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or from the seed shops of England, where they may very possibly be found. Lastly, a gardener of sufficient skill must be obtained.
This, dear Sir, is the sum of what occurs to me at present; think of it, and let us at once enter on the operations.
Accept my friendly and respectful salutations.
TO DOCTOR JOHN P. EMMET.
MONTICELLO, May 2, 18:26. DEAR SIR,—The difficulties suggested in your favor of the 28th ult., are those which must occur at the commencement of every undertaking. A full view of the subject however will, I think, solve them. In every meditated enterprise, the means we can employ are to be estimated, and to these must be proportioned our expectations of effect. If, for example, to the cultivation of a given field we can devote but one hundred dollars, we are not to expect the product which $1,000 would extract from it. Applying this principle to the present subject of education, from a revenue of $15,000, and with eight Professors, we cannot expect to obtain that grade of instruction to our youth, which 15,000 guineas and thirty or forty instructors would give. Reviewing, then, the branches of science in which we wish our youth to obtain some instruction, we must distribute them into so many groups as we can employ Professors, and as equally too as practicable. We must take into account also the time which our youths can generally afford to the whole circle of education, and proportion the extent of instruction in each branch to the quota of that time, and of the Professor's attention which may fall to its share. In the smallest of our academies, two Professors alone can be afforded, -one of languages, another of sciences, or of Philosophy, as he is generally styled. The degree of instruction which can be given in each branch, at these schools, must be very moderate. Yet there are youths whose means can afford no more, and who nevertheless are glad even of that. The most
highly endowed of our Seminaries has a revenue of perhaps $25,000 or $30,000. They consequently may subdivide the sciences into twelve or fifteen schools, and give a proportionably more minute degree of instruction in each. It has enabled them, for example, to have five or six Professors of Theology. In Euro;e, some of their literary institutions can afford to employ twerty, thirty, or forty Professors. Our legislature, contemplating their means, took their stand at a revenue of $15,000, meant for an establishment of ten Professors, but equal in fact to eight only. Accommodating ourselves, therefore, to their views, we had to distribute into eight groups those sciences in which we wished our youth should receive instruction, and to content ourselves with the portion which that number could give. On the Prefessors it would of course devolve to form their lectures on such a scale of extension only, as to give to each of the sciences allotted them its due share of their time.
But another material question is, what is the whole term of time which the students can give to the whole course of instruction? I should say that three years should be allowed to general education, and two, or rather three, to the particular profession for which they are destined. We receive our students at the age of sixteen, expected to be previously so far qualified in the languages, ancient and modern, as that one year in our schools shall suflice for their last polish. A student then with us may give his first year here to languages and Mathematics; his second to Mathematics and Physics; his third to Physics and Chemistry, with the other objects of that school. I particularize this distribution merely for illustration, and not as that which either is, or perhaps ought to be established. This would ascribe one year to Languages, two to Mathematics, two to Physics, and one to Chemistry and its associates. Let us see next how the items of your school may be accommodated to this scale ; but by way of illustration only, as before. The allotments to your school are Botany, Zoology, Mineralogy, Chemistry, Geology, and Rural Economy. This last, however, need not be considered as a distinct branch, but as one which may be sufficiently treated by seasonable alliances with the kindred subjects of Chemistry, Botany and Zoology. Suppose then you give twelve dozen lectures a year; say two dozen to Botany and Zoology, two dozen to Mineralogy and Geology, and eight dozen to Chemistry. Or I should think that Mineralogy, Geology and Chemistry might be advantageously blended in the same course.
