4 Matching Annotations
  1. Nov 2017
    1. The 1st: of these constitutes the proper functions of the professors

      Jefferson has very little to say about the costliness of university. I find this particular quip amusing for a variety of reasons. Firstly, Jefferson was not monetarily efficient in his lifetime. He amassed great wealth in his youth only to died in crippling debt and penniless, his family selling his property posthumously. This tiny, vague sentence is his concession that "money matters, I guess" while still maintaining that he will not be the one to deal with it. Ironically, perhaps because of his lack of specificity or inevitable modern forward movement, universities have become corporations focused on selling their expensive brand. This modern corporation monetary system is antithetical of Jefferson's vision to provide a place of intellectual growth and of his views on small, local government.

    2. The best mode of government for youth in large collections, is certainly a desideratum not yet attained with us. It may well be questioned whether fear, after a certain age, is the motive to which we should have ordinary recourse. The human character is susceptible of other incitements to correct conduct, more worthy of employ, and of better effect. Pride of character, laudable ambition, & moral dispositions are innate correctives of the indiscretions of that lively age; and when strengthened by habitual appeal & exercise, have a happier effect on future character, than the degrading motive of fear; hardening them to disgrace, to corporal punishments, and servile humiliations, cannot be the best process for producing erect character. The affectionate deportment between father & son offers, in truth, the best example for that of tutor & pupil; and the experience & practice of* other countries in this respect, may be worthy of enquiry & consideration with us. It will be then for the wisdom & discretion of the visitors to devise & perfect a proper system of government, which, if it be founded in reason & comity, will be more likely to nourish, in the minds of our youth, the combined spirit of order & self respect, so congenial with our political institutions, and so important to be woven into the American character.

      Within Jefferson's masterfully crafted syntax, we are able to see a passion for government and infatuation with honorable identity. There is a fervor within this particular passage as Jefferson begins a diatribe on ethicalness within people. I believe the comparison of #4 to the rest of his organization is illuminating to Jefferson's genuine devotion to create a better university and country for generations through mentoring. This is seen within his own past as he, along with other revolutionary American figures such as Henry Clay and John Marshall, were mentored by George Wythe, a Virginian layer.

  2. Oct 2017
    1. To develope the reasoning faculties of our youth, enlarge their minds cultivate their morals, & instil into them the precepts of virtue & order.

      This particular quotation provides a fount aphorism in emphasis of general education over specialized education, a noble idealism of progressive learning eliminated by societal (usually economic) pressures today. The irony herein lies in the divisive racial content juxtaposing the "virtues" and "order". Enlightenment in higher education is strived for as much as humanic empathy within this document; however it is then constrained into unrighteous, racist principals that we presently struggle to uncover and recover from on an institutional level. Though good was sought-after in the institution, the irony within intellectuals of 1818 reflects a less cultivated, more dangerous mindset in society. Still, this foundation of institutionalized racism is arguably more oppressive and damaging to the modern age, so the true nobility of higher education for some must be called into question in realms of morality. For not only are these concepts ironic in presentation, they are also hypocritical in ethical "virtue".<br> -Emily Harris

    2. 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

      Most colleges in 17th and 18th century were affiliated with their own respective religious denomination. Basic divinity schools where ministers got an education were found at every college across America until Thomas Jefferson founded the first university to explicitly disregard the training of ministers. This is reflective of Thomas Jefferson’s personal belief in separation of Church and education as he thought religion to be a deeply personal set of individual ethics between persons. In fact, Thomas Jefferson kept a scrapbook of sorts, referred to as The Jefferson Bible today, where he cut the four gospels in Greek, Latin, English, and French and pasted them next to each other. He excluded all divine miracles (including the resurrection), omitted all redundancy, and put the gospels in chronological order. -Emily Harris