Thomas Jefferson Papers

Thomas Jefferson to Joseph C. Cabell, 28 January 1819

To Joseph C. Cabell

Monticello Jan. 28. 19.

Dear Sir

I join with you in joy on the passage of the University bill, and it is necessary you should send me a copy of it without delay, that the visitors may have a meeting to see and to do what it permits them to do for the furtherance of the work, as the season for engagements is rapidly passing off. but we shall fall miserably short in the execution of the large plan displayed to the world, with the short funds proposed for it’s execution. on a careful review of our existing means, we shall be able this present year to add but two pavilions and their dormitories to the two already in a course of execution, so as to provide but for 4. professorships; and hereafter we can add but one a year; without any chance of getting a chemical apparatus, an astronomical apparatus with it’s observatory, a building for a library with it’s library Etc.1 in fact it is vain to give us the name of an University without the means of making it so. could not the legislature be induced to give to the University the derelict portions offered to the pauper schools & not accepted by them; I mean so-much for example of last year’s 45,000 D. as has not been called for, and so much of this year’s 60,000 D. as shall not be called for. these unclaimed dividends might enable us to compleat our buildings & procure our apparatuses, library Etc which once done, a moderate annual sum may maintain the institution in action. I shall be happy to hear of the improvement of your health, and salute you with affectionate respect

Th: Jefferson

RC (ViU: TJP); addressed: “Joseph C. Cabell of the Senate of Virginia now in Richmond”; franked; postmarked Charlottesville, 30 Jan.; endorsed by Cabell as answered 4 Feb. PoC (DLC); on verso of a reused address cover from Wilson Cary Nicholas to TJ; endorsed by TJ.

On 21 Feb. 1818 the Virginia General Assembly passed “An Act appropriating part of the revenue of the Literary Fund, and for other purposes,” which devoted an annual payment from the Literary Fund of 45,000 d. to educating the poor (Acts of Assembly description begins Acts of the General Assembly of Virginia (cited by session; title varies over time) description ends [1817–18 sess.], 13–4). An additional allocation of $20,000 for this purpose is described above at William C. Rives to TJ, 20 Jan. 1819.

1Omitted period at right margin editorially supplied.

Index Entries

  • An Act appropriating part of the revenue of the Literary Fund, and for other purposes (1818) search
  • Cabell, Joseph Carrington; and establishment of University of Virginia search
  • Cabell, Joseph Carrington; health of search
  • Cabell, Joseph Carrington; letters to search
  • education; of the poor search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Writings; Bill to Establish a University search
  • Virginia, University of; Administration and Financial Affairs; funding for search
  • Virginia, University of; Board of Visitors; meetings of search
  • Virginia, University of; Construction and Grounds; library search
  • Virginia, University of; Construction and Grounds; observatory for search
  • Virginia, University of; Construction and Grounds; progress of search
  • Virginia, University of; Establishment; Bill to Establish a University search
  • Virginia; and education search
  • Virginia; General Assembly search
  • Virginia; Literary Fund search