- Dec 2017
Of another parcel of 153 acres near the former, and including a considerable eminence very favorable for the erection of a future observatory.
In Thomas Jefferson's first visions for the University, he intended to include an observatory for the astronomy students to use. As designs and construction began, Jefferson's dream became illogical. At the time of Jefferson's death, UVa still did not have an observatory. In 1877, Leander McCormick donated a telescope and an observatory to the university, fulfilling Jefferson's dream for the University.
James Breckenridge was a revolutionary war veteran and a member of the US House of Representatives from Virginia. He was also an alumnus of the College of William and Mary. Breckenridge was a member of the commission that wrote the Rockfish Gap Report to determine the location and the bylaws for the University of Virginia. I was interested to learn that Breckenridge had a similar past to that of Thomas Jefferson, the founder of UVa. This got me to wondering whether Jefferson surrounded himself on the commission with like minded individuals to ensure that his visions for the university would be done. Breckenridge also had the honor of serving on the Board of Visitors for UVa until his death in 1833. For nearly fifteen years, Breckenridge was around and able to make his impact on the University.