- Nov 2017
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.
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.