54 Matching Annotations
  1. Dec 2017
    1. We should be far too from the discouraging persuasion, that man is fixed, by the law of his nature, at a given point: that his improvement is a chimæra, and the hope delusive of rendering ourselves wiser, happier or better than our forefathers were.

      This excerpt is very relevant in UVA’s current climate. While the negative histories of both Jefferson and UVA have always existed, they are receiving more scrutiny now because of the August 11 and 12 events on Grounds and in Charlottesville. I believe Jefferson’s (and the other commissioners’) own words support a solution to this issue. Instead of not drawing attention to this past, the university community should be making a conscious effort to recognize the error of “our forefathers” so we are not “fixed” to duplicate them. Ignoring them, however, runs the risk of us not “rendering ourselves wiser” and slipping into the same atrocities as our university’s founders.

    2. What, but education, has advanced us beyond the condition of our indigenous neighbours? and what chains them to their present state of barbarism & wretchedness, but a besotted veneration for the supposed supe[r]lative wisdom of their fathers and the preposterous idea that they are to look backward for better things and not forward, longing, as it should seem, to return to the days of eating acorns and roots rather than indulge in the degeneracies of civilization.

      The board shames Native Americans’ appreciation for the wisdom of their ancestors and state that education has allowed a shift from the following idea: that “we must tread with awful reverence in the footsteps of Our fathers”. This is rather ironic considering the legacy Thomas Jefferson has on ‘his’ university. It is a center of education structured in a manner that idolizes Jefferson at every opportunity, despite the reasoning (given in a document co-written by Jefferson) that education frees men from lingering on their ancestors.

    3. 15th year of their age when they might go with more safety and contentment to that distance from their parents. Untill this preparatory provision shall be made, either the university will be overwhelmed with the Gr

      The American culture today has changed in that children at the present tend to be so much more dependent on their families compared to the past. Both kids and young adults depend on their families financially, for housing, for nutrition/ healthcare, and many other forms of aid. It is the norm in this age for young students to live at home until they finish their education, not to mention they commute from home to school through secondary education. In past periods in history young students would live away from their families while studying- allowing students to learn and growth outside of the classroom as well as inside of the classroom; making decisions for themselves without guidance, whether positive or negative, and having to care for themselves without help. Today many students leave the house for the first time to go to college experiencing a steep learning curve having to adjust to both college level academics and having to take care of themselves without any help. Learning how to care for oneself at an earlier age could prepare students to better adjust to living and learning on their own.

    4. To give to every citizen the information he needs for the transaction of his own business

      This sentence brings to mind a thought concerning the idea of the liberal arts education. Some argue that an all encompassing liberal arts education does not properly prepare students to be citizens of the world- in that they master the art of writing papers though they may not necessarily understand how to pay they taxes. I understand this argument, though I am not necessarily a proponent of it- though I do believe that it is important for students to learn how to master certain skills in order to be a successful and secure citizen of this world. Though every student should not study business they should gain a basic understanding of day to day economics and financial duties upon completing university when they are expected to enter the world as a contributing citizen.

    5. : each of these was unexceptionable as to healthiness & fertility

      The qualifications by which these sites were chosen show an interesting criteria. What is meant by healthiness and fertility? Is it of the ground? Is it of the resources and material? Or is it of the people, as later stated? It seems that 200 years ago, when the cornerstone was placed, only the "healthiness & fertility" of the white population was the chief concern, and thus a central location by which they could further education became important.

    6. To give to every citizen the information he needs for the transaction of his own business.

      It is so ironic to see how they state that the objectives of the school was to give every CITIZEN the information they need, after stating that the the school was just meant for boys. Were women not considered citizens? If so who was a 'citizen'?

    7. reasoning faculties

      "In a republican nation whose citizens are to be led by reason and persuasion and not by force, the art of reasoning becomes of first importance." --Thomas Jefferson to David Harding, 1824. ME 16:30 ( https://famguardian.org/Subjects/Politics/ThomasJefferson/jeff0700.htm ). This quotation reveals how much reason played into TJ's daily life and his visions for the country, even after he was President. Reason was an Enlightenment ideal - one TJ most likely picked up during his time in France. Reason was a huge deal in Europe during the Enlightenment and it is interesting how TJ involved this obsession with reason in the foundation of UVA.

    8. cultivate their morals, & instil into them the precepts of virtue & order.

