Hore Browse Trist to Nicholas P. Trist
|My Dear Brother||Charlottesville August 3d–20|
I am in a greater dilemma than ever, & the difficulty of choice has increased instead of having diminished. Mr Stack wrote to Mr Patterson one of the professors at in the University of Pensylvania, requesting to know whether I could enter the Junior class (the second) at the same time giving him an account of the progress I had made in the usual studies. Mr P. replied in the affirmative, stating that the session began in September. the certainty of being able to enter the junior class is another inducement to my going to Philadelphia, as I could certainly get a degree of B.A in two years: several circumstances on the other hand, have of late taken place which render Columbia a desirable place situation, besides the sanction of mr Jefferson’s approbation, it has to recommend it the circumstance of Mr Nulty’s being appointed professor of mathematics (the gentleman under whom I expected to study La Croix in Phi.) Francis Eppes and Baker who are under the care of Mr J. & who have been my fellow students and companions during my residence here contemplate with certainty on going there in the course of 1 or 2 months. their company is some inducement. you see there is almost and equipoise in the scales, but I have sent for money & luckily gave directions for its being all sent forwarded here so that provision is made for any emergency. Mr Stack has taken it into his head to dismiss all the large boys, thinking, I fancy, that teaching the small boys alone would be more profitable business. Raglands services will of course be dispensed with: this explosion will take place the 16th of next month, when Ragland goes to Hanover to study law: by that time I shall have got through equations and finished the six first books of Euclid. the time that I intend to devote the interval between Raglands departure & mine partly to reading Bezouts Algebra & reviewing the six books of E. although Mr Jeffersons thinks them of no use, during that time I will be without any instructor but I expect not to find many difficulties in what I intend to study. I cannot present your books to Ragland for these reasons, miss Cornelia is making use of Haughton Virgil, he has just bought a dictionary himself. those which remain of yours are very few in number, I will however give him some of my own. I had the pleasure to see Cousins Peachey & Mary the other day, they went from Liberty over the mountains to mr G. Gilmers (where we stopped) for their health, & concluded that they would step into Albemarle, as they were so near. Cousin P. told me to tell you he would certainly have answer’d your letter before, but was continually going to and fro in the exercise of his profession. he is very well and desires to be affectionately remember’d.
I have just made a purchase of La croix integral and differential calculus translated into English with notes. It is very doubtful whether I shall ever be able to read it as I understand it is the most abstruse branch of mathematicks. I could procure [. . .] his whole course of mathematics comprised in 9 volumes at a bookstore in Baltimore, by the the name of the man who keeps it is Joseph Denoux, no 11 nassau between cedar and pine Stt price 12$ cheap enough let me know if James undertakes any commissions of that sort. if you cannot procure any of the books I sent for before, you may get for me the dictionary of the academy (Spanish) price 16$ to be found at the same bookstore. Miss Ellen has been so elaborate in her commendations of the work that I feel an itching to procure it. in case I go south this is to be done; as I can do it myself if I go north you wish to know what progress I have made in spanish, I have not read a line for a twelvemonth & here I will finish with the usual assurances of unabated attachment.