Thomas Jefferson Papers

Thomas Jefferson to José Corrêa da Serra, 10 April 1818

To José Corrêa da Serra

Monticello Apr. 10. 18.

Dear Sir

I set out tomorrow for Bedford, to return the first week in May. I note this to you because I have been flattered with your visit in May, and Dr Cooper promised me he would accept your kind offer of a seat in your carriage. I wish you could be here some days before the 11th of May, because on that day our Visitors meet and yourself and Dr Cooper may, I am sure suggest to me beforehand something useful for their consideration. the legislature has appropriated 15,000.D. a year to an University. a Commissioner from [ea]ch1 Senatorial district (in number 24.) is to meet at Rockfish gap on the 1st of Aug. and to report a location for the University, the plan, the number of professorships Etc. to the next session of the [leg]islature, who are to decide ultimately. the nomination b[y] the Executive of the 24. Commrs is an excellent one, & I have [no?] [d]oubt of two thirds of their votes to make the site of the2 Central Co[llege] that of the University. mr Madison, judges Stuart, Holmes, Ro[a]ne and Cabell, mr Mason of Loudon, J. G. Jackson, mr Tazewell, all of whom I believe you know, and myself, are of the Commissioners. so far, I think, is well; and as I know you take an interest in this institution, I inform you of it with pleasure, & with equal pleasure add assurances of my affectionate respect

Th: Jefferson

it would be quite a jubilee if mr Walsh could think his affairs would permit him to make your party here a trio.

PoC (DLC); on verso of reused address cover to TJ; damaged at seal; postscript adjacent to signature; at foot of text: “M. Correa”; endorsed by TJ.

Under the 21 Feb. 1818 “Act appropriating part of the revenue of the Literary Fund, and for other purposes,” the Virginia General Assembly allotted $15,000 per annum to the University of Virginia, authorized the appointment of a “board of commissioners for the University,” and called on it to meet at rockfish gap the following August (Acts of Assembly description begins Acts of the General Assembly of Virginia (cited by session; title varies over time) description ends [1817–18 sess.], 11–5, esp. 14). Each of the 24. commrs was evidently sent an official notification of his selection through the mail (TJ’s commission not found; that of James Madison is in DLC: Madison Papers [printed form with blanks filled in and signed by Governor James P. Preston, Richmond, 18 Mar. 1818; printed in Madison, Papers, Retirement Ser., 1:239]). The Richmond Enquirer published a full list of the appointees on 20 Mar. 1818.

The Thomas Jefferson Papers at PPAmP contains a signed letter of 10 Mar. 1818 from Corrêa da Serra to an unknown correspondent, which, although not endorsed by TJ and not recorded in SJL, is identified by PPAmP and by Richard Beale Davis in The Abbé Corrêa in America, 1812–1820 [1993], 231–2, as written to the ex-president. It reads, in full: “I must thank you for the two plants which you forwarded to me in the name of Mr Girardin. You may tell him that they are both plants common both to the North of Europe, and from what i see to the mountains of Virginia. That with a reddish blossom is a variety of the Spiræa ulmaria, the other with a slender appearance and unsightly blossom, is the Ophrys Loeselii. I must thank you also for the tidings you give me of good Mr Girardin and the expectation of his Letter. I remain Sir very respectfully Your obedient servant.”

1Word faint.

2Preceding three words interlined.

Index Entries

  • An Act appropriating part of the revenue of the Literary Fund, and for other purposes (1818) search
  • Cabell, William H.; as University of Virginia commissioner search
  • carriages; mentioned search
  • Central College; as state university of Va. search
  • Central College Board of Visitors; meetings of search
  • Cooper, Thomas; and Central College search
  • Cooper, Thomas; invited to visit Monticello search
  • Corrêa da Serra, José; and Central College search
  • Corrêa da Serra, José; and R. Walsh search
  • Corrêa da Serra, José; and University of Virginia search
  • Corrêa da Serra, José; letters to search
  • Corrêa da Serra, José; plants sent to search
  • Corrêa da Serra, José; visits Monticello search
  • Girardin, Louis Hue; sends plants to J. Corrêa da Serra search
  • Holmes, Hugh; as University of Virginia commissioner search
  • Jackson, John George; as University of Virginia commissioner search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Public Service; and University of Virginia Commission search
  • Loesel’s twayblade (Ophrys loeselii) search
  • Madison, James (1751–1836); as University of Virginia commissioner search
  • Mason, Armistead Thomson; as University of Virginia commissioner search
  • meadowsweet (Spiraea ulmaria) search
  • Monticello (TJ’s Albemarle Co. estate); invitations to visit search
  • Monticello (TJ’s Albemarle Co. estate); Visitors to; Corrêa da Serra, José search
  • Ophrys loeselii (Loesel’s twayblade) search
  • Poplar Forest (TJ’s Bedford Co. estate); TJ plans visits to search
  • Preston, James Patton; as governor of Va. search
  • Roane, Spencer; as University of Virginia commissioner search
  • Spiraea ulmaria (meadowsweet) search
  • Stuart, Archibald; as University of Virginia commissioner search
  • Tazewell, Littleton Waller; and University of Virginia Commission search
  • Virginia, University of; Administration and Financial Affairs; funding for search
  • Virginia, University of; Construction and Grounds; site of search
  • Virginia, University of; Establishment; commissioners’ meeting at Rockfish Gap search
  • Virginia, University of; Faculty and Curriculum; organization of professorships search
  • Virginia; Council of State search
  • Virginia; General Assembly search
  • Virginia; governor search
  • Walsh, Robert; and J. Corrêa da Serra search
  • Walsh, Robert; proposed visit of search