Front Page Titles (by Subject) 1769 - TO REV. THOMAS MARTIN. 1 mad. mss. - The Writings, vol. 1 (1769-1783)
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1769 - TO REV. THOMAS MARTIN. 1 mad. mss. - James Madison, The Writings, vol. 1 (1769-1783) 
The Writings of James Madison, comprising his Public Papers and his Private Correspondence, including his numerous letters and documents now for the first time printed, ed. Gaillard Hunt (New York: G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 1900). Vol. 1.
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TO REV. THOMAS MARTIN.1mad. mss.
Nassau Hall, August 16 69.
I am not a little affected at hearing of your misfortune, but cannot but hope the cure may be so far accomplished as to render your journey not inconvenient. Your kind Advice & friendly cautions are a favour that shall be always gratefully remembered, & I must beg leave to assure you that my happiness, which you and your brother so ardently wish for, will be greatly augmented by both your enjoyments of the like blessing.
I have been as particular to my father as I thought necessary for this time, as I send him an account of the Institution, &c. &c., and of the College wrote by Mr. Blair, the Gentleman formerly elected President of this place you will likewise find two pamphlets entitled Britannia’s intercession for John Wilks, &c., which, if you have not seen it, perhaps may divert you.
I am perfectly pleased with my present situation; and the prospect before me of three years’ confinement, however terrible it may sound, has nothing in it, but what will be greatly alleviated by the advantages I hope to derive from it.
The Grammars, which Mr. Houston procured for you amount at 2/10 each to 17/. Your brothers account with Plumb, to 6/7. and Sawneys expence 4/2 the whole 1.. 7.. 9, Inclosed you have 15/. the overplus of which you may let Sawney have to satisfy those who may have been at any trouble on my account.
The near approach of examination occasions a surprising application to study on all sides, and I think it very fortunate that I entered College immediately after my arrival, tho’ I believe there will not be the least danger of my getting an Irish hint as they call it, yet it will make my future studies somewhat easier, and I have by that means read over more than half Horace and made myself pretty well acquainted with Prosody, both which will be almost neglected the two succeeding years.
The very large packet of Letters for Carolina I am afraid will be incommodious to your brother on so long a journey, to whom I desire my compliments may be presented and conclude with my earnest request for a continuance of both your friendships, and sincere wishes for your recovery, and an agreeable journey to your whole Company.
I am, sir, your obligd friend and Hl Ser.
P. S. Sawney tells me that your Mother and Brothers are determined to accompany you to Virginia; my friendship and regard for you entitle them to my esteem, and with the greatest sincerity I wish, after a pleasant journey, they may find Virginia capable of giving them great Happiness.
TO JAMES MADISON.1mad. mss.
Nassau Hall, September 30th 69.
I received your letter by Mr. Rossekrans, and wrote an answer; but as it is probable this will arrive sooner which I now write by Doctor Witherspoon, I shall repeat some circumstances to avoid obscurity.
On Wednesday last we had the usual commencement. Eighteen young Gentlemen took their Bachelor’s degrees, and a considerable number their Master’s Degrees. The degree of Doctor of Law was bestowed on Mr. Dickenson the Farmer and Mr. Galloway,2 the Speaker of the Pennsylvania Assembly, a distinguishing mark of Honour, as there never was any of that kind done before in America. The Commencement began at 10 O’Clock, when the President walked first into the Church, a board of Trustees following, and behind them those that were to take their Master’s degrees, and last of all, those that were to take their first Degrees; after a short prayer by the President the Head Oration, which is always given to greatest Scholar by the President & Tutors, was pronounced in Latin by Mr. Samuel Smith,1 son of a Presbyterian Minister in Pennsylvania. Then followed the other Orations, Disputes, and Dialogues, distributed to each according to his merit, and last of all was pronounced the Valedictory oration by Mr. John Henry son of Gentleman in Maryland. This is given to the greatest Orator. We had a very great assembly of People, a considerable number of whom came from N York those at Philadelphia were most of them detained by Races which were to follow on the next day.
Since Commencement the Trustees have been sitting about Business relative to the College, and have chosen for Tutors for the ensuing year, for the junior class Mr. Houston from N Carolina in the room of Mr. Peream. for the Freshman class, Mr. Reeve a gentleman who has for several years past kept a School at Elizabeth Town, in the room of Mr. Pemberton: The Sophomore Tutor Mr. Thomson still retains his place, remarkable for his skill in the Sophomore Studies, having taken care of that class for several years past. Mr. Halsey was chose Junior Tutor but refused. The Trustees have likewise appointed Mr. Caldwell a minister at Elizabeth Town to take a journey through the Southern Provinces as far as Georgia to make collections by which the College Fund may be enabled to increase the Library, provide an apparatus of mathematical and Philosophical Instruments & likewise to support Professors which would be a great addition to the advantages of this College. Doctr Witherspoon’s business to Virginia is nearly the same as I conjecture and perhaps to form some acquaintance to induce Gentlemen to send their sons to this College.
I am very sorry to hear of the great drought that has prevailed with you, but am in some hopes the latter part of the year may have been more seasonable for you[r] crops. Your caution of frugality on consideration of the dry weather shall be carefully observed; but I am under a necessity of spending much more than I was apprehensive, for the purchasing of every small trifle which I have occasion for consumes a much greater sum than one would suppose from a calculation of the necessary expences.
I feel great satisfaction from the assistance my Uncle has received from the Springs, and I flatter myself from the continuance of my mother’s health that Dr. Shore’s skill will effectually banish the cause of her late indisposition.
I recollect nothing more at present worth relating, but as often as opportunity and anything worthy your attention shall occur, be assured you shall hear from NA your affectionate son.
[1 ]The established minister of the parish, Madison’s tutor before he went to Princeton. He lived with the family at Montpelier.—Rives’s Life and Times of James Madison, vol. i., 10.
[1 ]Madison’s father was, during the earlier part of his son’s career, his chief correspondent. He was a planter of substantial estate without being wealthy. Although he is represented as not having received much education the few of his letters which are extant show that he wrote with tolerable correctness. He was County Lieutenant of Orange and wielded an influence in local affairs which was considerable. He inherited Montpelier from his father, Ambrose Madison.
[2 ]“This gentleman afterwards tarnished all his honors by defection from the American cause.”—Rives, i., 18.
[1 ]Delegate from Maryland to the Continental Congress, 1778-81, and again in 1784-7; Senator from Maryland, 1789-97; Governor of the State from 1797 to his death, Dec. 16, 1798.