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Title: Letter from Joseph Caldwell to the Wilmington Gazette, 1805 or After: 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.
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First Edition, 2005
Size of electronic edition: ca. 61K
Publisher: The University Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Chapel Hill, North Carolina
2005
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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
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2005-08-02, Amanda Page finished TEI/XML encoding.
Source(s):
Title of collection: Joseph Caldwell Papers (#127-z), Southern Historical Collection, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Title of document: Letter from Joseph Caldwell to the Wilmington Gazette, 1805 or After
Author: Joseph Caldwell
Description: 31 pages, 31 page images
Note: Call number 127-z (Southern Historical Collection, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill)
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Letter from Joseph Caldwell to the Wilmington Gazette, 1805 or After
For the Wilmington Gazette
Caldwell, Joseph, 1773-1835



Page 1

Mr Editor,

Having seen a piece in your paper, with the signature of "A Citizen" annexed to it, I hope you will not think me intrusive, if I request the insertion of a few remarks, whose object shall be to vindicate the truth. The writer it seems, has been initiated into action, by a letter from an inhabitant of Raleigh, published in the Boston Anthology. So far as any person resident in Raleigh, who may have been the author of such a letter, shall conceive himself sufficiently concerned to reply to remarks which affect himself only, I shall not think it necessary to say anything.
If I am to judge from myself, it is extremely irksome for one, who has never yet had occasion to be exhibited in self-defence, to be under the necessity of asserting before the public, the justice that is due to him. Yet in a free government, when the press is open to every man, misapprehension or wickedness will sometimes avail itself of this instrument, against those who have fondly hoped to remain exempt from its attack, because they know nothing they have done which can deserve it. Who can doubt, that if an attempt is made to wrong innocence, it ought to resort to the same instrument to reestablish its rights, and to expose both the weakness and depravity of the assailant.

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The helpless may be compelled to remain a silent sufferer, but let not the "Citizen," whoever he may be, flatter himself that he shall continue untouched by one, whose business it has ever been, to divulge and defend the truth.
To shew that I do not begin without provocation, I shall insert a passage from the Citizen, which is directed wholly upon myself. "I believe says he, that there never was so much disorder in the University, as there has been since Mr Caldwell was made president. After Mr Kerr left the University (who according to the best accounts the writer has received, ought never to have left it) some mischief took place under the presidency of Mr Gillespie, which however, was of short duration; but the disorders occasioned by Mr Caldwell's imprudence, have not yet been got over. He recommended and caused to be passed in a thin board of the Trustees, after it had been rejected by a larger meeting, an ordinance requiring the monitors appointed in the college, to take an oath, to inform of every little fault they saw in their fellow students. This occasioned a remonstrance from the boys, which was answered by Mr Caldwell with great ire, charging the students with being guilty of every crime, which the most depraved humanity could commit. The issue was, upwards of forty youths left the

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University, and the Trustees were obliged to repeal the offensive ordinance."
This writer is either grossly ignorant of the history of the University, or else willfully perverts it. The true account of the principal disorders is this. Mr Kerr's authority over the college was irreparably broken by his own immoral conduct. He was therefore, in propriety of speech, compelled by the nature of his office to lay it down and retire. This abdication with its cause, was attended with much confusion in the University, and in the public mind, for a considerable time. Mr Gillespie afterwards became obnoxious, and at the conclusion of his presidency, the students rose in open tumult against the laws and the Faculty, beat Mr Gillespie personally, waylaid and stoned Mr Webb , accosted Mr Flinn with the intention of beating him, but were diverted from it; and at length uttered violent threats against Mr Murphy and Mr Caldwell , which were never put into execution. The disorders were going on for a week, the students themselves got tired of them, and proposed to Mr Caldwell that he should assume the supreme authority, which request he rejected with the contempt it merited. It was necessary to assemble the Trustees for the appointment of a superintendent, and for restoring submission to the laws. The consequence was, that the lapse of three or four years was necessary, before the public

