi); at foot of text: “The Hon. Tho. Jefferson, Esq.”; endorsed by TJ as received 26 June 1814 and so recorded in SJL. Enclosure: Chamberlain, An Inaugural Oration delivered at Burlington, August 1, 1811. by Jason Chamberlain, A. M., professor of the learned languages in the University of Vermont. published by order of the Corporation, and at the request of the students (Burlington, Vt., 1811).

1Manuscript: “you.”

Index Entries

  • An Inaugural Oration delivered at Burlington, August 1, 1811 (J. Chamberlain) search
  • Chamberlain, Jason; An Inaugural Oration delivered at Burlington, August 1, 1811 search
  • Chamberlain, Jason; letters from search
  • Chamberlain, Jason; on geology search
  • Chamberlain, Jason; on language search
  • geology; of Vt. search
  • Lake Champlain; natural history of search
  • language; study of search
  • natural history; of Lake Champlain search
  • St. Lawrence River; natural history of search
  • Vermont; geology of search