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Title: Letter from Joseph Caldwell to William R. Davie, August 25, [1796]: Electronic Edition.
Author: Caldwell, Joseph, 1773-1835
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 Amanda Page
First Edition, 2005
Size of electronic edition: ca. 12K
Publisher: The University Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Chapel Hill, North Carolina

No Copyright in US

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:
2005-06-15, Amanda Page finished TEI/XML encoding.
Title of collection: University of North Carolina Papers (#40005), University Archives, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Title of document: Letter from Joseph Caldwell to William R. Davie, August 25, [1796]
Author: Joseph Cald[well]
Description: 4 pages, 4 page images
Note: Call number 40005 (University Archives, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill)
Editorial practices
The text has been encoded using the recommendations for Level 5 of the TEI in Libraries Guidelines.
Originals are in the University Archives, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Original grammar, punctuation, and spelling have been preserved.
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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.
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. II, p. 50-52. Used by permission of the publisher (
Page images were made from the original manuscript held in University Archives, 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.

For more information about transcription and other editorial decisions, see the section Editorial Practices.
Letter from Joseph Caldwell to William R. Davie , August 25, [1796]
Caldwell, Joseph, 1773-1835

Page 1
College of New Jersey. Aug. 25th [1796]


I received a day or two ago your letter date[d the] 27th of July, mentioning that the trustees of [the] University of your state had resolved to invite m[e to accept] its professorship of mathematics and natura[l phi]losophy. The letter you directed Mr Harris to wr[ite to] me I had the satisfaction to receive some ti[me] ago, and had such full information from it, tha[t I] was able to compare without difficulty my pre[sent] situation with the one you offer. Of my acce[pt]ance you may perhaps have been informed [by] Mr Harris before this. I shall arrange my af[fairs] in such a manner as to be ready to start fr[om] this place in the course of the first week in O[ctober.] The reasons why it would be out of my pow[er to] set out sooner, I conclude, you have learne[d from] Mr Harris . I have supposed that four weeks will be sufficient time for the journey and [torn] of consequence I shall be at Chapel Hill at the time Mr Harris mentions, which is betwee[n the] end of October and the middle of Novembe[r.] I read an account in one of our papers of a[n ex]amination at the University, some time [ago] which was pleasing in the information it gav[e of] the organized state of the institution, and of the torn

Page 2
students. Mr Harris enumerated to me [torn] the professorships that had been instituted. [Amo]ng them is a professorship of Chymistry, which [he do]es not mention as being filled. I communicated [this] to Dr Maclean, who is professor here in that [scien]ce. After having deliberated for some time [he] determined to write to Mr Harris to know from [him] the terms of the office. He did so. A few torn afterwards I received your letter, and it then appear[ed] most proper and direct, tho' he had written to Mr Harris to address himself to [you] on the subject. His salary here is small— [torn] drawn from a fixed and permanent fund. [torn]ven from the students, but from the private [torn]es of the Trustees. There are no prospects [at] present of which I know, of its arising from [any sou]rce less precarious. Dr Maclean came from [torn] to this country, and has with him such [torn] station of his knowledge and skill in Chymis[try] and surgery from men of the highest eminenc[e] in [t]hose professions there, as have left no doubt [in the] minds of those to whom they have been [exhi]bited of his knowledge being of the most solid — [sub]stantial kind— of his having obtained it from [torn] and indefatigable study, not unattended with [the] strongest proof of happy and successful genius.

Page 3
Since he has been here, which is about a year, [he] has written and delivered a course of lectures on C[hymistry.] The graduates of the college who reside in this [torn] have attended his lectures and experiments an[d] have given their opinion entirely in his favor. [I have] no doubt the trustees of this college would be [torn] unwilling to lose him, but they cannot pla[ce any] inducements before him, which they thems[elves] could think ought to detain him. I shewed your offer to Dr Smith, and he con[cur]red with the rest of my friends in advising m[e] to accept of it. He told me also that he himself should have no objections to accepting ge[ne]rous proposals from the Trustees. He ment[ioned] particularly that if they would give him [the] direction of the plan of the building and torn environs he should feel no attachment to his settlem[ent] here sufficient to keep him. It will perhaps be [ex]pedient to direct a letter to Dr Smith if you [torn] the Trustees should think it desirable to torn (and I do not now hesitate to say that as far [as] the reputation of this college depends upon its [im]mediate professors, you have an opportunity of transferring it in a great measure to thetorn of your state.) I am, Sir, your very humle Sert JOSEPH CALD[WELL ] torn

Page 4
I shewed to Dr Maclean who is professor of Chymistry torn the account Mr Harris gave of the state of the univer[sity] torn he observed that the professorship of chymistry was torn said to be filled. After some days had passed he torn to me and mentioned that he was determined to write [to] Harris to know the terms of the office.
[Addressed:] William R. Davie Esqr
North Carolina