To George Clinton1
[November 26, 1784–July 17, 1787]2
It is the wish of several of the Regents of the University that a Meeting should be appointed on some business of importance; and I am requested to write to you on the subject. It will be only necessary for you to write to Mr. Harpur who is secretary of the University desiring him to publish an advertisement according to mode prescribed in the act.
I am Dr Sir with great respect & regard your Obed ser
ALS, Mrs. Robert Crimmins, Darien, Connecticut.
1. H wrote this letter in his capacity as a member of the Board of Regents of the University of the State of New York, a position to which he was appointed on November 26, 1784 (“An Act to amend an Act, entitled, An Act for granting certain Privileges to the College heretofore called King’s College, for altering the name and Charter thereof, and erecting an University within this State” [New York Laws, 8th Sess., Ch. XV (November 26, 1784)]). H served as a regent until his death in 1804.
The MS of the letter printed above has no addressee, but it was presumably addressed to Governor George Clinton. The statute creating the University of the State of New York, which was passed on May 1, 1784 (“An Act for Granting certain Privileges to the College heretofore called King’s College, for altering the Name and Charter thereof, and erecting an University within this State” [New York Laws, 7th Sess., Ch. XL]) provided for a governing board to be called the Board of Regents. It also named the members of the board beginning with the “Governor, Lieutenant-Governor, the President of the Senate for the Time being.…” The act of November 26, 1784, which is cited in the preceding paragraph, named additional members to the board, including H, and also stated: “That to constitute a legal Meeting of the Regents, the Time and Place for holding the same, shall be previously fixed by the Chancellor, or in his absence the Vice-Chancellor, or in the Absence of both, the Regent next nominated in the said Act, by writing under his Hand, and Notice thereof signed by the Secretary of the University, shall previously be advertised in one of the public News-Papers, for at least two Weeks, to give all Regents within a convenient Distance, an Opportunity of attending’ (New York Laws, 8th Sess., Ch. XV).
Clinton was governor of the State of New York and chancellor of the University of the State of New York from May 5, 1784, to January 20, 1796. Pierre Van Cortlandt was lieutenant governor and vice chancellor from May 5, 1784, to July 17, 1787.
2. This letter is undated; the dates which have been assigned to it indicate the period during which Robert Harpur, to whom H refers in the letter printed above, was secretary of the University of the State of New York.