Master Latin and Greek, Then Go to College

Thomas Jefferson to James Madison, May 8th 1784:

“I have a tender legacy to leave you on my departure. I will not say it is the son of my sister, tho her worth would justify my resting it on that ground; but it is the son of my friend, the dearest friend I knew, who, had fate reversed our lots, would have been a father to my children. He is a boy of fine dispositions, and sound masculine talents. I was his preceptor myself as long as I staid at home, and when I came away I placed him with Mr. Maury. On his breaking up his school I desired Mr. Short to dispose of him, but Mr. Short I expect will go with me to Europe. I have no body then but you to whose direction I could consign him with unlimited confidence. He is nearly master of the Latin, and has read some Greek. I beleive he is about 14. years of age. I would wish him to be employed till 16. in completing himself in latin, Greek, French, Italian and Anglosaxon. At that age I mean him to go to the college.”

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