      As some of my peers have iterated, it is hypocritical to place "morals" and "virtue" on such a high pedestal but not legitimately consider the importance of being acceptance towards those of other races. According to a website on US history, economic advantages to slavery were of more importance than modern values to accept difference. Therefore, it seems illegitimate for the board to make this claim that the university will help their students reach higher virtues as long as their policies are racist. http://www.ushistory.org/us/27f.asp

    9. James Madison

      "At the University of Virginia there are additional reasons to remember this Founding Father with gratitude, for he is truly an unsung hero of the University. Overshadowed by the tremendous contributions made by Thomas Jefferson to establish the University, Madison's role is often overlooked, although he worked closely with Jefferson to realize his vision for an institution of higher education to prepare students for their responsibilities as citizens of the new Republic." http://static.lib.virginia.edu/jamesmadison/introduction.htm James Madison is one of the more recognizable names on this list of influencers in the creation of the University of Virginia. Of course, these names are often overlooked because Thomas Jefferson hold the spotlight. I was surprised to learn about how much Madison contributed in funds and service to the University that no one ever talks about. His endowment funded the libraries and his leadership leaded the University after Jefferson's death. Neither are things to take for granted.

    10. chimæra,

      What is a chimæra and what does it have to do with the University of Virginia. In Greek Mythology, the chimæra is a creature with multiple parts of different animals. When seen, disaster was inevitable. As a figure of speech, the similar "chimera" means a fanciful mental illusion or fabrication. Because I can't see the greek mythical creature fitting into this document and contex, I take the close spelling as the intended meaning. Therefore, a defense of education lasts, and trying to convince one against the notion that education improves is false.

      https://www.thefreedictionary.com/chimera https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chimera_(mythology)

    11. banishing all arbitrary & unnecessary restraint on individual action shall leave us free to do whatever does not violate the equal rights of another.

      Thomas Jefferson believed particularly strongly in a country whose government was based on the well-being of the small, agricultural farmer through strong state, not central, government. His ideal government focused on helping the “uncorrupt” rural farmer, not the industrialists or those focused on money. Along with this came his ideas that individual liberty should be a fundamental aspect of democracy, shown here through this assertion. Any “arbitrary and unnecessary restraint” on the individual must be eliminated in order to maintain this freedom. This belief is so crucial to his ideas that it will even be a key objective to the teaching at the university and the development of the students. In accordance with the views of the time, however, when the document claims that individuals should be free to do anything as long as it “does not violate the equal rights of another,” only other white citizens are included in this. If it included other groups, slavery would be completely unacceptable, as it is certainly a violation of rights. But because the rights of African-Americans were not considered to be “equal” to that of whites, there was no internal contradiction in the minds of the writers between this statement and the institution of slavery, as we often see with Jefferson. Although obviously Jefferson did not write this document alone, his influence and opinions are clearly seen throughout.

    12. after full enquiry & impartial & mature consideration, are of opinion that the central point of the white population of the state is nearer to the central college,

      It’s interesting here that today we read this as racist and exclusionary, but at the time, the school’s founders were simply trying to find the location that would be most convenient and efficient for its student body and faculty. To them, having the school close to the “white population” made perfect sense; the white population included the people that would be attending and teaching at the university. Today, we would call this explicit racism with a focus on social distance – that is, the desired physical distance between different groups because of an unwillingness to assimilate and mix. Generally, social distance is not something people willingly admit, so here it is interesting that the founders of the school very readily note their desire for distance from other groups in order to cater to a specific race. It points to how different their world views were regarding race and the permissibility of blatantly viewing races as unequal.

    13. This would generally be about the 15th year of their age when they might go with more safety and contentment to that distance from their parents. Untill this preparatory provision shall be made, either the university will be overwhelmed with the Grammar school or a separate establishment under one or more ushers for its lower classes will be advisable, at a mile or two distance from the general one: where too may be exercised the stricter government necessary for young boys, but unsuitable for youths arrived at years of discretion.

      It is fascinating to see how much college expectations have changed over the last two centuries. Originally only white adolescents were sent off to get a college degree; however, now both genders, young adults, and minorities are receiving higher-level education.

      In my current engagement about evolution, we learned not only about biological changes but also cultural ones. The change from only one specific group to a diverse group of students has two historical components. The first being the amount of females being enrolled. Since the majority of men were fighting overseas during WWII, women were needed to enter the workforce. Afterwards, they wanted to remain working. Because of this, more women began seeking better professions and getting a college degree would be the easiest way. As a result, females have surpassed total male enrollment. Secondly, with more immigrants coming into the United States, more talented and innovative individuals were coming in and those traits allowed them to get acceptance to universities; however, it wasn't until the Civil Rights movement had permitted African-Americans the right to equal schooling, that other minorities were able to attend. Since then, the percentage of minority students has increased substantially. With these two cultural changes, the shift from white adolescents was able to occur. Knowing this, I wonder if Thomas Jefferson and the other writers ever envisioned this societal change?

    14. Spanish is highly interesting to us, as the language spoken by so great a portion of the inhabitants of our Continents, with whom we shall possibly have great intercourse ere long; and is that also in which is written the greater part of the early history of America.

