1818.137: Report of Commissioners appointed to Fix Site of a University (2).

Published: 1818

Full Title: Proceedings and report of the Commissioners for the University of Virginia. Presented December 8, 1818. Read and referred to a select committee.

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

Place Issued: Richmond

Issuing Press: Thomas Ritchie

Description: 32 pgs.; 25 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 House of Delegates received their copy of the commissions' report on the second day of the December 1818 Assembly, and ordered public printer Thomas Ritchie to print 500 copies separately from its journal for the use of the members of the Assembly in their deliberations; that order informs attribution here to the partnership then conducting Ritchie's press. Cover letter [p. 2] is signed in print by Jefferson, dated "Monticello, Nov. 20, 1818." Report itself is signed in print [p. 26} by the 21 commissioners who actually attended the 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 {p. 25-30] before text concludes with the certificate [p. 31] of the commission's secretary, Thomas W. Maury.

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