Thomas Cooper Letters,1815-1817

Descriptive Summary

Title
Thomas Cooper Letters,1815-1817
Creator
Cooper, Thomas, 1759-1839
Extent
.1 cubic ft.
Subjects
Transylvania University -- Faculty.
Transylvania University. Board of Trustees.
Universities and colleges -- Kentucky -- Lexington -- Faculty.
Universities and colleges -- Kentucky -- Lexington.
Cooper, Thomas, 1759-1839.
Finding Aid Author
Processed by: staff; machine-readable finding aid created by:Bonnie Cox
Repository
Transylvania University

Collection Overview

Biography / History
Thomas Cooper had been a professor of chemistry at Carlisle College in Pennsylvania when he was offered a similar position at Transylvania University in Lexington, Kentucky in 1815. Known for his radical religious principles, it is generally believed that the trustees, who were under attack for their own Presbyterian orthodoxy, chose Cooper to pacify their critics. In doing so however, they offered him a salary far below what they knew he would accept, and he declined the offer. Following this exchange, Cooper let it be known that he did want to be considered for the presidency at Transylvania. Though many prominent citizens petitioned the board to seriously consider Cooper for the presidency, he was never offered the position.
Scope and Content
This is a series of letters which document the offer made to Thomas Cooper by the trustees of Transylvania University, his rejection of the offer, and his subsequent attempt to be named president of the university. Also present is the petition signed by nearly one hundred citizens urging the board to consider him for the presidency.