Thomas Jefferson Papers

Samuel Taylor to Thomas Jefferson, [ca. 4 September 1821]

From Samuel Taylor

Jefferson C[ty] V—a near Battle Town [ca. 4 Sept. 1821]

Dr Sir

I have a son whom I intend to send to college this fall or next spring, & I have no little desire that he should commence at our university—I therefore deem it expedient to address you (as provost of the institution) on the subject, whether the edifice will be open for the reception of youths this Autumn, & whether the institution will go into operation now, or next spring, or when? or any other information connected with the object of this letter that you may think proper to impart, will be most thankfully received and duly appreciated—your advise whether I should detain my son for a while to Send him on to our Seminary, or not, will have its weight in determining me, as to the measures I may pursue—   Will a youth possess the Same or equal advantages in a Seminary newly organised, as he would in one long established?—I allude particularly to the Virginia University

accept venerable Sir, the homage of my profound respects

Samuel Taylor

RC (CSmH: JF); undated; top edge chipped; endorsed by TJ as received 15 Sept. RC (MHi); address cover only; with Dft of TJ to John Barnes, 30 Nov. 1822, on verso; addressed: “Thomas Jefferson Esqr V=a near Charlottesville”; stamped; postmarked Battletown, 4 Sept. Recorded in SJL as an undated letter received 15 Sept. 1821.

Samuel Taylor (1775–1857), physician and planter, was born near Dover, Delaware, studied medicine under James Craik in Alexandria, and finished his education in Philadelphia. He settled in 1797 in the vicinity of Battletown (later Berryville) in what later became Clarke County. Taylor served as a surgeon in the War of 1812. He was made a director of the Berryville and Charlestown turnpike in 1847. At the time of his death at his home in Berryville, Taylor owned real estate and property valued at $66,687.50, including forty-three slaves (Thomas Condit Miller and Hu Maxwell, West Virginia and Its People [1913], 3:1206; Robert A. Brock and Virgil A. Lewis, Virginia and Virginians [1888], 1:248; Hugh Milton McIlhany, Some Virginia Families [1903], 108; Wyndham B. Blanton, Medicine in Virginia in the Eighteenth Century [1931], 79–80, 390; Alexandria Expositor, and the Columbian Advertiser, 28 Sept. 1803; DNA: RG 29, CS, Frederick Co., 1810, 1830, Jefferson Co., 1820, Clarke Co., 1840, 1850, 1850 slave schedules; Acts of Assembly description begins Acts of the General Assembly of Virginia (cited by session; title varies over time) description ends [1846–47 sess.], 117 [22 Mar. 1847]; Washington Daily National Intelligencer, 12 Mar. 1857; gravestone inscription in Grace Episcopal Church Cemetery, Berryville; Clarke Co. Will Book, D:110–1, 122–4).

Index Entries

  • Taylor, Samuel (1775–1857); and son’s education search
  • Taylor, Samuel (1775–1857); identified search
  • Taylor, Samuel (1775–1857); letter from search
  • Virginia, University of; Establishment; opening of search
  • Virginia, University of; Students; prospective students search