Documenting the American South Logo
Title: Letter from John A. Ramsey to the Trustees, June 28, 1810: Electronic Edition.
Author: Ramsey, John Ambrose
Editor: Erika Lindemann
Funding from the State Library of North Carolina supported the electronic publication of this title.
Text transcribed by Erika Lindemann
Images scanned by Mara E. Dabrishus
Text encoded by Sarah Ficke
First Edition, 2005
Size of electronic edition: ca. 14K
Publisher: The University Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Chapel Hill, North Carolina
© This work is the property of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. It may be used freely by individuals for research, teaching and personal use as long as this statement of availability is included in the text
The electronic edition is a part of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill digital library, Documenting the American South.
Languages used in the text: English
Revision history:
2005-03-15, Sarah Ficke finished TEI/XML encoding.
Part of a series:
This transcribed document is part of a digital collection, titled True and Candid Compositions: The Lives and Writings of Antebellum Students in North Carolina
written by Lindemann, Erika
Title of collection: General Faculty and Faculty Council Records (#40106), University Archives, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Title of document: Letter from John A. Ramsey to the Trustees, June 28, 1810
Author: John A. Ramsey
Description: 3 pages, 4 page images
Note: Call number 40106 (University Archives, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill)
Topics covered:
Education/UNC Curriculum
Education/UNC Student Life
Education/UNC Administration
Examples of Student Writing/Letters and Letter Writing
Editorial practices
The text has been encoded using the recommendations for Level 5 of the TEI in Libraries Guidelines.
Transcript of the personal correspondence. Originals are in the Southern Historical Collection, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Original grammar, punctuation, and spelling have been preserved.
DocSouth staff created a 600 dpi uncompressed TIFF file for each image. The TIFF images were then saved as JPEG images at 100 dpi for web access.
Page images can be viewed and compared in parallel with the text.
Any hyphens occurring in line breaks have been removed, and the trailing part of a word has been joined to the preceding line.
Letters, words and passages marked as deleted or added in originals have been encoded accordingly.
All quotation marks, em dashes and ampersand have been transcribed as entity references.
All double right and left quotation marks are encoded as ".
All single right and left quotation marks are encoded as '.
All em dashes are encoded as —.
Indentation in lines has not been preserved.

For more information about transcription and other editorial decisions, see Dr. Erika Lindemann's explanation under the section Editorial Practices.

Document Summary

Ramsey asks the trustees to reinstate him and permit him to receive a diploma.
Letter from John A. Ramsey to the Trustees, June 28, 18101
Ramsey, John Ambrose

Page 1

To the Trustees of the University of N.C


Having been debarred for some time past from the priviliges resulting from your institution, I take this method of informing you my sentiments and lay open the cause that leads to this address. Probably some of the members of your honorable board have not heard my situation, or the relative circumstances of my2 unfortunate punishment. It was during the agitations and commotions which happened at College in the month of March last that I was seduced to take a part in those disturbances; a part which I long have sorely repented that I ever bore, as it gave reason to the faculty to imagine that I wished greatly to add to the confusion which universally spread itself.
The reason upon which was founded my suspension appeared to have been the act of firing one pistol and if it is any palliation of the crime, it did not take place within the hours prescribed by law for study, nor at night when amid the silence of darkness the cracking of a pistol might have caused greater tumult.

Page 2
This I mention with the hope of convincing the Board that I had no settled plan of annoying and disturbing the business of the University, and that it was an act of wantonness which I have been sorry for ever since the commission; and had I been called upon to make confession for that fault, I should have been ready even before the infliction of my punishment.
I shall now go on to Solicit of the Trustees a reinstatement at this time, also that I may be allowed a diploma. I have read of the books studied by the Senior class of College the following; Blair's Rhetoric, Helsham's Lectures upon Natural philosophy as far as the Lecture upon sounds; Paley's Moral philosophy through the third Book, and Ferguson's Astronomy to Equation of time, upon which I suppose the Trustees would choose I should be examined.3 I have also to mention that should this request be agree'd to, I have not pretended to commit to memory any part of my studies as is done at College, only to attend to general subjects, and that being deprived before of the aid before afforded by the distinguished abilities of President Caldwell am destitute of much necessary explication.

Page 3
Having been ever since the beginning of the year 1803 under under the protection of your guardianship, and having received the first rudiments of my classical education at this institution, having long been inspired with an affectionate fondness for its prosperity; and never before during that time being censured by the Faculty for the least offence, whilst scores of my fellow-students have been suspended and admonished, (some even expelled) and again readmitted these things being considered, I fervently hope that the Trustees will confer upon me that honor for which I have been laboring these seven years, and if not which my situation will absolutely preclude the possibility of prosecuting farther. It is unnecessary for me in my humble Capacity to extend and dwell upon situations formerly presented so like my own. Should my presence at any time be thought requisite, I shall wait with pleasure to answer any interrogations which may be deemed necessary.

With Sentiments of the
most profound respect, I
remain yr obt st 4

Jno A. Ramsey

Chapel Hill
June 28th 1810.

Envelope page


1. Faculty Minutes 1:193-96, UA. The letter is addressed "To/ The Trustees of the University of N.C./ Chapel Hill." Along the right margin of the envelope face, a second hand has written "C. 44/ Jno A. Ramsey /June 1810."

2. Ramsey wrote m on top of th.

3. Hugh Blair, Lectures on Rhetoric and Belles Lettres (London: W. Strahan, 1783); Richard Helsham, A Course of Lectures in Natural Philosophy (Dublin: Bryan Robinson, 1739); William Paley, The Principles of Moral and Political Philosophy (Philadelphia, 1784); and James Ferguson, Astronomy Explained upon Sir Isaac Newton's Principles (London: James Ferguson, 1756).

4. "yr obt st": your obedient servant.