Montpellier Feby. 23. 1829
I have just recd. yours of the 19th. I cannot regard the anonymous charge in the newspaper to which it refers as an omen of successful misrepresentations concerning the state of things at the University. What is published seems to carry on the face of it an antidote to its purpose. The fever in question, whatever be its cause, is well understood to have no respect of places as ordinarily distinguished by healthiness or the contrary. It prevailed in a very mortal degree in my family a few years ago, notwithstanding the established salubrity of the situation, without any visible or known circumstance that could account for it; and without prevailing in adjoining situations of a like character. It is a fact, I believe, that it visited a solitary family dwelling on the summit of Peter’s Mountain, the Cimborazo of our Lilliputian Andes, where all the known atmospherical & local causes, instead of explaining the Phinominon ought to have been safeguards against it. As the radical cause must be refered to some mutable condition of the atmosphere we must hope that a favorable change, if not already commenced, will soon take place.
I shall forward your letter to Genl. Cocke my Colleague in the Executive Trust, and should he concur in the expedient you suggest, as called for by the actual or coming circumstances, he will be able to give it effect, without the delay of a further communication with me.
FC (ViU); draft (DLC).