James Madison Papers

James Madison to George Blaettermann, 2 January 1830

Jany 2 1830

Dear Sir

I have recd yours of Decr. 2020 and am more sorry for the view it has taken of its subject than convinced that it was a necessary view.

Premising that I have no authority as Rector, nor any as a Visitor in the view of the Board that as one of the 3 members of the Ex--Come I can only observe with respect to the provided Report of the visitors, that it does not appear to warrant the injurious implication you suppose. The expediency of a Tutor, to assist in the unusual number of modern languages charged on the Professorship, implies merely that the labour & variety of duties, and the probable number of Students, requires assistance, and especially in the case of the languages where the pronunciation was a primary object, and could best be taught by a native, and as the part of the compensation depending on fees, might be increased by the effect of the arrangt. on the number of students, and in any event, wd. be attended with diminution of the labour of the Professor, the reasonableness of allotting a portion of the fees to the assistant seems to speak for itself.

With respect to the duty of instructing the Senior Class in the Literatures of the Countries whose languages they study, it seems justly to fall within the Scope of a Professorship in a University, and to be included in an enlightened course of Lectures on the History of a Country. If the Board did not particularise the literary part of [ ] lectures, it is a mark of their confidence in the learning & judgt. wth. which the task will be performed, and if the lectures do the justice whc I presume they will to the topics & obje[cts?] you have selected, I must infer not only the acque[scence] of the visitors but their gratification.

It ought not to be omitted that altho no special reference has been made to you in the Report, the Professors without exception are commended for their zeal & ability, and the good will of the Visitors to you personally was manif[ested] by the accommodations & incr{?]ions wch. it was understood wd. be acceptable & advantageous.

Draft (DLC).

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