Thomas Jefferson Papers

James P. Preston to Thomas Jefferson, 27 February 1819

From James P. Preston

Council Chamber. Feby 27h 1819


I have the honor to enclose you your appointment of Visitor of the University of Virginia together with the advice of Council fixing on the day of your first meeting.

I have a peculiar gratification in the discharge of this duty as I am persuaded that the foundation is now laid of an institution that will form a new and important era in the science and literature of our native State. My gratification is much increased by the recollection that this institution will commence under auspices that will insure it1 success, and cannot fail to answer the most sanguine expectations of every friend to knowledge and to the improvement of the human mind.

With great respect,2 I have the honor to be Your Obt Servt

James P. Preston

RC (ViU: TJP); endorsed by TJ as received 10 Mar. 1819 and so recorded in SJL. RC (DLC); address cover only; with PoC of TJ to Patrick Gibson, 16 Jan. 1820, on verso; addressed: “Thomas Jefferson esqr Albermarle County”; franked; postmarked Richmond, 5 Mar. FC (Vi: RG 3, Governor’s Office, Letterbooks); in the hand of William Robertson, clerk of the Virginia Council of State; with note by Robertson at foot of text: “(one addressed to each visitor).”

Nearly identical versions of this letter and its enclosures were sent on this date to the other appointees. John H. Cocke’s copy, along with both enclosures, is in ViU: JHC, while that sent to James Madison, with first enclosure only, is in DLC: Madison Papers and printed in Madison, Papers, Retirement Ser., 1:426–7.

1FC: “its.”

2Preceding three words interlined in FC.

Index Entries

  • Cocke, John Hartwell (1780–1866); appointment of to University of Virginia Board of Visitors search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Public Service; appointed to University of Virginia Board of Visitors search
  • Madison, James (1751–1836); appointed to University of Virginia Board of Visitors search
  • Preston, James Patton; and University of Virginia search
  • Preston, James Patton; letters from search
  • Robertson, William (1750–1829); clerk of Va. Council of State search
  • Virginia, University of; Board of Visitors; meetings of search
  • Virginia, University of; Board of Visitors; members of search
  • Virginia, University of; Establishment; opinions on search
  • Virginia; Council of State search