City of washington 18th novr 1796
We the Commissioners of the City of Washington, with the greatest respect, represent to the President of the United States,
That, recurring, with much Satisfaction, to his Speech to both Houses of Congress, soon after the Commencement of the Columbian Government, in which he very earnestly recommended a particular Attention to, and a provision for, the Education of the rising Generations.
That, having at various times since our Appointment been honored with a free personal Communication of his Sentiments on this interesting Subject,
That, having by Letter on the 28th of January 1795 received his Opinions more at large, in which "he regrets that the youth of the United States should be sent to foreign Countries for the purpose of Education, "where, though doubtless many under these [cir]cumstances escape the danger of contracting principles unfriendly to republican Government; yet we ought to appreciate the hazard attending ardent & susceptible Minds from.
We are induced to offer our Sentiments in favour of appointing proper persons to receive the Donations of the Patrons of Science & Learning—towards the establishment of a grand National University in the City of Was[hington] towards the advancement of the same; and for the promoti[on] with the laudable Intentions contemplated by the [ ], in such a way as to the President of the United States shall seem meet.
DLC: William Thornton Papers.