Thomas Jefferson Papers
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Joseph C. Cabell to Thomas Jefferson, 23 January 1816

From Joseph C. Cabell

Richmond. 23 Jan: 1816.

Dear Sir,

I wrote you by the last mail, that the bills respecting the Central College, and Capt: Miller’s claim, had just reached the Senate: and that the former was objected to in two points: 1st because it gives to the Trustees of the College the power of determining the time at which the act of 22d Decr 1796. shall be carried into execution in albemarle, and 2dly because it confers on the Proctor of the college the powers and authorities of a Justice of the peace within the precincts of the institution. Since my letter was committed to the mail, I have conversed with the Governor, who considers the first objection of great weight, as it would probably place the people of the county in hostility to the College. Whilst I am awaiting your answer to my last letter, it becomes proper that I should address you on two other subjects before the Senate, in which you take an Interest. I cannot find among the papers in Capt: Miller’s case, the evidences of the conveyance made to him by the other devisees of their portions of Thomas Reed’s estate. I should infer from the manner in which they are referred to in the petition that they would appear among the accompanying documents: accordingly I immediately enquired for them. but they neither are to be found, nor can either of the Delegates from albemarle give any account of them. Those papers are essential to the success of the bill in the Senate: and with their aid, I trust I can get it thro’ the house; altho’ Mr Johnson, and, perhaps others, may oppose it. I beg the favor of you to request Capt: Miller to furnish me with these documents with as little delay as possible. Whilst I await their arrival, I will by all means in my power endeavor to smooth the way to the passage of the bill.

From a letter you recently wrote Col: yancey, I perceive you consider the Bill to prevent obstructions in the navigable watercourses of the commonwealth, of importance to the people on the banks of the Rivanna. I enclose you a copy of the Bill, and of some amendments hastily sketched by Col: Green: and would thank you to send me such corrections as you deem proper. These subjects may be suspended till I can get your answer, without injury to the parties concerned.

I regard the passage of the bill respecting the Central College as pretty certain, provided the modifications suggested in the points objected to shall be made: and perhaps without those changes, its passage may be secured by your explanations. I believe the Bill for internal improvement will pass, and that if the Genl assembly should be disposed to give any thing to education it will be to the Literary fund for the establishment of free schools. It is barely possible that they may give some thing to the Central College for teaching the deaf & dumb. I am endeavoring to prepare the more liberal part for an attempt at an endowment of a professorship of the deaf & dumb. Thus far it is well received: but I may be baffled. I have thought that such a plan might engage the affections of the coldest members. Any suggestions from you on this subject would be thankfully received.

I beg you to pardon the trouble I give you: & to be assured it results from my wish to afford1 you satisfaction, in the business entrusted to my care.

I am dr Sir most sincerely yours

Joseph C. Cabell

P.S. Doctr Smith, President of Wm & Mary, has desired me to ask the favor of you to recommend a Text book on the principles of Government for the use of the Students at that College. He is not satisfied with either Locke or Rousseau.

Can you inform me whether De Say on Political Economy has been translated into our Language?

RC (ViU: TJP-PC); postscript on verso of address leaf; addressed: “Thomas Jefferson esq. Monticello”; endorsed by TJ as received 30 Jan. 1816 and so recorded in SJL; with additional notation by TJ on address leaf: “✓College Deaf & Dumb ✓Navigable waters Dr Smith ✓Miller my catalogue.” Enclosed in Cabell to TJ, 24 Jan. 1816.

The Virginia statute of 22d decr 1796 was “An Act to establish Public Schools” (Acts of Assembly description begins Acts of the General Assembly of Virginia (cited by session; title varies over time) description ends [1796 sess.], 3–4). Wilson Cary Nicholas was the governor of Virginia. TJ to Charles Yancey, 6 Jan. 1816, was the letter you recently wrote. The enclosed copy of the bill was an unidentified draft version of “An Act to prevent obstructions in the navigable water courses within the Commonwealth,” which, with the amendments proposed by John W. Green, became law on 13 Feb. 1816 (Cabell to TJ, 14 Feb. 1816; Acts of Assembly description begins Acts of the General Assembly of Virginia (cited by session; title varies over time) description ends [1815–16 sess.], 67–9). “An Act to create a Fund for internal improvement” passed into law on 5 Feb. 1816 (Acts of Assembly description begins Acts of the General Assembly of Virginia (cited by session; title varies over time) description ends [1815–16 sess.], 35–9). John Augustine smith was elected president of the College of William and Mary in 1814 (DAB). de say: Jean Baptiste Say.

1Word interlined in place of “give.”

Index Entries

  • An Act to create a Fund for Internal Improvement (1816) search
  • An Act to establish Public Schools (1796) search
  • An Act to prevent obstructions in the navigable water courses within the Commonwealth (1816) search
  • An Act vesting in Joseph Miller the Commonwealth’s right to the real and personal estate of which Thomas Reed died seised and possessed (1816) search
  • Cabell, Joseph Carrington; and Central College establishment search
  • Cabell, Joseph Carrington; and J. B. Say’s writings search
  • Cabell, Joseph Carrington; and J. Miller’s petition search
  • Cabell, Joseph Carrington; as Va. state senator search
  • Cabell, Joseph Carrington; letters from search
  • Catalogue of the Library of the United States (G. Watterston) search
  • Central College; Draft Bill to Create Central College and Amend the1796Public Schools Act search
  • Central College; proctor of search
  • deafness; education of deaf and mute search
  • education; for deaf, mute, and blind search
  • Green, John W.; as Va. state senator search
  • health; deafness search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Books & Library; catalogue of search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Writings; Draft Bill to Create Central College and Amend the1796Public Schools Act search
  • Johnson, Chapman; as Va. state senator search
  • Library of Congress; Catalogue of the Library of the United States. To Which is Annexed, A Copious Index, Alphabetically Arranged (G. Watterston) search
  • Locke, John; mentioned search
  • Miller, Joseph; An Act vesting in Joseph Miller the Commonwealth’s right to the real and personal estate of which Thomas Reed died seised and possessed (1816) search
  • Miller, Joseph; petition to General Assembly search
  • Nicholas, Wilson Cary (1761–1820); as Va. governor search
  • political economy; works on search
  • Reed, Thomas (brother of Joseph Miller); estate of search
  • Rivanna River; navigation rights search
  • Rousseau, Jean Jacques; mentioned search
  • Say, Jean Baptiste; Traité d’Économie Politique search
  • Smith, John Augustine; as president of College of William and Mary search
  • Traité d’Économie Politique (J. B. Say) search
  • Virginia; education of deaf and mute in search
  • Virginia; General Assembly search
  • Virginia; internal improvements in search
  • Virginia; Senate search
  • Watterston, George; Catalogue of the Library of the United States search
  • William and Mary, College of; president of search
  • William and Mary, College of; textbooks of search
  • Yancey, Charles; as Va. legislator search