Extract from William Short to John H. Cocke

I am obliged candidly to own that thus far it has fallen far below my expectations—And I fear that the apprehension (which I always felt to a certain degree, that when its master & creative spirit was gone, it would languish dwindle & decay,) has begun already to be realized. Indeed it was always demonstrable in my eyes that this Institution was got up against the grain, & grew much more by the personal influence of one man: than by public feeling in its favor. It must be confessed also that that influence was used, in one respect, more in a way to check than excite public feeling—I mean in the great & disproportionate expenditure in its buildings—The idea of employing such a sum as $300000, to erect a covering for 200. students & professors (I think that is the number it is calculated for) is one that the public cannot be prepared for. Nor will they, I presume, understand, as was intended, that of exhibiting models of Architecture for the instruction of the rising generation.

RC (ViU: John Hartwell Cocke Papers).