Thomas Jefferson Papers

John Patterson to Thomas Jefferson, 3 May 1821

From John Patterson

Balto 3d May 1821.

Dear sir

I enclose you a check on the Branch of the U.S Bank at Richmond for the balance due by me, on acct of my subscription to the Central College I should have added the intrest for that instalment which ought to have been paid in April 1820, but that I have a sett off of 10 or 15 dollars which I paid for inserting an advertisement, in the newspapers of this City in 1819—I shall take the liberty, in a few days, of sending you a copy of a report made by the Legislature of this State, on the subject of claming a proportion of the public lands of the United States, for the purposes of education, on the ground that, the old States & Kentucky are rightfully entitled to such provision, as has been made for the States admitted into the Union Since the adoption of the Constitution. This would afford abuntant means for the education of every class of people in the U.S. & I am sure that a more useful application could not be made of the property in question—The report, was I believe Sent to the Executive of Va & acted on by the Legislature but my absence in Georgia last winter deprived of the means of learning what was the result, & I am still ignorant of it

I am Dear sir with great respect & esteem Your’s

Jno Patterson

RC (CSmH: JF-BA); endorsed by TJ as received 10 May 1821 and so recorded in SJL. RC (MHi); address cover only; with PoC of TJ to Bernard Peyton, 23 May 1821, on verso; addressed: “To Thomas Jefferson Esqr Milton Virginia”; stamp canceled; postmarked Baltimore, 3 May. Enclosure not found.

As of 25 July 1819 the University of Virginia owed Patterson $10 (the sett off) for placing an advertisement in the Baltimore Patriot & Mercantile Advertiser (Alexander Garrett’s Account with the University of Virginia, 30 Sept. 1819, enclosure no. 4 to the University of Virginia Board of Visitors Report to Literary Fund President and Directors, 4 Oct. 1819). This was presumably Nelson Barksdale and TJ’s Advertisement for Workmen for the University of Virginia, [by 3 Mar. 1819].

Patterson planned to send to TJ in a few days the Report with Sundry Resolutions relative to Appropriations of Public Land for the Purposes of Education, to the Senate of Maryland. January 30, 1821 ([Annapolis], 1821), which successfully urged the Maryland legislature to adopt resolutions arguing, in response to congressional appropriations for public education in states originating from the Louisiana Purchase, that each state has “an equal right to participate in the benefit of the Public Lands, the common property of the Union,” and that states for which “Congress have not made appropriations of land for the purposes of education, are entitled to such appropriations as will correspond, in a just proportion, with those heretofore made in favour of the other states”; and ordering that these resolutions be circulated to the other states with a request that the governors “will communicate the same to the Legislatures thereof respectively, and solicit their co-operation” (pp. 22–3).

Virginia governor Thomas Mann Randolph accordingly presented this Report on 23 Feb. 1821 to the House of Delegates. On 2 Mar. 1821 its Committee on Schools and Colleges requested the governor to resubmit it at the beginning of the following legislative session, and it was again referred to this committee on 5 Dec. 1821. On 18 Dec. of that year Randolph presented a letter from Vermont governor Richard Skinner along with resolutions in support of Maryland’s claims, and these were also referred to the committee. Finally, on 29 Jan. 1822 the committee recommended that the House disagree with “the resolutions of the Legislatures of Maryland and Vermont relative to the appropriations, by Congress, of public lands, for the purposes of education” (JHD description begins Journal of the House of Delegates of the Commonwealth of Virginia description ends [1820–21 sess.], 213, 226; [1821–22 sess.], 15, 50–1, 156).

Index Entries

  • Baltimore, Md.; newspapers search
  • Baltimore Patriot & Evening Advertiser (newspaper) search
  • Bank of the United States, Second, Richmond branch of; drafts of search
  • Barksdale, Nelson; Advertisement for Workmen for the University of Virginia search
  • Central College; subscription for search
  • Constitution, U.S.; mentioned search
  • education; federal appropriations for search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Books & Library; works sent to search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Writings; Advertisement for Workmen for the University of Virginia search
  • Kentucky; education in search
  • Louisiana Territory; claims related to U.S. purchase of search
  • Maryland; and education search
  • Maryland; legislature of search
  • Maryland; Report with Sundry Resolutions relative to Appropriations of Public Land for the Purposes of Education, to the Senate of Maryland. January 30, 1821 search
  • Patterson, John; and Central College–University of Virginia subscription search
  • Patterson, John; and University of Virginia search
  • Patterson, John; letters from search
  • Randolph, Thomas Mann (1768–1828) (TJ’s son-in-law; Martha Jefferson Randolph’s husband); as governor of Va. search
  • Report with Sundry Resolutions relative to Appropriations of Public Land for the Purposes of Education, to the Senate of Maryland. January 30, 1821 search
  • Skinner, Richard; as governor of Vt. search
  • United States; and public education search
  • Vermont; and education search
  • Virginia, University of; Administration and Financial Affairs; funding for search
  • Virginia; and education search
  • Virginia; General Assembly search