Thomas Jefferson Papers

John F. Oliveira Fernandes to Thomas Jefferson, 25 June 1821

From John F. Oliveira Fernandes

Norfolk June 25t 1821

Dear, & very respectd Sir!

The Letter you honoured me with on the 28th ultimo, was received on the 3d instant; I do highly appreciate both your Sincere wishes, for my native Country’s, as well as my own prosperity; I am much obliged to your goodness and phylantropy.   I would not trouble you again, was it not for the interest I realy feel for the State-University; as well as for my friend Doct. Andrews having a Chair in it—thoroughly convinced he will confer both, Credit to the Stablishment, and honour to him Self.   I, therefore, beg Leave to inform you, that I took the liberty, to acquaint him, of the Steps I have taken, by writting to you, on the Subject;—and persuaded him to address you few Lines—which I request of your permission to enclose herewith, to gether with a Copy of his Teses or inaugural dissertation.

I am extremely Sorry for the retard, that Such a valuable Institution will suffer; indeed very short must be the Sight of those, who will deny, the pecuniary aid, you Speak of—which in paralell with the Glory, honour, & utility reflecting therefrom, is but a Zero, for a State, of So great resources and magnitude as Virginia.   Without entering into the examen of the Superiority of the Plans adopted in the Several Universities, I should think that of Portugal, at Coimbra Suitable to the present Circumstances of that in Virginia—   the Students of each of the Six Faculties pay, every year (besides a fee for the Secretary) $8—in his first Matriculation or inlistment at the commencement of every Academical Year—Say from 27t Sept. to 15t October—and an equal quantity on the Second Matriculation—from 15t to the 30t May—this or a Larger Sum together with a Law forbiding, that no Pastor, Physician Magistrate, Lawyer or public functionary be elected or admitted the exercise of his Science, without being graduated, by the University1 of the State, either as Bachelor2 or Doctor—would produce a tolerably-good income—

Every public Stablishment out to be Supported with taxis—and these Must be Levied by the rich—   I do Sincerely wish for the Erection of the University of Virginia—and the result of that Stablishment, as I consider it ought to be, will give Animation & Life (beside incalculable progresses of every discription),3 to that Section of the Country.

May it please God to preserve your Valuable Life, for, at Least, two Lustros; to See a prosperous Commencement, in an Stablishment So essencial to the Glory & independence of our State.   I will Sail tomorrow (wind permiting) for Madeira; there, or at any other place my residence may be hereafter, I beg you to be assured of the Sentiments of the high Concideration, respect & Sincere esteem with which I am

Dr Sir Your Most Obt Sevt

John F. d’Oliveira Fernandes

RC (ViU: TJP); at foot of text: “Thoma Jefferson Esq Monticello”; endorsed by TJ as received 2 July 1821 and so recorded in SJL; with TJ’s additional notation beneath endorsement: “Andrews Doctr to be Professor.” Enclosures: (1) Thomas F. Andrews to TJ, 23 June 1821. (2) Andrews, Dissertatio Medica inauguralis, de Vasis Absorptioni Servientibus (Edinburgh, 1819).

teses is Portuguese for “theses.” The Spanish word “lustro” (the plural being lustros) denotes a five-year period.

1Manuscript: “Universty.”

2Manuscript: “Bachelo.”

3Omitted closing parenthesis editorially added.

Index Entries

  • Andrews, Thomas Francis; Dissertatio Medica inauguralis, de Vasis Absorptioni Servientibus search
  • Andrews, Thomas Francis; seeks professorship search
  • books; on medicine search
  • Dissertatio Medica inauguralis, de Vasis Absorptioni Servientibus (T. F. Andrews) search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Books & Library; works sent to search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Correspondence; letters of introduction to search
  • medicine; books on search
  • Oliveira Fernandes, John Francisco; and University of Virginia search
  • Oliveira Fernandes, John Francisco; introduces T. F. Andrews search
  • Oliveira Fernandes, John Francisco; letters from search
  • Oliveira Fernandes, John Francisco; on Portuguese universities search
  • Portugal; education in search
  • Virginia, University of; Administration and Financial Affairs; funding for search
  • Virginia, University of; Establishment; opinions on search
  • Virginia, University of; Faculty and Curriculum; faculty applicants search