Thomas Jefferson Papers

To Thomas Jefferson from Thomas Cooper, 3 May 1820

Columbia south Carolina May. 3. 1820

Dear Sir

On monday last 1st instant, the board of Trustees of South Carolina College, at a regular meeting, (usually held here, during the courts of appeal in Law & Chancery, the Judges being Trustees) unanimously determined

That it should be proposed to and urged with the Legislature to appoint a Professorship of Geology and Mineralogy, or else a professorship of Law, with a salary of 1000 $ a year to be assigned to me in addition to my professorship of Chemistry which is 2000 $.—

That if a Professorship of Geology & Mineralogy should be chosen, that it would be expedient to purchase my collection of minerals.

Little doubt is entertained of carrying this proposal with the Legislature; as they inform me without hesitation, that after what they have experienced of my conduct here as a lecturer & otherwise, it is the general wish, witht any dissentient opinion, to retain me at all events.

Whether the Legislature will think so likewise, remains to be determined.

I expect Mr Correa de Serra, will arrive at your house nearly on the receipt of this letter. I am infinitely indebted to the affectionate kindness of that respectable man, for the interest he has taken in my welfare.

Pray communicate to him the information I now give you, because he will rejoice at the prospect of my being, settled even tho’ it be still open to accidents.

The 1500 $ will nearly, not quite, cover my expences including my Journeys: but it suffices; it is right I should acknowledge the liberality of your board with thanks; I regret the storm that has been raised on my account, for it has separated me from many fond hopes and wishes. Whatever my religious creed may be, and perhaps I do not exactly know it myself, it is pleasure to reflect, that my conduct has not brought, & is not likely to bring discredit on my friends. Wherever I have been, it has been my good fortune to meet with or to make, ardent and affectionate friends; I feel pursuaded I should have met with the same lot in Virginia, had it been my chance to have settled there as I hoped and expected, for I think my course of conduct is sufficiently habitual, to count upon its effects. At all events, I owe to you my most gratified thanks and affectionate good wishes & it will be my pride and my children’s pride, that I have earned and received the respect and attention of the first man the Country can now boast. I hope you will yet live many pleasant and useful years: serum in calum redeas.

Mr Walsh has begun a malignant & wicked career: he openly calls for a renewal of the Missouri question, and sounds the tocsin of disunion. The good sense of the nation will put him down.

Adieu. my most respectful sentiments, & kindest wishes attend you always.

Thomas Cooper


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