      I found it interesting that Thomas Jefferson saw the value in learning Spanish early on. It is significant to highlight that as President a decade before he had acquired the Midwest through the Louisiana Purchase. This territory included parts of what is now considered Texas. With this new land, it would have made sense to begin placing a large emphasis on Spanish in order to have the ability to communicate effectively with the newly found Mexican State. In addition, since more settlers began to move out west, the need to speak Spanish would have been more prominent; consequently, we see the importance of learning Spanish during the Gadsden purchase. Where we were able to get parts of what is now Arizona and New Mexico while Mexico was able to get money to fund their army, https://history.state.gov/milestones/1830-1860/gadsden-purchase .

    15. To expound the principles & structure of government, the laws which regulate the intercourse of nations, those formed municipally for our own government, and a sound spirit of legislation, which banishing all arbitrary & unnecessary restraint on individual action shall leave us free to do whatever does not violate the equal rights of another.

      Thomas Jefferson valued the government and when sculpting a university, Thomas Jefferson though it was a great opportunity to teach the youth important elements of the government. If people have a solid base understanding of government, they will be able to be successful in government and run a successful government. Thomas Jefferson wrote "wherever the people are well informed they can be trusted with their own government." http://tjrs.monticello.org/letter/118 Jefferson knew that by teaching aspects of government at the University of Virginia would ensure that the government of our nation is not only strong, but sustainable.

    16. Ideology is the doctrine of thought

      This class was very important to Thomas Jefferson because Jefferson cherished strong thinking and the innovation of thought. In a letter to Charles McPherson, Thomas Jefferson says, "the glow of one warm thought is to me worth more than money." http://tjrs.monticello.org/letter/2255 This shows the importance that Thomas Jefferson places on ideology and why he included it as a class to be taught at the University of Virginia.

    17. French is the language of general intercourse among nations, and as a depository of human Science is unsurpassed by any other language living or dead:

      I found it interesting yet entirely unsurprising that French was the first and most important language to be addressed in this explanation of the curriculum. It is explained that it is so valued by the University because it was used so much by other nations throughout the world. While this may certainly be true, I think the emphasis placed on French may stem a least a little bit from Jefferson's widely-known personal love of France and French culture, and thus his belief that Americans should replicate more of the French ways of living.

    18. To these should be added the arts, which embellish life, dancing music & drawing; the last more especially, as an important part of military education.

      I thought this sentence was interesting both in the idea that so much emphasis was placed on education in the arts, given that this is something that many schools struggle with today, and in the explanation of reasoning for this emphasis. He mentions that drawing is especially is important because it has practical implication in the military. This, especially in the context of the preceding content of the paragraph, highlights the fact that much of this curriculum was built around raising men to be useful and tactful in future military careers. At such an integral time in America's history, it was important that they establish a strong military, and Jefferson's strategy for doing so was to begin training and academic teaching early in one's education.

  2. Nov 2017
    1. we have proposed no professor of Divinity; and tho rather, as the proofs of the being of a god, the creator, preserver, & supreme ruler of the universe, the author of all the relations of morality, & of the laws & obligations these infer, will be within the province of the professor of ethics

      The university remained consistent with Jefferson's ideals of religious freedom and did not even have a professor of religion, instead having a professor of ethics. During this time period a majority of higher education schools were religious, so it is very interesting that the school wouldn't even end up building a church until 1885, whose funds were raised by member of the community, not UVA. http://www.virginia.edu/webmap/popPages/94-ChapelUniv2.html

    2. degree of centrality to the white population of the state which alone then constituted the important point of comparison between these places

      Since the university was only going to allow white males to attend, it is not surprising they planned to place it near the largest white population among the three proposed locations. However, it does serve as a reminder of the lack of rights that African Americans and other minority groups had at the time and of the school's darker past. The university wouldn't end up allowing African Americans to attend until the 1950s and women until 1970.

    3. Dormitories, sufficient each for the accommodation of two students only, this provision being deemed advantageous to morals, to order, & to uninterrupted study

      I find it interesting that it was is found "advantageous" for two people to be living together with regard to anything besides finances. I have always assumed that it was 2 or more to a room in order to minimize costs of living. I had never considered morals to have a role in the choosing of living situations among youth. I guess it may have to do with another person holding the other accountable for their actions and responsibilities, and further teaches young people to live with other people in mind. (http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/25/education/25roomscience-t.html). This NY times article explores both the positive and negative effects of having a roommate. However, it does touch on the positivity of having another to boost your mood and influence some of your decision making.

    4. They will be more advanced than we are, in science and in useful arts, and will know best what will suit the circumstances of their day.

