James Madison Papers

To James Madison from Thomas Jefferson, 10 December 1824

From Thomas Jefferson

Monticello Dec. 10. 24.

Dear Sir

I send you the sequel of Gilmer’s letters recd. since my last to you.1 Torrey you will see does not accept. I had before recd. from the Secy. at War the inclosed letter to him from mr. Emmet the father recommending his son Doctr. John Patton Emmet,2 for Professor of Chemistry. Considering that branch as expected by Doctr. Dunglison I had given an answer that the place was filled. But learning now that we are free & observing that our groupe of articles for that Professorship are exactly of botany, zoology, mineralogy, geology, chemistry & rural economy, and Gilmer’s acct. of his qualificns. in all these except the last which however is involved in chemistry partly his age and being a foreigner are objections, but overweighed by higher considns. I doubt if we can make a better choice, and if you approve it I will write to him that subseq. informn. enables me to say that that Professorship is still open to our appmt and that I will propose him to the Visitors, but that being but 1. of 7. I can engage only for myself. This may prevent his engaging elsewhere. …3   of4 the 8. Professors.

I like your suggestion of George Tucker for the Ethical chair better than either of my own, and my enquiries since it’s receipt result in a highly favble acct of his character and temper. Of his talents I judge from his Essay on Taste, morals and national policy. I imagine mr. Cabell’s connection & knolege of him will have impressed him favbly. also, and if you are satisfied and will say so, I will write to him, in my own name only, to know if he would accept, should our colleagues concur. Altho’ not a native he is considered as thoroughly a Virginian and of high standing. We must soon have a meeting to make these appmnts., and I presume that within a week after I write, we might hear from him but I shall not write either to him or Emmet until I hear from you. B. M. Carter5 (of the Shirley family) now in London has made us a donation of 341. vols., the half at least of which are acceptible, and many of them were already placed in our own catalogue. Affectionately yours

Th: J.

Draft (DLC: Jefferson Papers). Fragments; two half sheets adhered to one, with unknown amount of text missing.

1Francis Walker Gilmer to Jefferson, 28 and 30 Nov., and 3 and 4 Dec. 1824, from New York (received 3, 6, 8, and 10 Dec., respectively), and 4 Oct. 1824, from London, received 6 Dec. (DLC: Jefferson Papers, Epistolary Record).

2See John C. Calhoun to Jefferson, 22 Nov. 1824, enclosing Thomas Addis Emmet to Calhoun, 20 Nov. 1824, Meriwether et al., Papers of John C. Calhoun, 9:400, 389–90. John Patten Emmet (1796–1842), a physician trained at the New York College of Physicians and Surgeons, practiced in Charleston, South Carolina, 1822–25, before becoming the first professor of natural history at the University of Virginia in 1825. In later years he taught chemistry and materia medica (Barringer et al., University of Virginia, 1:345–46).

3First fragment ends here.

4Second fragment begins before “of.”

5Bernard Moore Carter (1780–1850), whose father was Charles Carter, the owner of Shirley plantation in Virginia, married Lucy Grymes Lee, daughter of Light-Horse Harry Lee, in 1803. After 1812, Carter led a peripatetic life, traveling in Europe (Arthur Meredyth Burke, ed., The Prominent Families of the United States of America [1908; reprint, Baltimore, Md., 2008], 54–56; Paul C. Nagel, The Lees of Virginia: Seven Generations of an American Family [New York, 1990], 203–4).

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