Rare ALS signed “T. J. Jackson,” one page both sides, 7.75 x 9.75, October 12, 1852. Written from Lexington, Virginia, a letter to Truheart, in full: "Your very kind letter has been received with the enclosed Land warrant. Please to accept my thanks for your kindness in procuring the warrant and if I can at any time reciprocate in any way, do not hesitate to speak frankly. I have returned the warrant to Washington for correction. I am highly pleased at your having gone to the University, and sincerely hope that distinction will not only reward you whilst there, but in your future career at the Bar. Massie was saying to me a few days since, that in his opinion you can succeed well in the legal profession. I was with your father for some time at the Alum Springs during the past summer, and should have been very glad had you been with us; but as such could not be, we had alone to reap the most enjoyment possible, which to me was not a little. You must endeavor to come up on the 4th of July next at farthest. I suppose that you are aware of Mr. Harris a graduate of 1851 being here in Maj. Preston's Department. Major Preston will soon leave for the west on business. During the past few days, we have been favored with a series of interesting experiments in Electro-Byology by a Mr. Hale. Our little Lecture room has been crowded so that one evening I suppose that the number equaled, if it did not surpass four hundred. Things here are going smoothly. Major Gilhelm's family has returned and is living in his new house. When ever you can spare a leisure moment, let me hear from you." In fine condition, with almost complete separation to the blank adjoining sheet, not at all affecting the letter itself. Accompanied by a small carte-de-visite portrait of Jackson and an engraving bearing a facsimile signature.
From the spring of 1851 until the outbreak of the Civil War, Jackson served as the Professor of Natural and Experimental Philosophy and an Instructor of Artillery at the Virginia Military Institute (VMI) in Lexington, Virginia. In spite of his considerable intelligence, Jackson was an historically mediocre and unpopular educator, whose obdurate by-the-book teaching style favored strict recitation over sound explanation, prompting many a disgruntled cadet to call him ‘Tom Fool’ or ‘Old Jack.’ Of notable interest are the mentions of John Thomas Lewis Preston, a primary founder of VMI and the future aide-de-camp to Jackson during the Civil War, and Lawrence Hale, a popular hypnotist who termed his talent as ‘Electro-Biology.’ An exceedingly scarce pre-war letter from Jackson’s early days at VMI.
Terms and abbreviations used in our descriptions.