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confidence could be restored, and the number of students could be made to ascend by slow degrees to fifty. There were dark and trying times. The youth of our state had given the strongest reasons to conclude from their conduct as students hitherto, that they were incapable of being governed; the hand of the Legislature was raised, with the threat of crushing the institution; the confidence even of its friends, received a terrible shock; no one could be found uniting abilities and consent, to act as superintendent; and even many of the Trustees began to despair of success, from any efforts which they could make. The next disorder was occasioned by a fit of dueling, in which five or six students meditated a journey to South Carolina, and it was again necessary to assemble the Trustees, before this rage for honor could be quelled. We then come to the law of the monitors, which was attended with a desertion of more than forty students, and an immediate regular continuance of business by the Faculty with the rest. I now ask, what becomes of the Citizen's assertion, that "there never was so much disorder in the University, as there has been since Mr Caldwell was made president." But I have not yet done with this part of the subject, for I never heard the least supposition before whispered, that this was an affair between any others, than the Trustees and students only. The declaration that I "recommended and

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caused to be passed," the ordinance respecting the monitors, is destitute of the least foundation, except what it may have in the conjecture of one, who knows nothing of the business. If this law had not been suffered to expire, for it was only a temporary experiment, and was never repealed, I should not deny the imputation of the Citizen, for a reason which I hope is plain enough to all. But I am now at liberty to do it without imprudence. I can also establish by the evidence of twelve or twenty Trustees, if necessary, that I had not the least share in advising, suggesting or assuading to such a measure. It can be proved further by one witness, which is as many as the nature of the case will admit, that when it was presented to me personally for my opinion, I disapproved of it as an expedient, dangerous to be tried. I shall now charge the Citizen, not with imprudence, but calumny, and he may dissent this charge as he can find leisure. After the law was actually passed, not in a thin, but a full board, as the records will shew, I must be permitted to say without reserve, that I acted more prudently and advisedly in carrying it into effect, with all the influence and authority I could exert, than those persons did, who on being consulted by the young men, persuaded them to resist it, and who after the students had been guilty of a revolt, countenanced them with all the panegyric of an open and pernicious applause. I am accused too of "answering the boys with great ire, charging them with being guilty of every crime, which the

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most depraved humanity could commit." For the refutation of this, I can do no more than appeal to the answer itself, which is in Mr Boylan's office, or in any other regular file of his papers, in which it was printed by the direction of the Trustees; and in the mean time I will pledge my word and veracity, that it is in a style completely temperate — faithful to the true interest and character of the young men — and not in any sense liable to the imputation which the Citizen has brought against it. It is true, that in my report to the Board afterwards, witnessing and feeling as I did, the undutifulness and insubordination of these youth, who set at nought the accommodating spirit of the Trustees in abolishing the oath, I expressed with freedom my sentiments of their behavior, and pointed out the inferences which were plainly deducible from their conduct at the time, united with a number of former immoral practices, which had been the very cause with the Board of imposing so rigorous and restrictive a law. This blundering writer, by representing my address to the Trustees, after the desertion was consummated, as my address to the students while they were yet comparatively innocent, has made out to paint as odious and rash, what was just and seasonable. The way is now prepared to pronounce what this assessing Citizen says respecting my imprudence, to be in direct hostility against the truth. As to the University not having

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recovered from it since, he has spared me the necessity of contradicting him; since in another place he unguardedly lets us know, that "the University cannot be said to languish, as there are as many students as the establishment at present, as there have been for several years."
He goes on to observe, that here would probably be a great many more, "if there was a republican at the head of the institution." But here I must be at liberty to controvert the Citizen again, unless he will be so accommodating as to tell us, how a house can hold more, after it is already full. Unfortunately for the Citizen in this case, there has not been yet found as much elasticity in brick walls, as there often is in the human conscience.
I am now prepared to take notice of another part of the Citizen's wise production, in which he speaks of "the palace-like erection, which is much too large for usefulness, and which he thinks might be very aptly called the "Temple of folly." This language has been held by many in their defamations against the Trustees, and no doubt a large proportion of the people have believed it to be perfectly just. It is high time that the truth should come out, and fortunately it is a subject, upon which the most satisfactory precision is attainable.
The Trustees of the University, in forming the plan of their building, made the rooms upon the smallest scale,