      I find it very interesting and fascinating how open-ended this line is and how it allows the university to be subject to change rather than trying to preserve one particular image or idea. I believe this type of open-mindedness is still reflected in UVA today through the diverse opportunities here at the university. With the various and ever-growing programs throughout UVA, this ideal of change and prosperity is preserved as well as fostered over time. This line also does not restrict the university to any sort of boundaries, which further opens the door to as many opportunities as possible for both the students and the institution as a whole, creating a wonderful space for a liberal arts college.

    5. We have proposed no formal provision for the gymnastics of the school, altho a proper object of attention for every institution of youth

      This passage struck me as odd because I never imagined gymnastics to be a subject at a university. The mention that this was a principle part of the education of youth in ancient nations did not aid in my understanding. I feel that teaching gymnastics would be more important and effective in young children than in university students. Comparing two different age groups in different time periods and parts of the world does not seem to make sense in this situation. The explicit mention of there being "no formal provision for the gymnastics of the school" would better be omitted, especially in this time and day.

    6. Spanish is highly interesting to us

      I find it surprising how the reason that one language of so few chosen to be taught to students was determined based on sheer interest. The rest of this sentence further explains why Spanish is an important language and should be taught. This shows that there are already plenty of legitimate reasons for it to be chosen; why the need to mention seemingly personal fascination?

    7. The best mode of government for youth in large collections, is certainly a desideratum not yet attained with us.

      Today we have the Honor Committee, run by students only, to enforce UVA's strong sense of morality, for every student not to lie, cheat, or steal. I find it really interesting to point out that the men who wrote this document did not know what to say about the best mode of government for students, and that they acknowledged that they were unsure how to go about the issue. It wasn't until 1912 that a student named Churchill Humphrey proposed the student-led honor committee. Although I'm certainly glad that the Honor committee was created and that it exists now, this may have been a flaw in the document. Maybe if the men who wrote the Rockfish Gap Report had put more time into considering the best mode of government for the students, the murder of law professor James A. G. Davis by a student in 1840 could have been avoided. http://uvamagazine.org/articles/the_evolution_of_honor

    8. And it is at this stage only that they should be recieved at the university. Giving then a portion of their time to a finished knowledge of the latin and Greek, the rest might be appropriated to the modern languages

      The document says that all who entered the University had to be able to "read the easier authors, Latin and Greek," and then here it says that everyone would have to spend a portion of their time at the university finishing their knowledge of these ancient languages. This is especially interesting to me, because now most people at the University focus on a spoken language such as Spanish, and some people here have even fulfilled the language requirement from prior high school classes. Learning about the classics used to represent an education of morality and reason, and gave educated people a way to communicate across all spheres by referring back to the same well-known classical texts. The founders considered classics to be so important in an education because they considered the history lessons from Greece and Rome to be ever-important since the principles from the Roman Republic were so similar to the principles of the United States' new democracy. https://www.wilsonquarterly.com/quarterly/spring-2011-the-city-bounces-back-four-portraits/classical-education-in-america/ I think that it's especially interesting how our consideration of languages has changed, probably due to the advancement of technology and our necessity to be able to communicate with others around the world in present-day. It seems now that Spanish is the most useful language to learn in college, because it is so widely spoken, while Latin is mostly just taken by pre-med students because of the Latin base of many medical words.

    9. Education generates habits of application, order and the love of virtue; and controuls, by the force of habit, any innate obliquities in our moral organization.

      Thomas Jefferson believed education was necessary for self-government to exist, especially in the necessity to express opinion through voting (http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/00131729709335239?journalCode=utef20). Knowledge does not only express opinions but also plays a role in forming a good citizen, one who is informed and moral. Education from youth teaches morals and ethics of a society that we grow up to maintain and develop. An educated society can create a more satisfied society as knowledge sates human's natural tendency of curiosity.

    10. They will be more advanced than we are, in science and in useful arts, and will know best what will suit the circumstances of their day.

      This statement allows us to ponder the questions brought up in: What's Next for UVA?(http://uvamagazine.org/articles/whats_next_for_u.va). It makes me wonder whether it would be in the founders' intent to allow the development of a cyberspace of online classes available for students? So much emphasis is placed upon the historical value of Charlottesville; however, I believe that the need to adapt the old foundations into a modern world of technology and engineering is so important. I think the founders' understood that technology would revolutionize the education world and specified the sciences to be most open to change for future educators in its nature of change. With today's rate of technology and knowledge development, to not integrate further technology to coursework and research facilities would be undermining the incoming generations' talents.

  3. Oct 2017
    1. It was the degree of centrality to the white population of the state which alone then constituted the important point of comparison between these places

      The fact that the population if the white people is mentioned as the first thing that helped determine the location of the university speaks a lot about the values this institution was founded on -racism. Throughout the history we have seen the aspect of racism shift for the better, today, the college is admitting people of color more than it has ever before. But the question still remains...Has UVA enabled to completely drop its association racism, especially since it was founded on such grounds(pun not intended)?

