4 Matching Annotations
  1. Nov 2017
    1. nothing, more than education, adorning the prosperity, the power and the happiness of a nation.

      This reminds me of what education reformer Horace Mann said in 1848: “Education, then, beyond all other divides of human origin, is a great equalizer of conditions of men—the balance wheel of the social machinery.” Like Horace Mann said, education can empower people—despite social, ethnic, or gender differences—to ameliorate societal conditions. Although this time period was characterized by racism and sexism, the mentality demonstrated in these lines in the Rockfish Gap Report is a progressive one. In this line, it does not say "white men are the key to the power and happiness of a nation." "Nothing, more than education" it asserts, is key to a nation's prosperity and posterity as well. Jefferson wholeheartedly believed that the values we hold dear, such as democracy and liberty, depend on providing people with a quality education for years to come. In this paragraph of the Rockfish Gap Report, he makes his views on the importance of education abundantly clear to emphasize the necessity of establishing a college that will serve for years to provide high-quality, comprehensive educations that will enable people to partake in bettering society. This article has a little tidbit about Thomas Jefferson's view on education

    2. To harmonize & promote the interests of agriculture, manufactures & commerce

      To contextualize this time period, the document was written during a time when the South was thriving thanks to its production of cash crops tobacco and cotton. While the North's economy was transitioning into an industrial one, the South's economy remained rooted in agriculture. It's interesting to imagine UVA as a school that emphasized the importance of agriculture as opposed to its emphasis today on fields such as business, biology, and English. In the early 19th century, it was important to consider "agriculture, manufactures & commerce" not as three distinct fields as we might today, but instead as interconnected fields. The advent of the cotton gin, along with other strides in agricultural technology, helped to strengthen this relationship between agriculture, manufactures & commerce as the basis of the South’s economy, and it makes sense that this early Board of Commissioners would want to promote the interests of those aforementioned fields. An interesting presentation about the economy of the South

  2. Oct 2017
    1. fixing the number of professors they require, which we think should at present, be ten, limiting

      While assessing historical documents like the Rockfish Gap Report, we must keep in mind that not everything should be taken word for word. Like the U.S. Constitution, the Rockfish Gap Report is a living, breathing entity that must evolve over time. Although Thomas Jefferson may have initially intended for there to be a small, fixed number of professors, our University has expanded greatly since the publication of this document. We must always consider the context in which a document was written before we decide on what principles of the document should be applied to the governance of our modern community. Clearly, to accommodate the student body that has grown substantially in the past two centuries, it was crucial that more professors were hired.

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

      I really appreciated the inclusion of this concept. College is often thought to be a time focused on academics; or in other words, learning as much about how to be successful in your prospective career as you possibly can. And while this is true, college is so much more. College is a time when people not only learn about academics; they also learn about themselves and how to be independent, and it's quite the transition. Students in college must make their own decisions, decisions that can easily be impacted by their experience at the University. The Rockfish Gap Report describes UVA as a university that works to not only teach basic values but instill righteousness in its students. UVA does not want students to accept; rather it wants students to reflect on their experiences and share with others for the sake of learning and bettering us all. College is a stage of life where our morals and values develop, and for the first time for many of us, our beliefs are not hand-me-downs; they are custom made to fit the people we have become through our college experience.