1818.138: Report of Commissioners appointed to Fix Site of a University (3).

Published: 1818

Full Title: Report of the commissioners appointed to fix the scite [sic] of the University of Virginia. Printed by order of the Senate.

Author: Jefferson, Thomas (1743-1826), et al.

Place Issued: Richmond

Issuing Press: John Warrock

Description: 14 pgs.; 24 cm. (8vo).


A commission of twenty-four prominent Virginians was appointed by Gov. Preston in early 1818 to select a site for a state university authorized by an act (Chap. XI) of December 1817 Assembly, and to draft guidelines for its operation; the group met in a tavern at the Rockfish Gap in the Blue Ridge Mountains in August 1818, electing Jefferson as its chair; hence, this report is commonly known as the "Rockfish Gap Report." Their deliberations led to choice of the site offered by the Central College in Charlottesville as that for the new university, over sites proposed in Staunton and Lexington. The Senate received its copy of the commissions' report on the second day of the December 1818 Assembly, and ordered their printer John Warrock to print 150 copies separately from its journal for the use of its members in their deliberations; Swem reported this item twice: first from the order to print seen in the Senate journal (# 9041), an item he reported he had not seen; then from the surviving copy held by the Library of Congress (# 9082), an item he recorded from the library's catalogue; this Index reports entry number for the extant copy. Report has cover letter signed by Jefferson and dated "Monticello, Nov. 20, 1818." Report is signed by commissioners who attended meeting: Jefferson, Creed Taylor, Peter Randolph, William Brockenbrough, Archibald Rutherford, Archibald Stuart, James Breckinridge, Henry E. Watkins, James Madison, Armistead T. Mason, Hugh Holmes, Philip C. Pendleton, Spencer Roane, John M.C. Taylor, John G. Jackson, Thomas Wilson, Philip Slaughter, William H. Cabell, Nathaniel H. Claiborne, William A. G. Dade, William Jones (absent were Nicholas Faulcon, Peter Johnson, Littleton W. Tazewell); the formal offer of the site and assets of the Central College follows the report, before text concludes with the certificate of the commission's secretary, Thomas W. Maury.

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