Thomas Jefferson Papers

Thomas Jefferson to Joseph C. Cabell, 22 February 1821

To Joseph C. Cabell

Monticello Feb. 22. 21.

Dear Sir

I some time ago put into your hands a pamphlet proving indirectly that the Coll. of Wm & Mary was intended to be a seminary for the church of England. it had been so long since I had read their printed statutes that I had forgotten them. looking lately into them, I find they declare that the 3. fundamental objects of the institution are 1. learning & morals. 2. to prepare ministers for the church of England. 3. to instruct Indians. and they require that the Visitors be all of the church of England, that the Professors sign it’s 39. articles, and that the scholars be all taught the catechism of that church first in English, then in Latin. wishing to get my copy bound, I have inclosed it to a bookbinder, but open, and under cover to you, that you may turn to pages 121. 125. 131. 147.1 for the above. when I was a Visitor in 1779. I got the 2. professorships2 of Divinity & Grammar school put down, & others of Law & police, of Medecine Anatomy & Chemistry and of Modern languages substituted; but we did not then change the above statutes, nor do I know they have been since changed; on the contrary the pamphlet I put into your hand proves, that if they have relaxed in this fundamental object, they mean to return to it. when you have read the passages will you be so good as to reinclose the book, stick a wafer, and have it handed to Mayo?

ever & affectionately yours

Th: Jefferson

P.S. Feb. 23. I have this moment recieved your favor of the 20th and finding that things are not in a state to require inclosing the College statutes, I withdraw them, and return the 2. letters you sent me

RC (ViU: TJP); addressed: “Joseph C. Cabell esquire of the Senate of Virginia now in Richmond”; franked; postmarked Milton, 24 Feb.; endorsed by Cabell, in part, as concerning “Charter of Wm & mary.” PoC (DLC); on verso of reused address cover of William Barret to TJ, 6 Feb. 1821; edge trimmed; lacking postscript; endorsed by TJ. Enclosures: enclosures 2 and 3 to Cabell to TJ, 20 Feb. 1821.

printed statutes: The Charter, Transfer and Statutes, of the College of William and Mary, in Virginia: In Latin and English (Williamsburg, 1758; Sowerby, description begins E. Millicent Sowerby, comp., Catalogue of the Library of Thomas Jefferson, 1952–59, 5 vols. description ends no. 2097; possibly Poor, Jefferson’s Library description begins Nathaniel P. Poor, Catalogue. President Jefferson’s Library, 1829 description ends , 10 [no. 586]). On 4 Dec. 1779 the visitors of the College of William and Mary passed a statute that provided for six professorships, “The 1st of which shall be, Law and Police; the 2d, Anatomy and Medicine; the 3d, Natural Philosophy and Mathematicks; the 4th, Moral Philosophy, the Laws of Nature and of Nations, and the fine Arts; the 5th, Modern Languages,” and a sixth for the college’s Indian school (Williamsburg Virginia Gazette [Dixon & Nicolson], 18 Dec. 1779).

1Manuscript: “247.”

2Manuscript: “professorship.”

Index Entries

  • anatomy; collegiate education in search
  • books; binding of for TJ search
  • Cabell, Joseph Carrington; and College of William and Mary search
  • Cabell, Joseph Carrington; as Va. state senator search
  • Cabell, Joseph Carrington; letters to search
  • chemistry; collegiate education in search
  • clergy; influence of in colleges search
  • education; in fine arts search
  • education; of Indians search
  • education; religious search
  • grammar; collegiate education in search
  • Indians, American; education of search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Books & Library; binding of books search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Public Service; as visitor of the College of William and Mary search
  • language; collegiate education in search
  • law; collegiate education in search
  • mathematics; collegiate education in search
  • Mayo, Frederick August; binds books for TJ search
  • medicine; education in search
  • moral philosophy; collegiate education in search
  • natural philosophy; collegiate education in search
  • religion; Anglicanism search
  • religion; education in search
  • schools and colleges; influence of clergy on search
  • The Charter, Transfer and Statutes, of the College of William and Mary, in Virginia: In Latin and English search
  • theology; collegiate education in search
  • William and Mary, College of; charter of search
  • William and Mary, College of; faculty of search
  • William and Mary, College of; TJ on search