Thomas Jefferson Papers

From Thomas Jefferson to Bishop James Madison, 8 December 1801

To Bishop James Madison

Washington Dec. 8. 1801.

Dear Sir

Doctr. Logan of Philadelphia brought on his son here, to place him at the college of Georgetown during his own stay with Congress. but that College is on such a footing that I advised him to send him on to William & Mary, where I could prevail on you to take him under your special patronage. understanding that you sometimes take students to board with you, he is most [peculiarly] anxious that his son could have that benefit. if he could he thinks he would let him remain there to compleat his education. otherwise his anxiety for his morals will induce him probably, according to his first plan, to leave him there only during his own stay here. in that case I would ask you to set him a going in some branch of science, within the measure of that period, whether natural philosophy, or some branch of the mathematics, or both, you will be the best judge. he is tolerably well master of the languages, to wit Greek, Latin, & French. your attentions to him will confer a favor on me. accept assurances of my constant esteem & respect.

Th: Jefferson

P. S. should he not get a place with you, will you be so good as to interest yourself in procuring a good boarding house for him?

PrC (DLC); faint; endorsed by TJ in ink on verso as a letter to Bishop James Madison.

George Logan and his 18-year-old Son Albanus traveled to Washington where the senior Logan took his seat in the Senate, filling the position vacated by John Peter Muhlenberg (Frederick B. Tolles, George Logan of Philadelphia [New York, 1953], 52, 222, 224; Vol. 33:28–9).

College of Georgetown: the Roman Catholic college in Washington had experienced a number of difficulties since its founding in 1792, including poor funding, frequent faculty and presidential turnover, and competition from a rival Baltimore institution. In 1798 its third president resigned after accusations of amassing large debts and giving a French character to the college. He was succeeded the following year by a president who enforced strict adherence to student regulations (College of George-Town, [Potomack] in the State of Maryland, United States of America [Georgetown, 1798; Evans, description begins Charles Evans, Clifford K. Shipton, and Roger P. Bristol, comps., American Bibliography: A Chronological Dictionary of All Books, Pamphlets and Periodical Publications Printed in the United States of America from … 1639 … to … 1820, Chicago and Worcester, Mass., 1903–59, 14 vols. description ends No. 48455]; Robert Emmett Curran, The Bicentennial History of Georgetown University: From Academy to University, 1789–1889, Vol. 1 [Washington, D.C., 1993], 31–56).

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