Thomas Jefferson Papers

Thomas Mann Randolph to Thomas Jefferson, 14 January 1821

From Thomas Mann Randolph

Richmond Jany 14. 1821

Dear Sir,

I was informed yesterday that Mr Johnson of the Board of Visitors of the University had become disqualified by “failure to act for the space of one year” Sect. 7. C. 34. Vol. 1. p. 91. General Cocke, who informed me, is of that opinion; and I believe the other Visitors, now here, are likewise disposed to give that construction, as he failed to attend both the “stated meetings” in the last year. My opinion is that he will not be disqualified untill 28th February, the termination of the first year of the four, for which he has been by law appointed. He can attend a meeting by “special call” in time to remedy the defect likely to occurr. I beg leave to recommend the 22d February, as the day, and that it should be advertised immediately. The Legislature may be up in time, or the Visitors may leave it without inconvenience at that period of the session. The Annual Report of the Literary Fund is to be brought down to Dec. 31. 1820, to give a view of the School branch of the system, the appropriation to which is applicable throughout the Calendar, not the Fiscal year. It only needs copying now. Some of the results are: accession to Capital stock from all sources from Oct. 1st ’19. to Dec. 31. 1820. 63.000.54cts amt of income for same period 58.293.86. Increase of Permanent Funds, in Paper, since last report, 68.977.49. The Cash in the Treasury on Oct. 1st 1820 was only 36.505.70. The amt of current expenditure exclusive of investments for the same period 67.855.95.x of which to University for annuity 19.156.81. to schools 46.584.96. The difference between the Auditors ballance++ last year to credit of Fund, and the Cash in the Treasury this year is now openly declared to be another defalcation of Jno Preston. It is supposed to have been an error in the settlement of his acct for purchase of stocks during his1 last year. He presented it in July, the Lieut. Govr & Atty Genel were appointed to examine it; they reported on Dec. 22d; 5 months after, and omitted a Warrant for 50.000 $. issued to him the preceding year; for which sum it is believed he was credited on the final settlement. I have still hope it may be explained, but such has been the effect of the belief to the contrary, that the Lieut. Govr had 96 votes for removal from the Council, while Martin of Nelson who has not been in Richmond since July, and beged by letter to be removed, had only 103. I have yesterday got possession of the Journal, and mean to investigate the matter if possible. But no account for purchases of stocks, with prices, has been written in it ever; and my only hope is to find the detached papers, to compare with the Warrants issued. I am of opinion that the friends of the University should only ask leave to make another loan, and to have the period of reimbursement of both made the same with that of the James River Company viz. 20 years. The sum required will still leave nearly half their annuity free and the increase of the Literary Fund will perhaps allow an augmentation of it next year to that amount.

Patsy is at Tuckahoe. I was just seting out to join them at dinner today when the propriety of making the communication concerning Mr Johnson, (immediately,) occurred to me. I shall go this evening. She only waits for the Roads to be passible to go home.

with very sincere and affectionate attachment you &c

Th M Randolph

RC (CSmH: JF); endorsed by TJ as received 19 Jan. 1821 and so recorded in SJL. RC (MHi); address cover only; with PoC of TJ to Peter Minor, 9 Mar. 1821, on verso; addressed: “Thomas Jefferson Esqr Monticello near Charlottesville”; franked; postmarked Richmond, 14 Jan.

A member of the University of Virginia Board of Visitors could become disqualified under the provisions of the 25 Jan. 1819 “act for establishing an University” (The Revised Code of the Laws of Virginia [Richmond, 1819], 1:91; Poor, Jefferson’s Library description begins Nathaniel P. Poor, Catalogue. President Jefferson’s Library, 1829 description ends , 10 [no. 572]). The lieut. govr & atty genel were Peter V. Daniel and John Robertson, respectively. In its constitutionally mandated triennial replacement of two members of the Council of State, the Virginia General Assembly voted on 8 Jan. 1821 for the removal of John M. martin and William Yates (JHD description begins Journal of the House of Delegates of the Commonwealth of Virginia description ends [1820–21 sess.], 100).

The stipulations governing the loan to the james river company were specified in the 17 Feb. 1820 “act to amend the act, entitled ‘an act for clearing and improving the navigation of James river,’ and for uniting the eastern and western waters, by the James and Kanawha rivers” (Acts of Assembly description begins Acts of the General Assembly of Virginia (cited by session; title varies over time) description ends [1819–20 sess.], 45–6). patsy: Martha Jefferson Randolph.

1Preceding two words interlined.

Authorial notes

[The following note(s) appeared in the margins or otherwise outside the text flow in the original source, and have been moved here for purposes of the digital edition.]

x x1279.38 more paid back: fines remitted by law: expences of process &C. the Board expences have been only 834 $ salaries and all.

++ ++91.619.53.

Index Entries

  • An act for the establishment of an University (1819) search
  • Cocke, John Hartwell (1780–1866); as member of University of Virginia Board of Visitors search
  • Daniel, Peter Vyvian; as lieutenant governor of Va. search
  • Daniel, Peter Vyvian; as member of Va. Council of State search
  • James River Company search
  • Johnson, Chapman; as member of University of Virginia Board of Visitors search
  • Literary Fund; and annuity for University of Virginia search
  • Literary Fund; and loans for University of Virginia search
  • Literary Fund; funds of search
  • Literary Fund; reports of search
  • Martin, John M.; as member of Va. Council of State search
  • Preston, John (d.1827); as treasurer of Va. search
  • Randolph, Martha Jefferson (Patsy; TJ’s daughter; Thomas Mann Randolph’s wife); visits Tuckahoe search
  • Randolph, Thomas Mann (1768–1828) (TJ’s son-in-law; Martha Jefferson Randolph’s husband); as governor of Va. search
  • Randolph, Thomas Mann (1768–1828) (TJ’s son-in-law; Martha Jefferson Randolph’s husband); as Literary Fund president search
  • Randolph, Thomas Mann (1768–1828) (TJ’s son-in-law; Martha Jefferson Randolph’s husband); letters from search
  • Robertson, John (1787–1873); as attorney general of Va. search
  • Tuckahoe (Randolph family’s Goochland Co. estate); M. J. Randolph visits search
  • Virginia, University of; Administration and Financial Affairs; funding for search
  • Virginia, University of; Board of Visitors; meetings of search
  • Virginia, University of; Board of Visitors; members of search
  • Virginia; Council of State search
  • Virginia; General Assembly search
  • Virginia; treasury of search
  • Yates, William; as member of Va. Council of State search