Then your year would be formed into two grand divisions; one-third to Botany and Zoology, and two-thirds to Chemistry and its associates, Mineralogy and Geology. To the last, indeed, I would give the least possible time. To learn, as far as observation has informed us, the ordinary arrangement of the different strata of minerals in the earth, to know from their habitual collocations and proximities, where we find one mineral, whether another, for which we are seeking, may be expected to be in its neighborhood, is useful. But the drcams about the modes of creation, inquiries whether our giube has been formed by the agency of fire or water, how many millions of years it has cost Vulcan or Neptune to produce what the fiat of the Creator would ellect by a single act of will, is too idle to be worth a single hour of any man's life. You will say that two-thirds of a year, or any better estimated partition of it, can give but an inadequate knowledge of the whole science of Chemistry. But consider that we do not expect our schools to turn out their alumni already enthroned on the pinnacles of their respective sciences; but only so far advanced in each as to be able to pursue them by themselves, and to become Newtons and La Places by energies and perseverances to be continued through life. I have said that our original plan comprehended ten Professors, and we hope to be able ere long to supply the other two. One should relieve the Medical Professor from Anatomy and Surgery, and a school for the other would be made up of the surcharges of yours, and that of Physics.
From these views of the subject, dear Sir, your only difficulty appears to be so to proportion the time you can give to the different branches committed to you, as to bring, within the compass cf a year, for example, that degree of instruction in each which
the year will afford. This may require some experience, and continued efforts at condensation. But, once effected, it will place your mind at ease, and give to our country a result proportioned to the means it furnishes, and which ought to satisfy, and will satisfy, all reasonable men. I am certain it will those to whom the charge and direction of this institution have been particularly confided, and to none assuredly more than to him from whom your doubts have drawn this unauthoritative exposition of the public expectations. And, with this assurance, be pleased to accept that of my sincerely friendly esteem and respect.
Dear Sir,—After sealing the enclosed letter, it occurred to me that being on a general subject, and one equally applicable to the cases of your colleagues, the other Professors, I should wish it to be read by them also. It may produce an union of views, and harmony of action, which may be useful to the Institution. Yours affectionately.
MONTICELLO, May 15, 1826. DEAR SIR,—The sentiments of justice which have dictated your letters of the 3d and 9th inst., are worthy of all praise, and merit and meet my thankful acknowledgments. Were your father now living and proposing, as you are, to publish a second edition of his memoirs, I am satisfied he would give a very different aspect to the pages of that work which respect Arnold's invasion and surprise of Richmond, in the winter of 1780–81. He was then, I believe, in South Carolina, too distant from the scene of those transactions to relate them on his own knowledge, or even to sift them from the chaff of the rumors then afloat, rumors which vanished soon before the real truth, as vapors before the sun, obliterated by their notoriety, from every candid mind, and by the voice of the many who, as actors or spectators, knew what had truly past. The facts shall speak for themselves. General Washington had just given notice to all the Governors on the sea-board, north and south, that an embarcation was taking place at New York, destined for the southward, as was given out there, and on Sunday the 31st of December, 1780, we received information that a fleet had entered our capes. It happened fortunately that our legislature was at that moment in session, and within two days of their rising, so that, during these two days, we had the benefit of their presence, and of the counsel and information of the members individually. On Monday the 1st of January, we were in suspense as to the destination of this fleet, whether up the bay, or up our river. On Tuesday at 10 o'clock, however, we received information that they had entered James river; and, on general advice, we instantly prepared orders for calling in the militia, one-hall from the nearer counties, and a fourth from the more remote, which would constitute a force of between four and five thousand men, of which orders the members of the legislature, which adjourned that day, took charge, each to his respective county; and we began the removal of everything from Richmond. The wind being fair and strong, the enemy ascended the river as rapidly almost as the expresses could ride, who were dispatched to us from time to time, to notify their progress. At 5 P. M. on Thursday, we learnt that they had then been three hours landed at Westover. The whole militia of the adjacent counties were now called for, and to come on individually, without waiting any regular array. At 1 P. M. the next day, (Friday,) they entered Richmond, and on Saturday, after twenty-four hours possession, burning some houses, destroying property, &c., they retreated, encamped that evening ten miles below, and reached their shipping at Westover the next day, (Sunday.)
By this time liad assembled three hundred militia under Colonel Nicholas, six miles above Westover, and two hundred under General Nelson, at Charles city Court House, eight miles below. Two or three hundred at Petersburg had put themselves under General Smallwood, of Maryland, accidentally there on his passage through the State ; and Baron Steuben with eight hundred,