4 Matching Annotations
  1. Nov 2017
    1. To give to every citizen the information he needs for the transaction of his own business. To enable him to calculate for himself, and to express & preserve his ideas, his contracts & accounts in writing.

      Upon reading through the report again, these two sentences really struck me for two reasons. First, they highlight the goal of self-sufficiency and independence that is still very much a part of the University and higher education in general today. Second, only the preposition "he" is used, demonstrating the unavailability of said self-sufficiency and independence (especially in business matters) to women at this time. Furthermore, the expression of thoughts is specified to be in writing as opposed to speech, which belies the sense of permanence we equate to the written word as a species.

    2. A subscription has also been offered by the people of Lexington and its vicinity amounting to 17,878 dollars; all which will appear from the deed and other documents, reference thereto being had.

      Lexington's monetary contribution struck me as a representation of the agreement and unity of the state of Virginia as to the formation of the University. I say this because Lexington was ruled out as far as a location for Grounds. The fact that they are still willing to make a considerable donation shows their complicity in this decision.

  2. Oct 2017
    1. These exercises with antient nations, constituted the principal part of the education of their youth. Their arms and mode of warfare rendered them severe in the extreme. Ours on the same correct principle, should be adapted to our arms & warfare; and the manual exercise, military maneuvres, and tactics generally, should be the frequent exercises of the students, in their hours of recreation. It is at that age of aptness, docility & emulation of the practices of manhood, that such things are soonest learnt, and longest remembered.

      I am fascinated by these two sentences because of what is in my opinion their oddity. The mention of the physical exercises of young boys in ancient civilizations for the purpose of making them strong warriors and then subsequent support of that ideal at the newly-founded University of Virginia is a slightly strange premise to imagine at the University today. First, this sentence, in line with the rest of the report, stresses the all-male status of the University. On top of this, traditional masculine values (strength and military cunning) are held up as highly desirable, even in a more modern age. Perhaps the desire for military training stems from the historical proximity of the authoring of the report to the American Revolution just 35 years before. The sentiment that University sentiments should pursue military and physical excellence whenever possible in their free time is of course an idea that is not central to the University today. However, I think that perhaps the sentiment behind it is; the authors of the Rockfish Gap Report are expressing a desire to see future students pursue proficiency in areas outside of the classroom, an idea that I find both a core part of the fabric of the University and of the private convictions of the student body today.

  3. Sep 2017
    1. and the board, 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

      This clause directly following the colon intrigues me in its oxymoronic quality. The paradox of using the same breath to explicitly state that race was the chief determinant for the location of the University of Virginia and to then describe this decision as having been reached by impartial deliberation immediately came to my attention as ironic. Looking at this fragment through the lens of the Ethical Engagements, the words "impartial" and "mature" accomplish two things. The first word reveals the intrinsic acceptance of discrimination based on race and the blindness to the possibility that it could even be accepted as discrimination. The second word, "mature", belies the value and justification the authors of the document and those who took part in the decision hold in regards to the conclusion they reached. In plain terms, they believed their actions to be of the purest standard based on an engrained ideology that fundamentally repudiates the pure standards of impartiality and morality they believed they were upholding.