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[359] State to his college should be paid. At that time our State was pecuniarily much embarrassed and had stopped paying interest upon its debts, and fearing if I asked for too much I might get nothing, I inquired of General Lee if he would be satisfied then with the payment of three or four years interest. He responded in the affirmative, and asked me to make a speech in the Senate setting forth the wants and claims of his college; he said its furniture, books, inclosures, &c., had been damaged by the Federal soldiers under General Hunter, and money was needed to make necessary repairs. Subsequently to this he wrote me a letter, which so well presented the claims of Washington College, that I read the whole of it while advocating them before the body of which I was a member. The origin of the claim of the college was this. General Washington, in consideration of his public services was presented with a number of shares of the valuable stock of the ‘Old James River Company.’ He declined to receive them except upon the condition that they should be applied to education purposes. Accordingly he transferred 100 shares of this to ‘Liberty Academy’ in Lexington, Va., from which grew Washington College. The law, by which Washington College was greatly relieved, became such February 27, 1866, and was entitled ‘An act for the relief of colleges and other seminaries of learning.’ By it the arrearages of interest or dividends due from the State were to be paid in two installments. Soon after the passage of the bill, which I championed in the Senate, General Lee, with that courtesy which was characteristic of him, wrote me a letter thanking me for my services. As further evidence of his zeal for the educational interests of his college I will state that, representing his county and college in the Legislature, he wrote me as many as three letters urging me to get a portion for it of the land fund which the United States had donated to the States for educational purposes. I give a copy below of the original of one of them now in my possession:

Lexington, Va., December 16, 1865.
Sir, —I commit to your charge a petition of Washington College to the Legislature of Virginia, and request that as the Senator from this district that you will present it to the Senate at the most favorable period. Should you concur with the Board of Trustees in its object, I hope you will advocate the passage of a bill to carry it into effect. Dr. Archibald Graham, from Rockbridge, has been requested to present the petition in the House of Delegates, and concert of action among the friends of the measure in the two bodies would be advantageous.


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