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ther and respectful forbearance. While their request will rebut the plea of proscriptive possession, it will give us a right to their approbation when taken in the maturity of circumstances. I really think, too, that neither the state of our finances, the condition of our country, nor the public opinion, urges us to precipitation into war. The treaty has had the valuable effect of strengthening our title to the Techas, because the cession of the Floridas in exchange for Techas imports an acknowledgment of our right to it. This province moreover, the Floridas and possibly Cuba, will join us on the acknowledgment of their independence, a measure to which thoir new government will probably accede voluntarily. But why should I be saying all this to you, whose mind all the circumstances of this affair have had possession for years? I shall rejoice to see you here ; and were I to live to see you here finally, it would be a day of jubilee. But our days are all numbered, and mine are not many. God bless you and preserve you muchos años

TO GENERAL TAYLOR.

MONTICELLO, May 16, 1820: DEAR SIR, -We regretted much your absence at the late meeting of the Board of Visitors, but did not doubt it was occasioned by uncontrollable circumstances. As the matters which came before us were of great importance to the institution, I think it a duty to inform you of them.

You know the sanction of the legislature to our borrowing $60,000 on the pledge of our annuity of $15,000. The Literary Board offered us $40,000 on that pledge, to be repaid at five instalments, commencing at the end of the third year from the date of the loan, and interest to be regularly paid in the meantime. We endeavored to obtain permission to draw for only

. $15,000 at first, and for $2,000 monthly afterwards, to avoid the payment of dead interest. This they declined, as bound themselves to keep the whole of their capital always in a course of VOL. VII.

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fructification. We then requested a postponement of the instalments to the fourth instead of the third year, with an additional loan of the further sum of $20,000, authorized by the law. To the postponement they acceded, and we are assured they will to the further loan. To explain to them the urgency of this additional year's postponement, a paper was laid before them of which I enclose you a copy, and on which you are now acting. Should the legislature not help us to the $93,600 there noted, the result will be that at the end of the next year all the buildings will be completed, (the library excepted,) and will then remain unoccupied fiye years longer, until our funds shall be free for the engagements of professors. Should they, on the other hand, give this aid, our funds will be free, at the beginning of the next year, and will enable us to take measures for procuring professors in the course of that summer, and to open the University. We were all of opinion that we ought to complete the buildings for the ten professors contemplated, as well as accommodations for the students, before opening the institution; for were we to stop at any point short of the full establishment, and open partially, as our funds would thenceforward be absorbed by the professors' salaries, we should never be able to advance a step further, nor to cover the whole field of science contemplated by the law, and made the object of our care and duty. We thought it better, therefore, to risk a delay of eight years for a perfect establishment, than to begin earlier and go on forever with a defective one; and we suppose it impossible that either the legislature, or their constituents, should not consider an immediate commencement as worth the sum necessary to procure it. You will observe that in the estimate enclosed, no account is taken of our subscription monies. They are, in fact, too uncertain in their collection to found any necessary contracts; and we thought it better therefore to reserve them as a contingent fund, and a resource to cover miscalculations and accidents.

Another subject on this, as on former occasions, gave us embarrassment. You may have heard of the hue and cry raised from the different pulpits on our appointment of Dr. Cooper,

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whom they charge with Unitarianism as boldly as if they knew the fact, and as presumptuously as if it were a crime, and one for which, like Servetus, he should be burned ; and perhaps you may have seen the particular attack made on him in the Evangelical magazine. For myself I was not disposed to regard the denunciations of these satellites of religious inquisition; but our colleagues, better judges of popular feeling, thought that they were not to be altogether neglected; and that it might be better to relieve Dr. Cooper, ourselves and the institution from this crusade. I had received a letter from him expressing his uneasiness, not only for himself, but lest this persecution should become embarrassing to the visitors, and injurious to the institution; with an offer to resign, if we had the same apprehensions. The Visitors, therefore, desired the committee of Superintendence to place him at freedom on this subject, and to arrange with him a suitable indemnification. I wrote accordingly in answer to his, and a meeting of trustees of the college at Columbia happening to take place soon after his receipt of my letter, they resolved unanimously that it should be proposed to, and urged on their legislature, to establish a professorship of Geology and Mineralogy, or a professorship of law, with a salary of $1,000 a year to be given him, in addition to that of chemistry, which is $2,000 a year, and to purchase his collection of minerals; and they have no doubt of the legislature's compliance. On the subject of indemnification, he is contented with the balance of the $1,500 we had before agreed to give him, and which he says will not more than cover his actual losses of time and expense ; he adds, “it is right I should acknowledge the liberality of your board with thanks. I regret the storm that has been raised on my account; for it has separated me from many fond hopes and wishes. Whatever my religious creed may be, and perhaps I do not exactly know it myself, it is pleasure to reflect that my conduct has not brought, and is not likely to bring, discredit to my friends. Wherever I have been, it has been my good fortune to meet with, or to make ardent and affectionate friends. I feel persuaded I should have met with the same lot in Virginia had it

