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Louisville Augt. [August] 8th 1827
Over your signature as a Committee of the Board of Trustees of Centre College, I received a letter bearing date the 2d instant. The contents and the notification inclosed were as unexpected as the place was unsolicited by me. I had determined to spend the remainder of my life in the sanctuary of God, leaving it to the direction of providence how my feeble efforts should be directed. I feel it therefore necessary to understand the will of God so far as it can be known with relation to my conduct as it respects a final decision on the subject submitted to my consideration. I wish information on the following points. What duties are assigned to the President in your institution? Besides the superintendence & government, is he required to teach any branch? How is
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he to employ the Sabbath?
2d. Will he be admitted to direct students in theology either under College regulations or at his own pleasure?
3d. Is there any provision for accommodating the Prest's [President's] family; or is the proposed salary expected to cover all expenses of house rent, etc.?
4th. If he should have children to educate what arrangement would be made respecting them?
Having for some years past laid aside all thoughts of teaching, I should need some time to refresh my mind in order to perfect accuracy. I had been so settled that I had refused the Presidency of institutions though elected by a unanimous vote. But viewing Centre College as intimately connected with the state of the Presbyterian church in this section of the country, I feel disposed to examine her claims & if I can bring them with in the range of my duty I would labour & sacrifice more for her than for many other institutions.
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Should I be induced to change my present situation I will expect such arrangements as will render myself and family comfortable and such as will give me an opportunity of serving the cause of God efficiently. Let me hear again from you as soon as practicable, as on your letter I shall perhaps decide whether I shall wait on the Board in person in order to a final answer. I am gentlemen with sentiments of high respect for the Board & for your individual characters,
Your most obt. [obedient] servant.
Gid. [Gideon] Blackburn
Messrs D. G. [David G.] Cowan & John Green esquires