James Madison Papers

James Madison to Henry Clay, 21 March 1831

Mar. 21. 1831

I have just recd. from the Revd. Mr. Beasly, lately at the Head of the University in Philad. a request that I would drop you a few lines on the subject of his application for the vacant Presidentcy in the University at Lexington. My personal knowledge of Mr. B. is very slight, and that of his literary publications too much so, to admit of a competent judgment of his merits. That they disclose learned & ingenious researches on important topics within the range of his professional Studies, may I believe be justly remarked of them; and of the moral features of his Character, I know nothing that could warrant a doubt. But my testimony if entitled to more weight than can be claimed for it, is of the less consideration, as I find that both Mr. Southard & Mr. Dickerson, who must be well informed, of the qualifications of Mr. B will communicate such views of them, as will enable the Trustees to do justice in the case. It remains for me therefore only to plead as an apology f[or] their interposition on my part. The earnestness of a highly respectable individual for who[m] I am bound to entertain kind feelings & good wishes, and I avail myself on the occasion, of offering the renewed expression of the esteem & cordial respects which, I pray you to accept

Draft (DLC).

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