Boston Nov. 9. 1827.
I have received a letter from J. Burton Harrison Esq. of Lynchburg, informing me, that Prof. Long is about to resign his place in the University of Virginia, and that, in such an event, he himself wishes to be considered a candidate for the Office and is willing to study in Europe, at his own expense, in order to qualify himself better to fulfil its duties. He adds a wish, that I would write to you on his behalf.
I cheerfully comply with his request, so far as my acquaintance with him will warrant; and, on this ground, I can say, that he passed, I think, nearly two years at Cambridge; that he was thought by those connected with the College to possess more than common talent; that he devoted himself with great zeal to the language & made rapid progress; and that he left behind him an impression, that he would honourably distinguish himself in his profession. My personal acquaintance with him was very agreeable to me; and, I cannot but express an opinion, that if he should enter on any career purely literary, he would devote himself to it with great earnestness and go very far.
It has been intimated to me, that your Board would, probably, prefer a native of Virginia, in which I should concur with them, provided one can be found, who will give such a value & estimation to classical Literature, as will make it one of the chief corner stones of your University. Such persons however, are rare in every part of our country, with which I am acquainted; and I am sorry that their number is to be diminished by the loss of Professor Long.
Mr. Harrison desired me, also, to write to Mr. Monroe on the subject of the Professorship; but, I do not feel as if I were authorised to do it. If, however, you see fit to show him this letter, it would do all for Mr. Harrison, that my best wishes for his welfare can effect.
Mrs. Ticknor and myself do not cease to remember gratefully the hospitality we enjoyed at Montpelier, and beg to have our best respects kindly received by yourself and Mrs. Madison. With great consideration, Your obedient servant,