From John Wayles Eppes
Richmond Decr. 16th. 1802.
In my last I mentioned to you a Resolution which had been offered by Mr Smith & the probability of a substitute being adopted—I now enclose you a copy of the substitute passed yesterday with 25 dissenting voices only & those the most bitter of their party. It was not supposed by many members of the Legislature that we ought to have acted on this subject at all—Mr. Smith however placed us in a situation from which we could not recede—It was necessary either to adopt his Resolution; a substitute; or to give by rejecting it, additional force to the late shameful calumnies—
Leave has been given to Bring in a Bill to establish a state University—
accept for your health the best wishes of yours affectionately
Jno: W: Eppes
RC (MHi); endorsed by TJ as received 21 Dec. and so recorded in SJL. Enclosure: Resolution of the Virginia House of Delegates stating “that the confidence of the Legislature in the wisdom, patriotism, & private worth of the President of the United States, is not only undeminished but increased; and that the constitutional and just principles of his administration, and his undeviating rectitude in their execution, merit the entire approbation of his country” (Tr in same; in Eppes’s hand; endorsed by Eppes: “Resolution adopted as a substitute for Smiths”).
substitute passed yesterday: on 15 Dec., the Virginia House of Delegates adopted the resolution “without a question,” and recorded the names and votes of 124 delegates in favor and 26 opposed. The Senate approved the resolution on 18 Dec. (Journal of the House of Delegates of the Commonwealth of Virginia, Dec. 1802–Jan. 1803, 13–14; Shepherd, Statutes description begins Samuel Shepherd, ed., The Statutes at Large of Virginia, from October Session 1792, to December Session 1806..., Richmond, 1835-36, 3 vols. description ends , 2:469).
bill to establish a state university: on 14 Dec., the House of Delegates charged a committee of 12 men to prepare a bill “To establish a State College.” The resulting “Act to establish an academy in the county of Albemarle, and for other purposes,” passed on 12 Jan. 1803, and named 14 trustees and authorized them to conduct lotteries to raise $3,000 for buildings of the academy (Journal of the House of Delegates, Dec. 1802–Jan. 1803, 13; Shepherd, Statutes description begins Samuel Shepherd, ed., The Statutes at Large of Virginia, from October Session 1792, to December Session 1806..., Richmond, 1835-36, 3 vols. description ends , 2:427).