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that it might receive the greatest possible number of inhabitants. No northern college which I have seen, and I have been in a number of them, has its rooms near so small as ours. Yet they do not require more than two persons to live in a room. In each room are three windows in the plan at Princeton, instead of two as in this, and around two of these next to the corners separate studies are erected, for the convenience and retirement of the two inhabitants from mutual interruption and an exposure to company. From this form of a room it would seem, a third person might live in it, without much inconvenience, since in the open room he would be separated from those in the studies. But the stowing together of two beds, and the furniture of their persons, it is apprehended would render the rooms too crowded, and difficult to keep clean and wholesome.
But let us look into our University, and see how the students are situated here. Our apartments are exceedingly small, our climate is much more sultry, no separate apartments are made, that the inhabitants may be retired and not tempted into conversation, and originally three beds and the furniture of six persons were forced into a space, which left hardly room enough for the

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inhabitants to turn round, without jostling one another. This was endured for some years, shocking as it may be to think of. But the Board was at length convinced that it ought to be endured no longer. What is now called the Main building was begun, and an order was passed requiring no more than four persons for the future to occupy a room.
Nothing more can be necessary to convince any one, of the extreme hardship of such disagreeable and unhealthy crowding, than to see and compare the situation of students in other colleges, and in our own. To those who have seen it, I make a confident appeal. Nor am I afraid to make one to every other person, who will candidly reflect upon the subject. The truth is that more than two cannot inhabit one of our apartments without the greatest exposure as to health and cleanliness, and without one of the worst of all evils to a student, the evil of perpetual interruption. Here then have been fifty six persons huddled together with their trunks, beds, tables, chairs, books, and clothes into fourteen little rooms, which by the excessive heat of our summers are enough to stifle them, and in the winter, scarcely admit them to sit with their apparatus around the fireplace. This representation is literally true. Yet so ardent are our youth to attain education, where it is to be had cheap, and

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in their own state too, that they support it with a fortitude which deserves credit, proportional to the inconvenience of their circumstances. When the weather permits them to be in the open air, they fly to the shade, where they may find a retreat from the buzz, and hurry, and irrepressible conversation of so crowded a society. But when the weather is unfavorable, there is no relief, and they must of necessity bear the evil, distressing as it is to their sense of industry and emulation. So oppressively has the want of room been felt, that formerly they were even at some expense and personal labor, to erect in the woods, huts which might protect them from the seasons, where they might read without interruption. These were found liable to abuse, and a law in the printed code prohibiting the building or retaining of these huts, is full confirmation to the public, if any be needed, of the truth of these statements.
But let us pursue this subject still further, it is worth while to do it, for no agreement has been more boldly insisted on, than the unnecessary expense of the building which is now unfinished. This building was planned, not by "the demi-god Davie ," as the Citizen thinks proper to call the General, but by Governor Spaight, as the draft of it by his own hand, kept at the University, is always ready to shew. This building will contain

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23 habitable rooms, each capable of holding two residents. These with the 15 now in the wing, will amount to 30, able to receive 76 youths on the establishment. We have more than once, had upwards of 70, while the wing alone was ready for their reception, which could contain only 56 at the rate even of 4 in a room. For one of the rooms has been used as a library. The rest of the students in such cases, have been compelled to live in the village, deprived of those particular rules and opportunities, which were observed and possessed in the village itself. If having an "autocratic head" as the Citizen has chosen to designate me, has been a reason why more students do not come to the University, I presume it is not the only one, nor perhaps so efficient as the circumstance, that there is not space to contain them. I will venture to ask any one, and scarcely doubt of his reply, whether it is not likely, that if our rooms could admit 100 students tomorrow, they would be filled up at the beginning of the very next year? This would render an aristocracy of learning more difficult to be preserved, than what it is at present. If our principal building were finished, the youth of North Carolina would begin to enjoy opportunities, similar to what are afforded to the youth of other states, and our nation would have

