James Madison Papers

James Madison to George Long, 8 June 1829

Montpr. June 8. 1829

Dr. Sir

Your obliging letter of Decr—came duly to hand. Having heard nothing since either from you or from Mr. Barbour, I infer that our field of choice for the vacant Chair in our University will be limited to our own Country: In this event, your favorable estimate of Mr. Harrison’s qualifications will doubtless be a weight in his scale, when compared with the pretensions of others. Of the standing at the University given him, by his preceptive course, and his personal deportment, I can not speak from precise information. No thing certainly has come to my knowledge, which is not in both respects favorable. I have recd. from him thro’ Genl. Cocke the annexed memorandum, of the Numbers of the Thesaurus of Stephens, wanting in the Library of the University, & avail myself, of your proffered aid, in procuring them. They may be forwarded with a note of the cost, as may any such other literary articles, as you allude to, under address to Mr Brockenbrough; by vessels bound, to Baltimore or N. York, or to the ports of Norfolk or Richmond, as preferable, if the option should present itself.

It affords us great pleasure to learn that the London University has such flattering prospects, and I observe with particular pleasure, in a late English Newspaper, that a considerable addition has been made to the no. of your class.

Our University was lately visited by a fever of the typhus type, which proving mortal to several Students, and producing a suspension for some weeks of the public exercises, threatened serious injury to the Institution. The malady however has entirely disappeared & it being known, to light on spots, distinguished for their general salubrity, as often as on those of a different character, the Students have returned, and resumed the course of their Studies. I regret to say however, that the number continues far short of our hopes, not amounting to quite a hundred: The effect principally of the general depression in the pecuniary affairs of the Country.

I know not whether Mr. Key is within the pale of your University; but presume he is at least within the range of your personal communication He has been so kind in his co-operations in the means of finding professors for our vacant Chairs, and has manifested so much good will towards our University, that we all have felt the obligation, and entertain a sincere wish that the success of his views whatever they be may correspond with his talents & his merits

To yourself, Sir, I express for my colleagues as well as myself, the thanks due for the friendly interest you take in the Institution, under our charge, with our best wishes for the prosperity of that which holds so high a place in the general expectations & wth wch. you have commited your future fortunes.

Draft (ViU).

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