Thomas Jefferson Papers

Thomas Jefferson to William Short, [29] June 1819

To William Short

Monticello June 22. [29] 19.1

Dear Sir

Your favor of June 22. is recieved. that of May 25. had come to hand in due time, and was in my bundle of ‘Letters to be answered’ but as I am obliged to marshal them according to their degree of pressure I had not yet reached it, altho’ I devote to that business daily2 from sunrise to dinner, saving one hour to ride, and generally from dinner to sun set. on the subject of the Anatomist and Mathematician who wish a place in our University nothing can be said at present; because it has been concluded by the visitors to employ all our funds of the present and next year in providing buildings for the habitation of the Professors and students, and consequently not to open the University generally until the year 1821. I say generally, because particular & previous transactions had led to the proposing to Dr Cooper the commencing his branches in April next.—the conflagration in which you are kind enough to take an interest, was only of a detached pavilion which is now again under repair. Mr Poletika has been on a visit to us and left us yesterday. I had previously by letter given him the necessary explanations on Kosciuzko’s affairs here, which were quite satisfactory to him. I am endeavoring to transfer the whole business to a Federal court, having refused the executorship. we have had a circuitous rumor that you meant to visit your native state this summer. in that event we should certainly hope to share in the visit. as mr Correa promises an annual pilgrimage3 to this place, I am informing him of my movements the ensuing season, that I may not lose the benefit of his visit as once befel me. I set out to Poplar forest this day week, to remain there thro’ July Aug. & Sep. I must be back of necessity by the 1st of Oct. to the meeting of our Visitors at which further arrangements will be decided on respecting our University: and as yourself as well as Mr Correa are kind enough to take an interest in it’s success, it may be some inducement towards the timing your visit. I will be responsible that for health you will be as safe here as at the watering places, altho’ we cannot offer as varied a society. yet I trust the day is not so distant but that I shall live to see it, when we can be able to offer a more desirable society to men of mind than any other place in America. we have a Carte blanche for their employment, and we mean to accept for our institution4 no person of secondary grade in his science, if there be one of the first on either side of the Atlantic who can be tempted to come to us. we are providing for them as handsome and comfortable lodgings as they can have in Europe, and their satisfaction here will be liberally cultivated. there is a cloud however visible in our horizon. the infatuated confidence in banks has made much of our capital of a million and a half of dollars to depend on their fate. my remonstrances for years back against these unsafe deposits have been recieved as the forebodings of Cassandra. when now upbraided with this the answer is Who would have thought it? till the present state of things however be unravelled we must slacken our pace. I salute you as ever with constant & affectionate friendship and respect

Th: Jefferson

RC (ViW: TJP); misdated. PoC (MHi); on left half of reused address cover of John C. Calhoun to TJ, 20 Mar. 1819; at foot of first page: “W. Short”; endorsed by TJ (brackets in original): “Short Wm June [22. for] 29. 19.” Recorded in SJL as a letter of 29 June 1819.

1Above dateline in PoC TJ added “by mistake for 29th.”

2Word interlined.

3Manuscript: “plgrimage.”

4Preceding three words interlined.

Index Entries

  • anatomy; collegiate education in search
  • banks; TJ on search
  • Corrêa da Serra, José; and University of Virginia search
  • Corrêa da Serra, José; proposed visit of search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Business and Financial Affairs; and T. Kosciuszko’s estate search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Correspondence; fatiguing or painful to search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Opinions on; banks search
  • Kosciuszko, Tadeusz (Thaddeus) Andrzej Bonawentura; estate of search
  • mathematics; University of Virginia professorship of search
  • Monticello (TJ’s Albemarle Co. estate); fires at search
  • Monticello (TJ’s Albemarle Co. estate); Visitors to; Polética, Pierre de search
  • Polética, Pierre de; and T. Kosciuszko’s estate search
  • Polética, Pierre de; visits Monticello search
  • Poplar Forest (TJ’s Bedford Co. estate); TJ plans visits to search
  • Short, William; and fire at Monticello search
  • Short, William; and P. de Polética search
  • Short, William; and University of Virginia search
  • Short, William; letters to search
  • Short, William; TJ invites to Monticello search
  • Virginia, University of; Administration and Financial Affairs; funding for search
  • Virginia, University of; Board of Visitors; and faculty recruitment search
  • Virginia, University of; Board of Visitors; meetings of search
  • Virginia, University of; Construction and Grounds; progress of search
  • Virginia, University of; Establishment; opening of search
  • Virginia, University of; Establishment; TJ’s vision for search
  • Virginia, University of; Faculty and Curriculum; anatomy professorship search
  • Virginia, University of; Faculty and Curriculum; mathematics professorship search
  • Virginia, University of; Faculty and Curriculum; recruitment of faculty from Europe search
  • Virginia, University of; Faculty and Curriculum; T. Cooper as proposed professor search