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not a Temple of Folly! but a monument of glory to herself, and a pledge of ability and worth to all succeeding generations. And now what is the true estimate of all this loud and blustering clamor emitted by the Citizen, about the unnecessary expense of the present buildings? He may have been raising his voice for a number of years in this style, with the utmost assurance and triumph. But as soon as the light of Truth is thrown upon him, the visage from which issued such noisy and imposing declamations, appears nothing more than one wretched blank of inanity and dullness. Perhaps it may alternately be flushed, if possible, with the glow of shame, for not knowing better, or for not enquiring, or if he was better informed, for having persisted in casting odium upon the most virtuous plans of public improvement, which a free and virtuous people can think of or accomplish. But I know what to think of the Citizen, if the style of his piece bespeaks him right. Malignity and lust of sway are his guiding principles, and his composition unites with the boisterousness of a stentor, the hardihood of callous feelings.
Perhaps some will imagine that I indulge in a style of reproof that is too severe. But let it be remembered that the attack which is made upon me is perfectly unprovoked — that I claim no innocence

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but what I prove — fix no epithets, but such as I first demonstrate to be just; and that I do not deal in unseemly and unmerited reproaches. If a man will take the liberty of molesting innocence, and by with all his might, without the least provocation, to heap upon it public odium, surely it out not to give offence, that he should be rigorously repulsed, with the loss of his pretensions to public credit. Such a man is a proper object for public indignation. He declares himself the enemy of his species, since he renounces the principles upon which alone all that is valuable in live can be preserved. I am not versed in the military tactics of the public gazettes. I am only of the militia, but I hope so truly American, that the justice of my cause will be instead of discipline, and that if the enemy should prove too indolent, I shall be able to chastise him, by carrying the war into his own borders.
The Citizen informs us that "we have been dependent on Europe and the neighboring states, nay even on Massachusetts for our men of science." This is certainly as true as it is deplorable. And does he wish, that we shall still continue in this degrading dependence? From the satisfaction which shines through his statement of the "probability that the University will never be finished for want of funds," he plainly

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cherishes such a wish. Yet he seems to think that this dependence may be a source of aristocracy among us; and certainly if we can be in any such danger, it is most likely to emanate from such a cause. It must be an aristocracy too of the most dangerous kind, for it will consist of strangers and of those few of our youth, whose parents are able to bear the expense of education, in what the Citizen no doubt calls aristocratical countries. To facilitate education among ourselves, is the true method of preventing an aristocracy of learning; and unless we do give it every facility in our power, there will assuredly be, at least a monopoly of it.
But the Citizen is in dread lest we should not avoid aristocratical principles, because we have an aristocrat at the head of our University. Ill-fated America! too surely I fear; art thou doomed to be the prey of aristocracy. Shut the front door of the house against their hideous spectre, and he instantly shakes his "gory locks" at us through the rear passage. At every window his physiognomy appears begrimmed with rage, and startling us into convulsive attitudes of horror. And when we have closed every avenue from without, he suddenly rises up before us, ready to grapple us with his fangs. The Citizen has evidently enlarged on this theme in different parts of his essay, with

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a view to render it palatable. A small narrative in the shape of a fable is so pertinent to the people's case and his own, that I shall introduce it as illustration. A steed in the prime of his strength, and grazing in rich pastures, being disposed to amuse himself at the expense of a wolf, whom he saw lurking near the enclosure, went towards him, and limping with one of his hind feet, complained of a thorn, which gave him considerable pain. The wolf, thinking to take him at an advantage, expressed great commiseration, and offered to act as his physician, by extracting the thorn. The steed lifted up his foot for a narrow inspection; but unexpectedly visited the poor citizen's jaws with so rude a kick, as left him howling upon the filed; while the other pranced away, laughing at the folly of the invidious empiric. In a similar way I apprehend, the awkward officiousness of this Citizen, to cure the nation of aristocracy, is likely to end, in rendering him the butt of those whom he affects to pity.
The Citizen has made some remarks upon the motives of the Legislature. As he may claim a right to know more concerning them, than I can pretend to, I shall not attempt to vindicate the members from the reasons which he has endeavored to palm upon them. That national and respectable body acted unquestionably upon such principles, as in their wisdom they deemed sufficient. (On one

