4 Matching Annotations
  1. Dec 2017
    1. The considerations which have governed the specification of languages to be taught by the professor of Modern Languages were that the 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: that the 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 find it very interesting that Jefferson recognized the importance of the Spanish language. Today, many people do not see the importance of speaking Spanish and some even have a negative connotation towards Spanish speakers here in the United States. This does not make sense to me since a large base of this country which is also the back bone is made up oh spanish speaking latinos and latinas. People tend to overlook this, however they do not understand that the best way to communicate with this population is by catering to their language. Even when there are resources available for underserved communities, spanish speakers are often left uninformed or have to rely on their younger children to translate for them. Besides being a business advantage, learning the language is also important to better serve a huge part of the American population, especially since there is no official language of the United States.

    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.

      In this phrase, Jefferson talks about the importance of education and advancement by using the native Americans as an example. He describes them as barbaric and is basically making fun of their ideology to worship their ancestors and their traditional ways. This is not the first time Jefferson expressed his views of Native Americans in such a negative light. For my Art Inside/Out Engagement course, I am doing a project on the Declaration of Independence. The quote that my group decided to use was “He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavored to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.” The discrimination against Native Americans is engraved in the Declaration of Independence of the United States and in the Rockfish Gap Report of the University of Virginia.

  2. Oct 2017
    1. In conformity with the principles of our constitution, which places all sects of religion on an equal footing, with the jealousies of the different sects in guarding that equality from encroachment & surprise, and with the sentiments of the legislature in favor of freedom of religion manifested on former occasions, 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; to which adding the developements of these moral obligations, of those in which all sects agree with a knolege of the languages, Hebrew, Greek and Latin,4 a basis will be formed common to all sects. Proceeding thus far without offence to the constitution, we have thought it proper at this point, to leave every sect to provide as they think fittest, the means of further instruction in their own peculiar tenets.

      This excerpt stood out to me because it is one of the main principles that TJ believed in that he saw as the foundation of the University. He so strongly believed in Freedom of Religion and separation of church and state that he located the Rotunda at the center of the university to serve as a symbol in a "strictly secular nature". The Rotunda was essentially a scale model of the Pantheon in Rome, but instead of being a temple of religious worship, the Rotunda stood for a temple of knowledge. This being the main symbol of the university demonstrates how strongly TJ was trying to promote a religious freedom ideology on the students that would attend this institution. This ideology of religious freedom on top of the emphasis on law and politics makes me think that TJ's hope was to educate these students on various questions of the world, but bring it back to making a difference in society through the teachings on liberties and law.


    2. 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.

      I can sense Thomas Jefferson's influence in this paragraph. Although TJ was a very knowledgeable individual in a variety of fields of study, I remember learning that he tended to show bias towards his passion for law. This can be seen by the decision to have Pavilion 3, the space where classes of law were held, be the only pavilion with the highest order of columns, the Corinthian, as if it were superior to the other pavilions. This demonstrates what the University was trying to promote in its students' minds about the field of law and its importance in society.