    2. the dieting of the students should be left to private boarding houses, of their own choice

      I find it interesting that students would have to find a boarding house of their choice to dine. I always thought that was the purpose of the Hotels on the Range. Maybe the inefficiency of the Boarding House system led to the Hotels, which were to my knowledge were built much later than the lawn rooms and the pavilions.

    3. And generally to form them to habits of reflection

      I believe this is one of the best qualities of an informed individual. A person must reflect on the information presented to him to truly understand it. He must sit on it, be critical of it, and create his own interpretation of it. Throughout high school, we were constantly forced to write reflections, which I always thought was some new age, irrelevant thing to keep us busy. But as I began to understand the benefits of reflecting and allowing myself to be introspective and the thoughts that come from this process, it now makes complete sense why we were forced to make reflections and why Thomas Jefferson would want the students in his university to be reflective. It causes critical thought, a quality process that every person should use. I relish in the fact that being reflective is not some new age teaching philosophy; that even in the early 19th century, people were pushing for critical thought.

    4. This doctrine is the genuine fruit of the alliance between church and State, the tenants of which, finding themselves but too well in their present position, oppose all advances which might unmask their usurpations, and monopolies of honors, wealth and power, and fear every change, as endangering the comforts they now hold.

      Contrary to what others have posted regarding this statement, I believe here Jefferson and the other writers are actually calling out those who support an alliance between church and State, not advocating for one. Jefferson was a strong proponent of the separation between Church and State, like others have mentioned, so here he criticizes the view that man cannot be continuously improved morally and intellectually. He correlates this "desponding" view to the alliance between church and State in its obsolescence and lack of faith in the growth of man. Jefferson then further denounces those who promote this view by linking this static mindset to a fear of losing undeserved privileges. Instead, people should support the developments of secular science and the possibilities of education, which he will emphasize at his university, even if they themselves may not directly benefit.

    5. Education, in like manner engrafts a new man on the native stock, & improves what in his nature was vicious & perverse, into qualities of virtue and social worth; and it cannot be but that each generation succeeding to the knowledge acquired by all those who preceded it, adding to it their own acquisitions & discoveries, and handing the mass down for successive & constant accumulation, must advance the knowledge & well-being of mankind: not infinitely, as some have said, but indefinitely, and to a term which no one can fix or foresee.

      This quotation shows that the authors believed that the goal of higher education was to nurture and improve every aspect of intellectual potential in an individual.This acquired knowledge would then be passed down to the next generations which creates a cyclical process of building on past knowledge and innovations. The idea that the only way to secure the intellectual capabilities of the future is to improve the ones of the present is the central theme in this passage.

    6. To instruct the mass of our citizens in these their rights, interests and duties, as men and citizens, being then the objects of education in the primary schools, whether private or public, in them should be taught reading, writing & numerical arithmetic, the elements of mensuration (useful in so many callings) and the outlines of geography and history, and this brings us to the point at which are to commence the higher branches of education, of which the legislature require the development: those for example which are to form the statesmen, legislators & judges, on whom public prosperity, & individual happiness are so much to depend.

      This paragraph shows that the authors believed in the power of education to shape an individual into the ideal citizen of our democratic society. Not only did they want students to excel in academic subjects such as mathematics, reading and writing, they hoped to create a student body of politically engaged citizens who embraced every aspect of freedom and civil responsibilities and duties, thus creating the next generation of leaders who will carry on these ideals that are vital to the survival of our democracy.

    7. This would generally be about the 15th year of their age when they might go with more safety and contentment to that distance from their parents.

      In present day, fifteen years of age is the time when one goes to high school, however in the 1800s it was deemed the right time for children to leave home an go to university. It seems strange, but in the 1800s there was not as many levels of education as there are now. The first public high school was not formed until 1820, therefore there must have just been primary school and university, no intermediate level. It is also strange that fifteen seems an appropriate age to leave home yet citizens could not vote until twenty one. In present day most students leave home at eighteen, the same time as they can vote. If fifteen year olds were assumed responsible enough to leave home then why were they not responsible enough to vote? https://www.raceforward.org/research/reports/historical-timeline-public-education-us http://classroom.synonym.com/people-gained-right-vote-early-1800s-16200.html

    8. And generally to form them to habits of reflection, and correct action, rendering them examples of virtue to others & of happiness within themselves.