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or two points however, I can venture to gainsay the detraction which he has practiced upon them. He accuses them, for instance, of having acted without much deliberation, when they passed the law taking away the funds from the University. Now every one knows that if the assembly have ever been liable to a charge of rashness, it could not be brought against them in this instance, for the subject was before them for discussion, public or private, at least two years before they came to a final conclusion upon it. It was afterwards renewed for two or three years more, that if perchance any error had crept into their proceedings, it might be made a subject of correction. It was argued in the mean time before the Court of conference, that as the Corporation of Trustees was clad with all the rights, and liable in law to all the incidents of an individual, the constitution of the state did not recognise a power in the Legislature, to make laws having a retrospective or privative affect upon the Board, without its consent previously & explicitly obtained, or else a regular trial by jury convincing that body of an illegal use of its corporate powers. At length a decree was pronounced by the Judges, that the law which had been enacted could not be constitutional, and then was followed by an immediate repeal, on the part of the Assembly.

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Nor could any thing indeed be more proper, for while the different branches of any government concede to each other, the function peculiarly belonging to each, its harmony is committed, its justice revealed, and its strength compacted. That the privation-law was capable of a retrospective effect, will appear from the presentment of a plain case. Had the Trustees entered into contract with an individual, for the payment of money or the fulfillment of certain conditions, they might be compelled on the issue to make the payment good. If the Legislature in the mean time, had the power of making a law taking away the property of the corporation, it is evident it must operate upon their individual estates, so far as should be necessary for the accomplishment of their promises. But it is time to return more particularly to the Citizen, when I have been allowing some little opportunity to breathe.)
If the Author was a member of the Assembly, at the time when the law was made, and bore any part in the transactions impelled by such reasons as are stated in his publication, I am bold to say they were at least erroneous ones. "It is alleged, he says, that every opportunity is yet embraced, of giving a direction to the minds of the students on political subjects, favorable to a

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high toned autocratic government." Why does the Citizen say "it is alleged?" Is it because he himself knows, or has reason to believe, that the allegation is not true, and therefore in this instance has felt caution enough to refrain from asserting it himself, and by sliding in the words, has obtained the effect of an assertion without making it? If this be the case, the words are barely invidious, and deserve to be spurned by every gentleman, as unworthy of open and manly behavior. I have reason to think that he does not believe the truth of this charge himself, and that he has only taken it up as a very popular allegation; though he has been informed that it is not true. If this however be not the fact, I have only to tell the public, for I care too little about this citizen, to be concerned whether he knows it or not, that so far as the subscriber is able to retrace the lapse of eight years at least, he has never once mentioned to a student a single sentiment upon the politics of the day, or on the civil government of these United States, except possibly once or twice in all that time to the Senior class, upon the general philosophy of their construction. For the truth of this I appeal to the whole body of youth, who during that space have been at the institution. I know very well that it has been made a subject of declamation on public election grounds for a long time;

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but never was any thing asserted more destitute of truth. I believe it is become so well understood, among men of information, who care enough for our University to enquire about it, that the charge has of late been pretty generally dropped; except where to answer a present purpose, it is adduced in the shape and circumstances in which the Citizen has presented it to us as being "alleged."
That I have sentiments on the politics of our country is undoubtedly true, and if it would calm any parent's mind, who may apprehend that his child's opinions are in danger of perversion, I would say they are very far from being autocratic. But politics is a subject treated and thought of in such a manner nowadays, that a man is not allowed to know his own way of thinking, if another chooses to know for him. And therefore he would do better to be silent, than by denial or explanation, initiate a dogmatical rage against him, which in proportion as it incensed and vociferous is apt to command belief as being the genuine zeal of truth, against modest temperance, which is construed into the misgiving of conscious error. However imprudent the Citizen may think me, I have common sense enough left to refrain from subjects, upon which if I were to enter into discussions and precepts with my pupils, I should only incur their