been my chance to have settled there, as I had hoped and expected, for I think my course of conduct is sufficiently habitual to count on its effects."

I do sincerely lament that untoward circumstances have brought on us the irreparable loss of this professor, whom I have looked to as the corner-stone of our edifice. I know no one who coul! have aided us so much in forming the future regulations for ou. infant institution ; and although we may perhaps obtain frem Europe equivalents in science, they can never replace the advantages of his experience, his knowledge of the character, habits and manners of our country, his identification with its sentiments and principles, and high reputation he has obtained in it generally.

In the hope of meeting you at our fall visitation, and that you will do me the favor of making this your head quarters, and of coming the day before, at least, that we may prepare our business at ease, I tender you the assurance of my great esteem and respect.

TO WILLIAM SHORT.

Monticello, August 4, 1820. DEAR SIR,_I owe you a letter for your favor of June the 29th, which was received in due time; and there being no subject of the day, of particular interest, I will make this a supplement to mine of April the 13th. My aim in that was, to justify the character of Jesus against the fictions of his pseudo-followers, which have exposed him to the inference of being an impostor. For if we could believe that he really countenanced the follies, the falsehoods, and the charlatanisms which his biographers father on him, and admit the misconstructions, interpolations, and theorizations of the fathers of the early, and fanatics of the latter ages, the conclusion would be irresistible by every sound mind, that he was an impostor. I give no credit to their falsifications of his actions and doctrines, and to rescue his character, the postulate in my letter asked only what is granted in reading every other historian. When Livy and Siculus, for example, tell us things which coincide with our experience of the order of nature, we credit them on their word, and place their narrations among the records of credible history. But when they tell us of calves speaking, of statues sweating blood, and other things against the course of nature, we reject these as fables not belonging to history. In like manner, when an historian, speaking of a character well known and established on satisfactory testimony, imputes to it things incompatible with that character, we reject them without hesitation, and assent to that only of which we have better evidence. Had Plutarch informed us that Casar and Cicero passed their whole lives in religious exercises, and abstinence from the affairs of the world, we should reject what was so inconsistent with their established characters, still crediting what he relates in conformity with our ideas of them. So again, the superlative wisdom of Socrates is testified by all antiquity, and placed on ground not to be questioned. When, therefore, Plato puts into his mouth such paralogisms, such quibbles on words, and sophisms as a school boy would be ashamed of, we conclude they were the whimsies of Plato's own foggy brain, and acquit Socrates of puerilities so unlike his character. (Speaking of Plato, I will add, that no writer, ancient or modern, has bewildered the world with more ignus fatui, than this renowned philosopher, in Ethics, in Politics, and Physics. In the latter, to specify a single example, compare his views of the animal economy, in his Timæus, with those of Mrs. Bryan in her Conversations on Chemistry, and weigh the science of the canonized philosopher against the good sense of the unassuming lady. But Plato's visions have furnished a basis for endless systems of mystical theology, and he is therefore all but adopted as a Christian saint. It is surely time for men to think for themselves, and to throw off the authority of names so artificially magnified. But to return from this parenthesis.) I say, that this free exercise of reason is all I ask for the vindication of the character of Jesus, We find in the writings of his biographers matter of two distinct descriptions. First, a groundwork of vulgar ignorance, of things

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