Hore Browse Trist to Nicholas P. Trist
|Dear Brother||Farmington 30th January. 9 o’clock P.M. 1820.|
I got back last night to monticello from Mr Eppes where I have spent the vacation in some measure to my satisfaction, would have written to you while I stay’d there but could not do it conveniently for reasons which are not worth stating. I give myself credit for writing to you now; at the dull hour of nine after a very disagreable day’s ride, but the receipt of your last letter which came to hand to day & the perusal of one which I found here, have induced me to set drowsiness at defiance, in order to give you all the information, I have in store, respecting a subject, on which you have written to me several times obeying your directions, I carried your letter relating to Mr Crozet, to Mr Jefferson & having told him the subject, was offering it for perusal, when I was saluted with “a poh. poh! (or something like it) it is all needless, sir, we shall not engage professors for at least a year, all our endeavours will be used to get Mr Bodwich, should we not succeed in procuring him, Mr (I forget his name) has, from our knowledge of his capacity, the next best claim to the chair, at any rate we cannot engage any for at least a year” your letter was not read; so you see there is but little chance for Mr Crozet. the university no doubt, will be ready for our progeny, but not for us. the buildings where going on pretty well but money failed, & I beleive the workmen have, generally, been obliged to put a stop to their labours, they look for assistance from the Legislature, but the present state of the the treasury, which will exclude, from what I have heard, all aid from that quarter; the treasurer, Mr Preston has it seems made use of the public money, & there is a deficit of from eighty to 100000 $ in short from what I can hear, no professors can be employ’d for at least a year, not even Judge Cooper, it will therefore be useless for you to think any more about it. if money can be procured they will soon have accomodations ready for 100 students. If you desire further details on the subject write to me, and let me know precisely what you wish to hear, I promise you, to answer all your enquiries with all accuracy imaginable, for god’s sake, do not give me any more commissions to the old Patriarch. I wish you together all the information you can respecting the best and cheapest college and report to me which you think would be the most eligible situation for me, I should like to go to Philadelphia but am afraid my expences would be too great there. I think a young man who resides in a city (provided he is not given to dissippation) possesses a great many advantages over one who has attended a country school all his life time, and gets rusty over latin and Greek he who lives in a city, besides a knowledge of these, can polish himself by genteel conversation and can procure whatever is necessary for his studies with ease, while the country student finds it difficulty even to procure the necessary books. I am in no great hurry, but you will do me a favour by making the enquiries aforesaid, for I certainly cannot product with Mr Stack.
I read with great interest the pamphlet published in justification of the conduct of the Cadets, a copy of which was sent to Mr Eppes, while I was there doubtless you all acted perfectly right in adopting some measures to redress your grievances, but I think those Cadets whom Captain Bliss had illtreated should have borne the burthen on their own shoulders, and not have subjected the first young men in the academy to the mortification of being arrested and suspended or of being dismissed, together with the [. . .] of losing so much time, which is irreparable at their age time of life, I was somewhat surprised to see the president addressed by the appellation which is bestowed on the european monarchs by their flatterers and this too by a cidevant officer of the U.S.
Pray let me know where you got those busts you made mention of. I am sorry to see you are so obstinately bent on disliking the professors, it seems that they return you good for evil, in giving you a very good character, remember that your future success will depend, in some measure, on the figure sure you make at that seminary, I’ll be bound Fairfax who is your prototype was a great favourite with the professors, from what Major Thayer himself said of him. tell me when we shall have the pleasure of embracing you, we long very much to have that happiness & I dare say you would have no objection to spending a short time here, no news, except that Mr Southall, is at length married to Miss Garrett. vale