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contempt. Politics is a subject upon which youth will speak and determine with as much confidence as men of any age, experience or study. If argument fails, the stamp of assertion is current, and ready to supply the deficiency. It is a subject on which my situation precludes all influence, and if I could exert any, to engage in it would be only disturbing that tranquility of mind, which is one of the best ingredients in constant and solid happiness.
But the Citizen will "allege" that though this be true, yet as it is known what are my politicks, they will have an effect upon those of the University. To this I shall only reply, that to be president of the University is an object to which I never aspired. To be as useful as possible has ever been the great aim of my life; and I have little regarded the station in which this might be affected. Though I feel more gratitude than I shall ever be able to express to the gentlemen of the Board for the distinctions which that honorable and patriotic body have conferred, I know they will permit me to say, that the office has ever perceived me and not I the office. For the verity of this, I do not wish to be taken upon my own credit; but upon the testimony of republican members of Board, who have solicited me as pressingly as any in that body, to act in its affairs. To these solicitations returned to

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my earnest entreaties for the appointment of another, I have several times yielded. But it is time for me to stop, for these things savor too much of vanity. Yet when the public are exposed to the noxious deceptions of such calumniators as this Citizen, it seems necessary that some means should be afforded them of coming to a knowledge of the truth. I arrogate no credit for any necessity there may have been for my labors. This is rather a lamentable proof of the unfortunate condition of our state, which has so few persons, both willing and qualified to fill the office of a literary institution. One credit I shall claim, but hope no offensive one, of wishing as ardently as any man, that out of this condition we may soon emerge.
It is asserted by this writer that "a majority of the Trustees has consisted of men, possessing high aristocratical notions of government; that whenever there have been vacancies in their body, they were filled with men of like principles; that these Trustees would employ no professors who were not of like politics; that if any other happened to be engaged as the fact was discovered he was displaced. Mr Kerr , Mr Holmes, and Mr Boylan are stated to be evidences of this fact. These Trustees and professors introduced elementary books on the science of government, which are confessedly antirepublican

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and the youths who want these republicans, returned with directly opposite principles."
How the Citizen procured his knowledge, that a majority of the Trustees have been "aristocratic," is a question to which it would be difficult for him to give a satisfactory answer. One thing I know, that he has never had recourse to proper documents, to ascertain whether he was asserting truth or falsehood. Nor do I suppose, that since the existence of the law, which created the Board of Trustees, it has ever been known to any person, so that he could give an immediate and positive answer, whether a majority was "republican" or otherwise. I could pronounce if I pleased, with an equal chance for truth, that a majority of the Board has been "republican," but I shall not imitate the example of the Citizen in making rash assertions, nor pretend to cope with him in the assurance he exhibits in matters, about which he knows nothing definite. The truth is that neither he nor I, nor any other person is at the moment, and probably never has been able to speak on this subject with certainty. It would require a research into the records of the Board for seventeen years past, and that time would be employed to very poor purpose, which should be given to it.
For all the asseverations here made, I shall hold myself responsible, and my name shall stand

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exposed, that if any thing be false, the public may know where to fix the charge. But till the Citizen's name shall be equally conspicuous, I hope his denials and affirmations will not be deemed the valid authority to which my claim to belief shall be surrendered. Truth ought to give offence to none, and if the Citizen has committed a breach upon her laws, it becomes him to venerate her authority, to recognise her transcendent rights, and to recover his lost integrity by exposing with all his zeal the sacred cause which he has endeavored to malign.
It is denied then that the Trustees have always appointed men to fill the vacancies in their body, possessing what he calls "high aristocratical notions of government." For confirmation of this fact, I refer to the names recounted in the margin. They are only some of those who have been at different times elected members.* These are not all the appointments which have taken place; how many more might be added to the catalogue by an application to the records, it is impossible for me to conjecture. I hope these gentlemen will pardon me for making this public insertion, when a development of facts required it. I hope too that others who are not mentioned, will ascribe it to no other cause than want of ability to recollect, where so many are to

