Thomas Jefferson Papers

Thomas Jefferson to Hugh Nelson, 7 February 1820

To Hugh Nelson

[M]o[nticello] Feb. 7. 20

Dear Sir

I recieved last night your favor of the 2d and fearing that mr Calvo may be waiting an answer, I hasten to give it. the first application of our funds must be to the buildings for the reception of the Professors and students. this will occupy them a considerable time yet. till their accomplishment no appointment of Professors will be made.

I thank you for your information on the progress & prospects of the Missouri question. it is the most portentous one1 which ever yet threatened our Union. in the gloomiest moment of the revolutionary war I never had any apprehensions equal to what I feel from this source.

I observe you are loaded with petitions from the Manufacturing, commercial & agricultural interests, each praying you to sacrifice the others to them. this proves the egotism of the whole and happily balances their cannibal appetite to eat one another. the most perfect confidence in the wisdom of Congress, leaves me without a fear of the result. I do not know whether it is any part of the petitions of the farmers that our citizens shall be restrained to eat nothing but bread, because that can be made here. but this is the common spirit of all their petitions. my ill-health has obliged me to retire from all public concerns. I scarcely read a newspap[er.] I cannot therefore tell you what is adoing in the state. but this you will get fully from others. I will therefore add only the assurances of my great & friendly esteem and respect.

Th: Jefferson

PoC (DLC); on verso of reused address cover to TJ; dateline faint and edge trimmed; at foot of text: “H. Nelson esq.”; endorsed by TJ.

On or after this date, TJ received a list of fifteen “School Commissioners Appointed by the County Court of Albemarle 7th Feby 1820” (MS in ViU: TJP; in Alexander Garrett’s hand and signed by him as county court clerk; docketed by Garrett; endorsed by TJ: “School Commrs Albem”). The court’s records indicate that it appointed the same group “for the ensuing year” on 7 Nov. 1820 (Albemarle Co. Order Book [1820], 280). The list included TJ’s correspondents Daniel F. Carr, John Carr, John Coles, and John Winn.

1Manuscript: “one one.”

Index Entries

  • agriculture; TJ on search
  • Albemarle County, Va.; school commissioners of search
  • Calvo, John; seeks position at University of Virginia search
  • Carr, Daniel Ferrell; as Albemarle Co. school commissioner search
  • Carr, John; as Albemarle Co. school commissioner search
  • Coles, John (1774–1848); as Albemarle Co. school commissioner search
  • Congress, U.S.; petitions to search
  • Garrett, Alexander; as Albemarle Co. clerk search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Health; illness of search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Opinions on; agricultural and manufacturing interests search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Opinions on; Missouri question search
  • manufacturing; TJ on search
  • Missouri question; TJ on search
  • Nelson, Hugh; and Missouri question search
  • Nelson, Hugh; as U.S. representative from Va. search
  • Nelson, Hugh; letters to search
  • schools and colleges; in Albemarle Co. search
  • Virginia, University of; Faculty and Curriculum; faculty applicants search
  • Winn, John (d.1837); as Albemarle Co. school commissioner search