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Title: Letter from Joseph Caldwell to Richard Henderson, November 1, 1805: 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 transcribed by Bari Helms
Images scanned by Bari Helms
Text encoded by Brian Dietz
First Edition, 2005
Size of electronic edition: ca. 11K
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:
2005-08-02, Brian Dietz 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 Richard Henderson, November 1, 1805
Author: Joseph Caldwell
Description: 3 pages, 4 page images
Note: Call number 40005 (University Archives, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill)
Editorial practices
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Originals are in the University Archives, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
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Letter from Joseph Caldwell to Richard Henderson, November 1, 1805
Caldwell, Joseph, 1773-1835

Page 1
Chapel Hill, November 1, 1805


I have now to address you on a subject which I hope will obtain your attention, and when fully considered will appear of importance enough to have some effect upon your choice of action. It is the acceptance of the professorship of languages at least for a year from the first of january next. The reason why I say for a year, is that I fear the thought of continuing with us a longer span of time would not meet with your concurrence, and if we can procure your consent for that term, it may be in our power to find a successor that will be agreeable to us. After various efforts, it appears that we have not as yet been able to succeed, and through the remainder of the year we have little or no hopes, unless it be with yourself, with whom, could we prevail, we should not be sorry for our past failures. You know the revenue arising from this professorship, and the present quantity of business you would have to perform. Three hundred and thirty three dollars and a third with 7½ from each student will probably amount to more than 600 dollars if not to 700, during the next year. And I doubt very much whether you can be making any thing near that sum in any other way. You will have to hear a class only twice in the day, and a tutor living in college besides

Page 2
yourself will make the business of inspection much less troublesome and interrupting than formerly. The government of the college has become and is likely to continue, since the new method of appointing monitors, much less difficult than formerly. The morals of the students are much more pure, and what I dare say you will consider with me as a very strong proof of this is that you could scarcely hear a profane expression among them once in a month. I fancy that this point of honor is likely to be found as dry a one in its consequences, that one half or two thirds of the conspirators will probably be upon our hands again by the beginning of the next session, and there is no doubt that those who return will feel more convinced of the necessity of order and obedience to law than they could have imagined themselves capable of being before. Whether these things are likely to be so or not, much must depend on our being able to obtain a person to act as professor of language with capacity, as to the speedy recovery of our former numbers. If we do not succeed, our convalescence will be more slow and gradual. I rely much upon your patriotism, as well as your disposition to improve yourself both in mind and outward circumstances. If so many of the youth of our country will so easily sacrifice the opportunities of science, and aim with so little reluctance a fatal blow at the

Page 3
very existence of the university, it is for those who know by greater experience the value of such an institution to buffet the waves of adversity and steer the bark in safety from the storm which assails it. Be assured that though tempted by an opportunity of 1500 dollars a year in Columbia College, and by the greater ease and satisfaction I should have in the professorship of natural philosophy there, I have foregone them all for the view of still sustaining our tottering institution, assailed as it is by outward foes and rent as it has lately been by an explosion of inward insubordination, rashness, & profligacy. If I have made a mistake I hope that that overruling providence which has hitherto protected me will still be my guide and friend. But there is no occasion for a single doubt. For the university need never fear that adverse turn of affairs which is the consequence of pure morals, regularity of government, & reforming legislation. I wish you to reflect on the proposition of this letter, and send me your thoughts upon it; and I hope that your conclusion will be to put your shoulder once more with me to this stone of Sisyphus to see whether it may not be soon mounted and balanced in safety beyond the brow of the precipice.

I am, Sir, yours most sincerely,

Joseph Caldwell

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