James Madison Papers

Thomas S. Vaiden to James Madison, 28 December 1829

Petersburg, December 28th, 1829

Dear Sir,

I have deemed it necessary to address you. In the spring of 1828 a letter was written to you as Rector of the Un. of Va. wherein a request was made that great circumspection &c. might be exercised in the election of professor who was to supply Mr. Long’s place at the commencement of the subsequent session. This letter was Anonymous, For certain reasons of course. It was written by myself who was a student for the second course at the University & who had attended the classical chair the whole time. As I expected to graduate I felt the interest therein expressed. The hand writing I certainly beleive was not disguised which could be easily recognised by an acquaintance. At the time I wrote that letter I expected that I should not call it up again especially before you. I merely intended it for the time being; but a recent circumstance of sufficient weight for me to forego this intention even the delicacy otherwise paramount of asking you your opinion on this head. All of this matter turns on the word anonymous. As you no doubt received the letter you have the best means of judging of the writer’s intentions &c. I must request you to drop me a line to that effect. I do not seek to elicit any more than a bare expression of your sentiments on the motives &c. of the writer as to be collected from the tenour of the letter, and particularly from its being anonymous. You can say whether or not this circumstance has given it a character which would tarnish the whole intention. Should you not be able to make up as conscientious an opinion as you wish any further data that I can give will be candidly expressed—I earnestly request your answer in return of mail directed to Halifax County North Carolina. With appropriate sentiments &c.

Tho S. Vaiden

RC (DLC). Docketed by JM.

Index Entries