      This objective appears to be the basis of the honor code. Although the honor code is not created until 1842, the authors still kept in mind the behavior and morals of the students. Key phrases such as "habits of reflection" and "correct action" indicate the authors' intent for the students to not only further their education at the university but also grow as responsible and ethical citizens. Reflection is necessary in order for someone to attain strong opinions, it is another form of attaining knowledge. Jefferson wished for the university to produce informed and engaging members of society who would apply their values to the new nation. http://honor.virginia.edu/history

    9. and that a passage of some kind under cover from the weather should give a communication along the whole range

      I find it extremely interesting that Jefferson and the board would make special note to cover the walkway around the lawn. This is honestly my favorite part about the lawn--I am a runner and I try to jog ten laps around the lawn every day. It's beautiful, peaceful, and makes for a perfect five mile run, and the best part is that I'm protected from the rain on rainy days! I recently toured Monticello for the first time and was fascinated with the numerous architectural advancements that Thomas Jefferson had installed in his home. He had pulleys everywhere--he could open his bedroom door and pull the curtain over his window across the room from the comfort of his bed, and had a system that sent wine bottles up to the dining room from the cellar. He also had a revolving kitchen door that would make the passage of food from the kitchen to the dining room easier, and had strategically placed windows, mirrors, and skyights around rooms in order to maximize daylight. Since I learned all of this about Monticello, I have been absolutely fascinated with the architecture at UVA, and with Jefferson's wit and attention to detail. Of course he would think to cover the path along the lawn and to have justifications for all of the other basic structures such as the two-student dormitories and pavilions for professors and lectures with a lawn of "proper breadth." It's become apparent to me that Jefferson loved simple beauty, symmetry, and convenience. I'm fascinated that I'm able to read a description of the lawn before it even existed, as its easy to take those little details for granted and this reading allows me to really appreciate the thought that went into them.


    10. Staunton in the County of Augusta

      Staunton is my home. I have lived there my entire life, considered UVA to be my dream school my entire life, and never knew that it was one of the three cities considered for placing the University. This fact really makes me think about the qualities of my hometown. Although the "degree of centrality to the white population of the state" was upsettingly the reason why Albemarle County was chosen as the site, I can imagine how similar the three cities of Charlottesville, Lexington, and Staunton must have been at the time, with the wealthy population density being one of the only separating factors. This really makes me wonder what my hometown would have grown to be had it been chosen for the site of the University. Today, the population of Staunton is a little over half that of Charlottesville, is 272% less dense than Charlottesville, and has a white population of 82.03% to Charlottesville's 66.4% white population.

      I find that last fact especially interesting and almost ironic--the board chose Charlottesville because of its minimal minority population, yet today Charlottesville has much more diversity than Staunton. This leaves me wondering what my town would have been like had UVA been placed there. Staunton is a small college town today, home of Mary Balwin College, one of the first all-girls' colleges in the country founded in 1842.

      It is a funny fact to think that such a progressive institution was founded in Staunton, and that my town was once too diverse for UVA, as now my tiny town of Staunton seems so backwards compared to the forward-thinking city of Charlottesville. It's almost as if the University is the reason for Charlottesville's diversity, which is ironic considering the original goals of the board.



  4. Sep 2017
    1. They will be more advanced than we are, in science and in useful arts, and will know best what will suit the circumstances of their day.

      I think this phrase really reflects Jefferson as an inventor. Being adept in the sciences for his time, he probably knew better than many others how much science and practical skills build on themselves over time, and how past discoveries directly lead to new advancements. His confidence and anticipation for the future is evident, which I think is one thing that pushed the university and its students forward.

    2. What, but education, has advanced us beyond the condition of our indigenous neighbours?

      This question clearly reflects the idea that education is power, and that the educated, "civilized" men at this time felt a level of primacy and superiority over their uneducated neighbors. Although this particular statement is more specifically directed towards what the writers likely viewed as barbaric incivility of the Native Americans, this attitude of superiority can be seen in other contexts throughout history. One example, more directly related to the power bestowed by education, is voting rights. In this time, only white male property owners were extended the right to vote. Because these were often the most highly educated people, this system (more or less directly) disallowed the less educated population from becoming politically active. This in turn enforced the power of the educated and worked to ensure that the interests of this select group of people would be favored in government. Whether or not this was the direct intent of the statements in this document is largely difficult to conclude, however it is interesting to note nonetheless. Source: The Challenge of Democracy: Government in America https://books.google.com/books?id=VQ_iZMofnl0C&pg=PA207&lpg=PA207#v=onepage&q&f=false

    3. Mineralogy, in addition to its peculiar subjects is here understood to embrace what is real in Geology.

      Before reading this document, I had never heard of Mineralogy as an independent discipline. According to the Cleveland Museum of Natural History, it is a branch study which concerns "the physical, optical and chemical properties of natural crystalline structures". Back in the time when chemical structures were not known, crystalline structures certainly must have seemed "peculiar", despite being a crucial part of geology. Further, I found it interesting how in the document, it says mineralogy is to "embrace what is real in Geology", suggesting that the elements of geology outside of mineralogy are somehow not real. Today, geological development, dating, plate tectonics etc. would most likely be considered more important and practical than minerals. Thus, I take this phrasing as a signal of how little they knew about how the earth works back then, nor did they have quite the desire. https://www.cmnh.org/mineralogy

