James Madison Papers

From James Madison to Moses Hoge, 22 April 1820

To Moses Hoge

Montpr. Apl 22. 1820

Revd Sir

I have recd: a printed Copy of the Laws of Hampden-Sidney College;1 to which is prefixed a list of the Trustees among whom I find that my name is honored with a place. I can not be insensible to this mark of respect & confidence: But as my distance from the Institution, with my advanced life and the ordinary incidents to it, leave me no prospect of being more than a nominal member, I am sure I shall be readily excused for not accepting an appointment which could have no other effect than to exclude some one more worthy of the trust, because more capable of fulfilling its obligations. I pray the Board at the same time to be not the less assured of my cordial wishes that the College may be instrumental in doing as much good to the present & succeeding generations as I am persuaded is the object of those who administer & patronize it.

Draft (DLC). Moses Hoge (1752–1820) was a Revolutionary War veteran and ordained clergyman, who ministered to a church in Shepherdstown, Virginia (now West Virginia), from 1787 to 1807. Hoge was elected president of Hampden-Sydney College and professor of theology in 1807, and he remained in that post until his death.

1Laws of Hampden Sidney College (Richmond, [1819]; Shaw and Shoemaker description begins R. R. Shaw and R. H. Shoemaker, comps., American Bibliography: A Preliminary Checklist for 1801–1819 (22 vols.; New York, 1958–66). description ends 48145). JM’s copy is in the Madison Collection, Rare Book and Special Collections Division, Library of Congress.

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