Documenting the American South Logo
Legend Informational Note
See the Page Image
     Mouseover Available
Title: Letter from William R. Davie to John Haywood, August 20, 1797: Electronic Edition.
Author: Davie, William Richardson, 1756-1820
Funding from the University Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill supported the electronic publication of this title.
Text scanned (OCR) by Brian Dietz
Images scanned by Bari Helms
Text encoded by Sarah Ficke
First Edition, 2005
Size of electronic edition: ca. 12K
Publisher: The University Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Chapel Hill, North Carolina
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:
2005-11-28, Sarah Ficke finished TEI/XML encoding.
Title of collection: Ernest Haywood Papers (#1290), Southern Historical Collection, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Title of document: Letter from William R. Davie to John Haywood, August 20, 1797
Author: William R. Davie
Description: 7 pages, 8 page images
Note: Call number 1290 (Southern Historical Collection, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill)
Editorial practices
Text transcription of this document was produced by OCR (optical character recognition) from R. D. W. Connor's A Documentary History of the University of North Carolina 1776-1799 (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1953), vol. 2: 198-200. Used by permission of the publisher (
Page images were made from the original manuscript held in Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Connor's transcription was compared against the original document and in the case of any discrepancy we have been faithful to the original.
The text has been encoded using the recommendations for Level 5 of the TEI in Libraries Guidelines.
Originals are in the Southern Historical Collection, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Original grammar, punctuation, and spelling have been preserved.
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.
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 the section Editorial Practices.
Letter from William R. Davie to John Haywood , August 20, 1797
Davie, William Richardson, 1756-1820

Page 1
Halifax, Aug. 20th '97

Dear Sir,

I have the pleasure to acknowledge your letters of the 6th and 14th Inst; I am extremely happy you are so well recovered, and that you have now the prospect of enjoying perfect health, may it never change. One of the most rational objects of study is certainly a man's own constitution, and a person would presume he might be made of all its elements and relations in the course of forty years, so that when he was a free agent, that is, had the command of his own time and

Page 2
conduct, he would surely live in such a manner as to ensure health and the enjoyment of life; yet so much is our conduct the effect of accidental circumstances, without the smallest influence of either reason or system, and so little is there of free agency in human life; that not a single example can be shewn of this sort of discretion or wisdom.
I have had a letter from Mr Caldwell mentioning that as we were likely to be put to some difficulty to procure a successor, if it could not be conveniently effected, he would stay until July next. It would give me great pleasure if he could be retained for some years; but it will be

Page 3
our duty to find him a successor in January next if possible; because every man worth employing in so important a trust will be some way or other engaged for the year; and our difficulties would probably be encreased by waiting until July; I have therefore written to Mr Gillespie , of whom I observe you have already heard; Mr Hogg and all the Literary men I have seen, who are acquainted with Mr Gillespie , speak highly of his learning and good sense; and I am informed he is attached to a studious academic life, and would probably remain long with us: this is a great object. It is a melancholly thing to have those difficulties recuring upon us every year.

Page 4
As to a successor to Mr Delvaux, I really know not where to look, a man who could teach the Latin and Greek language and take his share of the English classes would I suppose answer the purpose; but I have yet to learn where he is to be found; I see no impropriety in advertising such a vacancy, and it appears to me the most likely means of being well supplied at least of having some choice.
As to the walls of the chapel , I beg you to direct what you think is proper, I am clearly of opinion they should be raised if necessary, and it seems by Mr Hopkins's letter that it is essential both to its appearance and convenience, I will therefore heartily concur

Page 5
in raising them as much higher as you or Mr Hopkins may deem necessary; I am sorry that my absence from this place for about a week prevented my answering your letter by last post, and hope that you have not waited for this concurrence but if you have, I would advise sending an express with proper directions for its elevation.
The window frames I think should be painted as soon as possible, and I suppose we cannot probably get paint upon better terms than that offered by Mr Hopkins , what is not used about the chapel will be wanted about the main building; the chapel I suppose cannot want any considerable

Page 6
Mr Hopkins's proposal to make the bricks himself at 40/ appears fair enough my only objection is the circumstance of his being the man to make them, judge of their quality, and report or change their quantity. It is however of great importance that the principal part of them should be made this season, and I think therefore that we had better accede to his offer; and provide some means threafter to avoid imposition.
I hope now to see you soon — please to accept of my best wishes for your health and happiness, and believe me very sincerely

Yours &c.

W. R. Davie

Page 7
P.S. I have written to Hopkins on some private business and will thank you to forward the letter by the first opportunity as it is of some consequence to me.

Back page