Knoxville Sept. 27. 1860

Rt Rev James H. Otey D.D.

Your card of invitation came to me
some days ago. I have deferred answering it, being in doubt
as to the possibility of availing myself of it. I now write
to say that it will be impossible. The duties of The University
of East Tennessee, have but just begun; and to absent myself this
early from my post, as President, were to act unwisely: I
must not say, that in denying myself the pleasure of
meeting the brethren upon an occasion so pregnant of
hope for the future of the church in the South & must
I yield to conviction of duty only.

I thank the Executive Committee of the Board of Trustees
through you, its Chairman, for the honor of your invitation.

Very truly Yrs, in the love of Christ.

Jo.{?} Jas. Ridley D.D.

President Univ. East. Tenn.

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Lane Oliver

This is the same letter as Page 47.