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Title: Letter from Charles Harris to James Hogg, September 1, 1796: Electronic Edition.
Author: Harris, Charles Wilson, 1771-1804
Funding from the University Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill supported the electronic publication of this title.
Text transcribed by Brian Dietz
Images scanned by Bari Helms
Text encoded by Brian Dietz
First Edition, 2005
Size of electronic edition: ca. 15K
Publisher: The University Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Chapel Hill, North Carolina
2005
© This work is the property of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. It may be used freely by individuals for research, teaching and personal use as long as this statement of availability is included in the text
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:
2005-08-08, Brian Dietz finished TEI/XML encoding.
Source(s):
Title of collection: University of North Carolina Papers (#40005), University Archives, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Title of document: Letter from Charles Harris to James Hogg, September 1, 1796
Author: Chas W. Harris
Description: 5 pages, 6 page images
Note: Call number 40005 (University Archives, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill)
Editorial practices
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Letter from Charles Harris to James Hogg , September 1, 1796
Harris, Charles Wilson, 1771-1804



Page 1

My dear friend,

I now have the pleasure of informing you that Mr Caldwell intends to accept of the professorship of Mathematics at this place. I received his final answer by last Tuesday's post. He will set out on his journey in the first week of next month & will probably arrive about the first of November. I feel a secret pride in finding that the prospects of our national institution are so flattering, as to entice to it men of real abilities and merit; and you who are so entirely devoted to its interest cannot but rejoice that you have thus far been successful in establishing an University. I had communicated to Mr Caldwell , agreeably to his request, a very particular, and as far as I was able, an accurate account of our affairs, and for his information had inclosed a small, rough plan of the intended situation of the buildings, avenues and walks, all which he shewed to Dr Smith, and in his last letter had favoured me with the intelligence which I have transcribed into the annexed paper. Of it you are at liberty to make what use you think proper, as you are one of the Committee of correspondence

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and appointments. After you have perused the paper I beg leave to add the following remarks respecting Dr Smith. He is as elegant and accurate a classical scholar as any professor in any of the Northern Colleges. He has devoted much time to the study of moral and political Philosophy & the philosophy of nature and we may judge of his progress in these, by some of his publications. He is well versed in Rhetoric & the Belles Lettres his style is said to be neat, & elegant. He is a standard of pronunciation, and his delivery is articulate, & pleasing, his gesture easy and engaging. In short he is possessed of many qualities of an Orator. His age is near fifty he is rather above the common size & when I knew him, inclined to corpulency. He is universally thought handsome in his person & very polite in his manner. What Mr Caldwell has related of the conversation between Dr Smith & himself is in a loose, epistolary style; and the conditions mentioned cannot be supposed to be determinate. The whole I submit to you. For my own part if I know anything of Dr Smith & the situation of this place I am certain, he would be more useful than any man you could procure from Connecticut even Bishop Seabury himself.
As to our affairs at present, everything goes on in an ordinary way. The young gentlemen have not

Page 3
put us to the necessity of inflicting any high censures since the commencement of the session, but have applied themselves to their respective studies with much industry and regularity. Mr Richards who assists in the preparatory school writes a very fine hand & by his method and attention promises to be an acquisition to the University in the way of writing. We expect to see you now & then if it be not inconvenient. Do me the honour of presenting my best respects to your family. I am sir, your most

Mr Gavin Alves will much oblige me by making out a very small abstract of the state of the funds of the University. I spoke to him on that subject at our last examination.


Page 4
Part of Mr Caldwells letter
"I showed our correspondence to Dr Smith the Day after I received your last letter. He read it and hesitated not to advise my acceptance. He is not well satisfied with his present situation, as he informed me before I left him. He looked at the plan chosen for the buildings on Chapel hill & went so far, as to say that he would be ready to relinquish his establishment & prospects here & remove to your University, if the trustees or those in whose power it should be, would give up the disposition and direction of affairs into his hands, the ordering of the buildings in their structure and situation, of the environs of the University, the choice of the Library &c, &c. He thought that by the additional expense of a few thousand dollars more than what the present plan will require, the University might be made superior in elegance as well as convenience to any thing in our country. It is an undeniable truth that Dr Smith is a man of superior cultivation and taste. These are so far from being superficial, that they are entirely of the solid and substantial kind. His reputation as a man of genius, of science, and of talents peculiarly fitted for instruction and

Page 5
discipline are too well known to you & to the people of the U. States to need any explanation. He has a family that must be expensive any where, but particularly in such a place as this; where the inhabitants with whom he is obliged to be in habits of ceremony, affect to be of what themselves would call the highest order. Being on a road which is travelled more than any other in the U. States, his disposition inclines him, and his situation obliges him to receive and entertain, with much expense, visitors at all times. It is by no means necessary for me to inform you that the inhabitants of this place were never agreeable to him nor he to them. As to his health, he declares that he is seriously apprehensive of the effects of the next winter upon it. He has filled the office of president with more mildness than he did that of vice president. The trustees of this place would certainly be very unwilling to part with him.

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