    4. history & explanations of all it’s successive theories from Hippocrates to the present day:

      History largely encompasses all the basics and foundations of current day science and society. However, we typically leave out history in the race to further human progress in the area of STEM. Science in a large part is about the technicalities, but I often find myself, especially progressing in the future, contemplating the philosophies of medical science. Learning the "history & explanations" is mighty important since science is made of theories but nothing is every 100% concrete, notably seen in how many different beliefs from previous science papers are struck down as wrong. Hippocrates, also known as the father of anatomy, wrote many writings that have become the foundations to everyday science, such as the co-affection theory or the four humours. However, belief in such things is dependent on personal viewpoint as everything can be argued from opposing sides and medical science has heated debates within it as to what procedures or theories are the most accurate or the best alternatives. I can believe that in the co-affection theory that everything in the body is linked and that any sickness or harm in one part of the body will flow and affect another area of the body, but others can argue the other side. The necessity of learning medical science history further pushes medical and pre-medical students into understanding the severity of their roles and philosophize the best approaches into their specialized field, especially in our current, continuously evolving medical field where it is easy to be caught up in the discoveries but not know what is truth and what is false in them. Hippocrates' theories of co-affection can be found in translations of Epidemics and the four humours in De Humoribus. Texts from historically important medical figures display an understanding of authors' thinking and pattern of understanding and analyzing of different medical conditions.

    5. the French is the language of general intercourse among nations

      It is interesting to see how much international affairs and relations has changed over time with respect to language superiority and which languages prove most useful. It is hard to imagine French as being a dominant factor in dealing with the word today. Nowadays, most international business transactions are in english or mandarin chinese. The Harvard Business Review says that the world of business is largely translated into English now as it becomes an ever more prevalent language. In our world today, not many think of French as being a necessity in understanding the affairs of the world. https://hbr.org/2012/05/global-business-speaks-english

    6. We should be far too from the discouraging persuasion, that man is fixed, by the law of his nature, at a given point: that his improvement is a chimæra, and the hope delusive of rendering ourselves wiser, happier or better than our forefathers were

      This statement brings to mind the idea of growth vs. fixed mindset that man's mind should be developed into one that continues to grow and gain knowledge rather than staying within the human nature of staying static. The use of the metaphor of the chimaera brings a image of an amazing monsterous entity that represents the physicality of the mind to morph and change depending on how we learn and change from this gain of knowledge. The second part of this statement is even more interesting as it reminds me of passages of Latin text from Epistulae Morales Ad Lucilium by Seneca. It states that true happiness lies in the completion of knowledge/wisdom. However, there is no way of learning everything and having complete knowledge by the end of one's lifetime. Thus, the text says that being in the process of completing that knowledge/fulfilling that wisdom also makes one happier than a person that does not try to gain wisdom. The last half of the sentence makes me believe that the searching for of knowledge within this institution will give basis to hope of a happier, wiser life than that of the previous generations.

    7. Hotels of a single room for a Refectory,

      Through the structure and implementation of hotels, the University from the start was influenced by outside business, just like it is today. Just like we have Chick-Fil-a or The Corner today, the students who attended the University in the Jeffersonian era were able to purchase commodities, such as food or necessities for daily life, from outside vendors who rented spaces in what are now the dormitories on the outside of the gardens.

    8. Spanish is highly interesting to us, as the language spoken by so great a portion of the inhabitants of our Continents, with whom we shall possibly have great intercourse ere long; and is that also in which is written the greater part of the early history of America.

      This sentence sticks out, because it seems to put down the Spanish Language, compared to other modern languages that are offered. They label it as less learned than French, Italian, or German, by mentioning well studied types or works of art in those languages and not in the Spanish language. This document refers Italian, French, and German respectively as a "distinguished...[and]...valuable", "the language of general intercourse among nations", and a language spoken by "the most learned nations in richness". Contrastingly Spanish is just referred to as "interesting", being spoken by our neighboring countries. Today, comparatively, according to the University of Dusseldorf, Spanish is tied as the third most common studied language, after Chinese and French and tied with German. Spanish language and culture is commonly referred to as the majority minority of our country. It is interesting to note that the globalization that our world has gone through up until now has lead to the introduction of Far Eastern languages, such as Chinese, which is not offered as a modern language in this document but is widely studied today at UVA and around the country.


