Montpr Jany 25—
Your Circular of the 20th instn was recd last evening, and the letter from Mr Pictet, forwarded as desired to our Colleagues at Richd.
I concur in your mode of providing for the foreseen vacancy which, I sincerely lament, on every account; as I should any admissible mode that would avoid the necessity, for an meeting of the Visitors.
I am your order among the names you propose for the vacancy; without being prepared to add a single one to them; unless indeed Mr Lomax the list. Perhaps a like concurrence of our Colleages may render not only a meeting of the Board, but further consultations by letter unnecessary.
I consider the change so desperate as to both Barbour & Dade, that it is scarcely justifiable to submit to the delay of a renewed offer to them. The remark is in some degree applicable to Mr Rives, whose state of health as well as the considerations you notice, forbids a hope of his acceptance. I understand his rank in Congress, corresponds with the view you have formed of his talents & acquirements, The great distance of Mr Preston, with the bare possibility of his acceptance, seem to require us to lose sight of him Of Mr Robertson, I nothing but from Report, which ascribes to him good talents & good principles. The Visitors at Rich must be able to judge so much better of his qualifications than I can, that I am ready to subscribe to their estimate of them. Of Mr Terrell I am personally altogether ignorant; but your of him to say nothing of the testimony of Pictet, makes me to concur in a selection of him at once.
if there be nothing in the answers from Richd inconsistent with such a course.
DLC: Papers of James Madison.