James Madison Papers

Nicholas P. Trist to James Madison, 26 November 1828

Washington--Wednesday morning--Novr 26.

Dear Sir

I have never lost sight of the report to the Legislature; and yet it has been impossible for me to make the sketch which goes by this morning’s mail, before this moment. The first days of my arrival were entirely engrossed by attendance on the office, & then, receiving & making calls and seeking a lodging. These things, added to the bustle of a tavern, made it so difficult for me to collect my thoughts that I put off looking into the University papers until I should get fixed. Before this could be effected, I was assailed by a serious indisposition—serious only while it lasted—that confined me to the house a couple of days & made me incapable of any mental exertion. All this brought me to the evening before last, when, with a head both swimming & aching, I commenced looking over the necessary papers. The accounts rendered in the last report, were up to July 1827; I have concluded that it would be best that the present report should date a few days after the adjournment of the meeting in July last; that is to say, about the first of August. What I have written, is a mere sketch; and will require many corrections. The two subjects, Mr Long’s resignation, & the encrease of Dr Patterson’s salary to $1500, could not be passed over entirely: I have managed them as well as I could.

There are two things which will make it necessary for you to hear from the University before you can send in the report. The one arising from my own carelessness, the other from the Proctor’s. When I applied to him for the No of students & State of the Schools, he furnished me with the latter only. On coming away I brought with me the accounts of the Bursar & Proctor rendered in July—on looking into these I find they date from Decr. last—there is therefore a chasm from July 1827 to Decr. 1827 which must be filled. That one mail may be saved, I shall write by the present to Charlottesville, so that will receive these papers by the return post.

I have got rid of my cold; & am well, with the exception of bad head ache & vertigo which I mean to expell by strict regimen <also> commenced. In the greatest haste imaginable, I tender my usual affectionate salutations for yrself & Mrs Madison

N P. Trist.

Mr Gallatin is here; and I would be gratified to be introduced to him by you. He is a man I have long wished to know personally.

RC (ViHi: Nicholas P. Trist Album Book). Docketed by JM.

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