    9. What, but education, has advanced us beyond the condition of our indigenous neighbours? and what chains them to their present state of barbarism & wretchedness

      Thomas Jefferson learned extensively from the Enlightenment thinkers of the 18th century (whose advancements he refers to throughout the report) and believed in a theory that emerged from the Enlightenment known as "environmentalism." Environmentalism stated that a human's environment "shaped human appearance, culture, and political organization," and Jefferson, in his book Notes on the State of Virginia, used this to claim that he actually believed Indians "to be in body and mind equal to the whiteman." Seemingly in contrast here, Jefferson calls Indians, the indigenous neighbors, wretched barbarians less advanced than the white man. However, Jefferson also articulated that in order for the indigenous man to become equal to the white man, he must relinquish his life of savagery and instead live in European-style towns with European-style agriculture, therefore receiving a European-style education. With this education and change of environment, Jefferson claimed white men and Indians would become equals. This deeply contrasts the opinions of many at the time that Indians (and, additionally, slaves) could not assimilate into the white culture due to their fundamental differences in mind, body, and nature. [(https://www.monticello.org/site/jefferson/american-indians)]

    10. 1st. day of August of this present year 1818,

      In the period of 1800 to 1850, America was experiencing "college building boom" a period in which more than 200 institutions were formed. Could the forming of UVA be a result of pressure of forming an institution just because most of the states were doing the same? ...because at this period, attending college was not popular among the people and college funding was based on student tuition and local funds.


    11. the admission of enlargement to any degree to which the institution may extend in future times.

      I find this segment to be fascinating in that even before the university was established, Jefferson already was envisioning a great future for the university and its prospering beyond what they have proposed. The document is certainly correct in that this location provided for greater expansion as time went on, yet the original foundation (the lawn and pavilions) still remain at the heart of the grounds. As a matter of fact, it was only three years later that Jefferson proposed the plans for the Rotunda, which mirrors his idea of "a building of somewhat more size". It is interesting to read first hand just how progressive and forward-thinking Jefferson was with regards to the university and how it reflects what we know as our grounds today. http://rotunda.virginia.edu/history

    12. James Madison

      It is important to note such a high standing figure in American history is on the board of the University of Virginia along with Thomas Jefferson. This is significant because James Madison valued many of the same things as Thomas Jefferson and the two were even "lifelong friends." James Madison worked with Thomas Jefferson in the government and even served as Secretary of State while Thomas Jefferson was president. The values of rhetoric and freedom that Thomas Jefferson held dearly were also shared with James Madison. The two were such close friends and colleges, that after Thomas Jefferson died, James Madison took over leadership of the University of Virginia.


      (quotes above taken from this website)

    13. Projectiles, a leading branch of the Military art Military Architecture, includes Fortification, another branch of that art

      It is interesting here to note the emphasis placed on military education. In this time period, it was not incredibly common to have formalized military education, as many men who would become leading officers were self-educated. Reasoning for this inclusion of military subjects in the original UVA curriculum could include multiple things. First, history suggests Thomas Jefferson's interest in improving and expanding access to military education, as evidenced by his involvement with founding the United States Military Academy in West Point in 1802, several years prior to this report. Additionally, this curriculum was likely also in response to George Washington's efforts to formalize military education in the years following the Revolutionary War. Thus, the inclusion of military mathematics and architecture reflects the priorities of the time, and of Thomas Jefferson specifically, to better prepare young men for military involvement or careers. http://www.mountvernon.org/digital-encyclopedia/article/military-education/

    14. revenue of the literary fund

      Why are they removing literary funds? What were these funds allocated for previously that might be changing? "The House of Delegates at First Favored a small appropriation from the literary fund for the education of the poor, and the application of the rest of the fund to the payment of the debts of the State."(Thomas Jefferson and the University of Virginia, Herbert Baxter Adams, pg. 84; https://books.google.com/books?id=qkTPAAAAMAAJ&pg=RA2-PA59&lpg=RA2-PA59&dq=what+were+the+literary+funds+jefferson+invested+in&source=bl&ots=4g9CVlCFLX&sig=0sH2A4FyPyLFoPnHOi6ZAkf-c3c&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiihJOErcXWAhXB4iYKHWRzAlkQ6AEIMjAC#v=onepage&q=what%20were%20the%20literary%20funds%20jefferson%20invested%20in&f=false )

    15. General Grammar explains the construction of Language

      The use of language was very important to the founding of this country and in writing the Declaration of Independence. Thomas Jefferson was one of the main authors of the Declaration and the importance of language while writing the document can clearly be seen in the link below. I believe that Thomas Jefferson translated this need for a strong understanding for language into his university by offering this class on "the construction of language."


    16. transaction of his own business.

      This is the beginning of student self governance. Although it is not explicitly stated, this idea of how students go about life here at UVA still applies to this day with self-governance. http://www.virginia.edu/life/selfgovernance Here is the link to the UVA website that explains what self-governance means here today.