Thomas Jefferson Papers

To Thomas Jefferson from Robert Williams, 12 August 1806

No. Carolina Poplar Grove Augt. 12th. 1806

Dear Sir/

I take the liberty to trouble you on a Subject, the importance of which, as well as your great desire to promote things of the kind, will I trust plead my excuse for so doing—Which is, to request your aid in procuring a proper Charecter, to Commence & take Charge of Jefferson College. The Trustees of that College have Commited to me this trust.

When I left the Territory application had been made for a Mr. Brown of this State, who, though not fully qualified to be the professor of such an institution was stated to be Competent to take Charge of an Academy, which we intend as a Commencement of the College. Mr. Brown has lately informed me that he Cannot make it Convenient to his private affairs, to remove at present to that Country. I am therefore without any person in View at present. Will you be so good as to give your aid in directing us a proper Charecter for that purpose—The superior knowledge and acquaintance you have with genl. men of letters & science make me believe that the institution may be greatly forwarded by receiving your assistance in this respect—

On the Score of Compensation it may not be very inviting for the first year or two—perhaps not more than twelve or fifteen hundred dollars for teaching, and as much more for performing divine Service alternately at Washington & Natchez, hence it is wished a teacher Should have this double qualification, so that a person qualified in those respects may Calculate on an establishment at first of about $3,000—

As to health perhaps no place is more so than Washington, where Jefferson College is established, which together with the Vast extent of Country and increasing population that Surrounds it, and the wealth of the people particularly below will Contribute to render this in a very Short time one of the most flourishing Seminaries of learning on the Continent—I Shall be glad to know as soon as Convenient of your reception of this letter and the probable Success of its object

I am with very great Respect & Consideration ys.

Robert Williams

DLC: Papers of Thomas Jefferson.

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