Norfolk 28. May 1827
Since the receipt of your favor, apprising me of the resignation of Mr. Key, and its acceptance, as required by a resolution of the Board, my attention has been anxiously engaged in pursuit of information, upon the choice which we are to make, at our next meeting. I have yet heard of no one attainable, either native or foreigner, who in point of scientifick qualification, can be brought in competition with Mr. Hassler or Capt: Crozet. Both of them, there is no doubt, are profound in the Science; but I am strongly disposed to question the fitness of either, for a professorship in our University. The subject deserves mature consideration, and I flatter myself that, by the time of our meeting, you will have received advices from Mr. Gallatin, to assist us in our decision. In the event that we cannot rely on a good successor to Mr. Key from G. Britain, I should be inclined, I think, to look for some native, who is familiar with the practical branches of the Science, in preference to the two foreigners, who are proposed for consideration.
As I was unable to attend the last meeting of the Board, I am unapprized of the change in the time, at which the Session is to terminate. May I ask the favor of you to inform me; and also of the day appointed for the next meeting of the Visitors? With high consideration &c I am. Yr: Most Obdt: Servt:
RC (DLC). Docketed by JM: "Answd by information that the Session wd end July 10, & the Examination commence on the 20th, when the Visitors were to meet."