James Madison Papers

James Madison to John Hartwell Cocke, 12 May 1828

Montpellier May 12. 1828

Dear Sir

Yours of the 5th. has just come to hand, and embarrasses me a little as to the course by which I should best consult the views of the Visitors, in relation to an appointment of Mr. Ritchie at once to the vacant Chair of Nat: Philos:. Mr Johnston as you know is against any appointments in the recess of the Board, and I find by a letter from Mr. Cabell who writes from Washington that he adheres to the same opinion. He observes also that he had been in conversation with Docr. Jones, from which he did not learn "whether his appointment there would be a bar to his acceptance of a Professorship in the University." Under these circumstances, it may be best to leave the subject on the footing of my letter to Mr. Laurence now on its way to London. It conforms to the advice given in Mr. Johnstons, letter, as will appear by my answer, of which I inclose a copy: the rather, as the letter was yours as well as his.

I have heard nothing yet from Mr. Brougham. The inclosed letters ought to have been sent to you sooner; but I did not observe at the time that the one to Dr. Johnston, was the original for him, not a copy for the visitors. There is probably more in the case than I know. You may have the means of forming a better judgment on it; particularly whether the letter should be handed as addressed, or await a meeting of the Board. With great esteem & regard

James Madison

RC (ViU); draft (DLC).

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