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be enumerated. It is astonishing that any man, however hardened, could be willing to venture on assertions, for which he might so easily be called forth into the prescience of a whole people, and have his front branded with the name of imposter.
The fact is that when the Trustees were assembled on any occasion, they never looked round the rooms to see what politics a majority professed. The minutes will shew that a majority was sometimes of one way of thinking on politics and sometimes of the other, but that their proceedings were always in one unique and consistent tenor, having for their sole and constant aim, the success and stability of the institution, and the most prudent application of its funds. They knew the imputation laid against them, of being "aristocratic" in their measures and instead of being studious to appoint persons of whom this might be said, they often diligently sought for characters who might refute the charge. For the veracity of this statement I confidently attest thou "republican" gentlemen who have been in the habit of attending their meetings. The charge of calumny so often occurs, in this defence against the attack of the Citizen, that nothing but the necessity to which he has subjected me should induce a repetition of it.
It is so far from being true that the Trustees would employ no professors but such as were "aristocratic"

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in their politics, that thou whomever mentions are the very names he ought to have dreaded and concealed. These professors, or at least two of them, were known as to their politics before they were employed. There is reason to believe that the sentiments of Mr Holmes were not formed at the time of his appointment; but it is a most unquestionable fact to be proved by the evidence of those gentlemen of the board, both "republican" and "aristocratic," who received his resignation, that these sentiments had no share in causing him to leave the University. The most singular circumstance in the Citizen's statement of Mr Kerr , is his conspicuous affrontery in making it, in despite of what the whole land knows to be fact for there never has been the least ambiguity in the cause of that gentlemen's leaving the University. It is often seen, that when any cause falls into bad hands instead of receiving support, it is only made to suffer. The present is a striking instance of those whom the awkwardness, ignorance, and impudence of the writer are so abrupt, that we meet them with an involuntary repulsion.
I am sorry to see Mr Bingham's name abused by so unworthy a purpose, as this defamatory man has applied to it. Mr Bingham was never exiled from the University. His virtues were too sound and irreproachable for men of any political

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principles, ever to feel disposed to injure him. When Mr Bingham left us, I can assure the Citizen, that his good qualities were not unknown to the Trustees or the Faculty. Mr Bingham's qualifications and virtues were of that unobtrusive, but substantial cast, which merit and must secure the respect of every upright and generous bosom. Whoever shall have occasion to be acquainted with this man, shall find him to be one of those, whom the great poet of England has denominated to be among "The noblest works of God."
It is equally curious and risible to observe with what carelessness this writer has passed over the example of Mr Gillespie. But he was not "republican," and therefore his retiring from the institution did not answer as a case in point.
It is a fact however, that a majority of the standing committee of appointment in Raleigh has been for a number of years "republican." And it is not less a fact, that the same was the case with a majority of the committee, which drew up the present code of laws, and published it for the government of the college.
"But these Trustees and professors, says the Citizen, introduced elementary books on the science of government, which are confessedly antirepublican," and in proof of this he mentions the works of Adams and

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De Lolme. This accusation is now antiquated illegible has been long done away, by expunging the offensive volumes from the plan of education. For this however the Trustees are never, it seems to receive any credit, but it must still be revived by whining slanderers to resuscitate if possible, old prejudices against them.
There is now a fair opportunity to make a full and true representation upon this subject, which has been the ground of so much umbrage and mistake. When the books were selected upon the different sciences to be taught in the University, it was at too early a period of our present constitution for an enquiry to be instituted with any zeal, what books were "republican" and what were not. The only question was, what authors had treated the subject of government in a manner most scientific and philosophical, and the best accommodated to the form and spirit of the American political institutions. Such writers could hardly be found among the authors of Europe, and Mr Adams was the only one on this side of the ocean, who had attempted it except the authors of the Federalist. If this work had been adopted it must soon have proved equally obnoxious with the defence of the American constitutions given by Mr Adams. These constitutions were all of them amendments upon the British, and it is easy to see, that to be radically acquainted with the principles of our own governments, it was very likely to be beneficial, to study the origin and nature illegible

