James Madison Papers

Robert M. Patterson to James Madison, 3 October 1831

University of Virginia. Oct. 3d, 1831.


A large number, (between 70 & 80,) of the Students of the University have lately formed a Corps "for the acquirement of practical knowledge and skill in military tactics," and the Faculty have appointed the Proctor, Mr. Jno. A. Carr, their Military Instructor, the Students having previously appointed him their Senior Commanding Officer.

The Faculty have also authorised me to take the necessary steps for procuring from the Executive of the State, under the law of March 8, 1827, a sufficient number of muskets for the Corps.

Before this application is made, it is judged proper that the approbation of the Executive Committee to the measure, and particularly to the appointment of the Proctor as Military Instructor, should be asked.

I will take the liberty of mentioning that I deem this relation between the Corps and the Proctor, (which has his full consent,) very desirable. It will accustom the Students to an obedience to his commands, and will give him a control over them that may prove very important in promoting the general discipline of the institution. With great respect, Your very faithful Servant,

R. M. Patterson,Chairman &c.

A Copy of this letter is sent to each member of the Executive Committee.

The present number of matriculates is 130.

RC (ViHi). Docketed with the notation, possibly by JM: "Answered by referring to Mr R & Genl. Cocke & a request to [ ] to them decide." Addressed to the executive committee of University of Virginia.

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