James Madison Papers

Chapman Johnson to James Madison, 3 August 1828

Near Staunton, 3 August 1828

Dear Sir,

As soon as I arrived at home, I wrote to Doctor Harrison, on the subject of the professorship of antient languages. In consequence of it, he visited me last night, and is now with me.

I have explained to him the wishes of the visitors upon the subject, particularly their desire that he should devote his whole time to the duties of the station, in order that he may maintain as much as possible the reputation which Mr. Long has earned for the school. I have told him candidly that we are looking abroad for some one to fill the chair permanently, whose years and acquirements had given him a reputation that might attract attention, and recommend the study of antient literature to the youth of our country, and that, therefore, though the permanent appointment was still open to his ambition, if he thought it worthy, and proved himself qualified, yet he ought not to calculate upon it, in deciding on the propriety of accepting the place for a time—

He treats the subject with great candour and delicacy, and saying that he can promise very little beyond diligence and zeal, and hope for very little beyond the gratification to be derived from faithful service, he agrees to accept the appointment for a year, and to devote his whole time to it; For this I have told him he would receive a salary of a thousand dollars, payable quarterly, and the regular fees of the school—his salary to commence from the date of your letter of appointment—

You will address him if you please, at Harris[on]burg, Rockingham county—

I have not yet heard from Doctor Patterson, who though requested to address his acceptance or refusal of the appointment to you, I expected would have written to me also—My nephew doctor Johnson, who is with me, thinks it probable he had left Philadelphia, as is usual with him in the summer, for a temporary residence, in the country—I hope he is not hesitating about his course—With very great respect Your obedient servant

C Johnson

RC (DLC). Docketed by James Madison.

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