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government whose errors and crimes they were intended to correct. Let it be asked then what books could have been more judiciously chosen than De Lolme which is confessedly the most scientific on the British constitution, and Adams who defends by philosophical and historical demonstration, the American constitutions as amendments upon the British, against the plan recommended at the time by the Frenchman Mr Turgot, for consolidating all power, executive, legislative, and judicial in the hands of a single branch instead of three. This was the object of Mr Adams, and his book was written under the old confederation, long before the present general government was formed, any parties could possibly exist with respect to its construction or administration. If the Trustees acted imprudently in choosing Mr Adams's book, the imprudence was not to be imputed to them at the time when they did it, but made its first appearance afterwards when parties began to be marked through the United States. They preferred Mr Adams as an American, and as the only man in this or any other country who had written systematically upon our forms of government or the different states. Afterwards, however, when it appeared how obnoxious Mr Adams's sentiments became, the Board passed a resolution that neither he nor De Lolme should any long be studied in the University. Let me now ask the Citizen what books he would have substituted instead of these

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if his advice had been consulted? Would he illegible introduced Godwin, who has become a name and proverb of revolutionary fanaticism throughout the world? Surely he would not recommend this a rhapsodist, whose theories are perpetually committing outrages upon common sense, as the standard of correct opinion for our youth! But whom would he recommend? There is no other name under heaven which he can recommend, and accordingly since the dismission of De Lolme & Adams, politics & government have made no part of elementary studies in the University, except a few sentiments of the most abstracted and general nature.
I have now finished the account which this slanderous writer has forced me to give, of those truths which were necessary to prevent him from deceiving the public mind. I have done it with that honest and strenuous indignation, which every virtuous man ought to feel, whose character has been wantonly and unreasonably attacked. To what purpose would it be for any one to aim at preserving a sound and unimpeachable fame if after years of diligent attention, it is to be blurred and blotted over, so as to be unfit to be seen, by those hardened and insidious wretches, who are always to be found in every community, and who to answer their envy, or some wicked end, will confound

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illegible and wring, prostrate integrity in the dust, and labor to overthrow the interest and honor of the state whose privileges they enjoy. All these are purposes which the Citizen has tried to accomplish. By calumniating me, he has shown a disposition to destroy one, whose great object it has ever been to preserve himself from vice, and to do the public all the good in his power. By his attack upon the University, he has shewn a wish that our State might be left blank of every thing that could save us from the charge of being destitute of one national institution. He has endeavoured too to hurt the rising generation, by raising a cry against the only little opportunity afforded them of placing their talents and abilities, upon an equal footing with the talents and abilities of youth in other states. In short by rendering our University odious, he has endeavoured to entail upon us a dependence on the education of distant lands, and to keep our public business in the hands of foreigners. I am far from saying that all these things he has been able to accomplish. Heaven forefend that so paltry a production as his should be able to effect it. But if it be not effected, he is to remember that it is not to him we shall owe our obligations. His efforts must make him appear as malignant as if his favorite views were attained.

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If the author of this piece had divulged illegible name, it would have saved the necessity of saying any thing in reply to it. So bold and rude does he appear in the style of oblique misrepresentation and direct falsehood, that assertions known to be his, could be attended with little or no danger to any one. This I own has furnished one principal reason why I have thought it necessary to dictate a reply. I would willingly, if possible, by groping after one who lurks in the dark place a hand upon his crest, and drag the illfavored being into open day, well persuaded that if this can be done he will be consigned to the surprise, derision and contempt of the public.


* Blake Baker, John G. Blount, William Hawkins, Hon. Judge Hall, Gabriel Holmes, James Willborn, Seawell, William P. Little, Wallace Alexander, Robert Troy, William Cherry, Waightstill Avery, Archibald D. Murphey, Hon. Henry Potter, David Stone, Evan Alexander, Montgomery, Hinton, Collier, Turner.