11 Matching Annotations
  1. Dec 2017
    1. Also the whole of his Slaves amounting to 57 in number.

      Among the list of offerings that John Robinson of Rockbridge County is willing to make to the President of the University and the Directors of the Literary fund for locating the University in Lexington, are slaves. Moreover, he is willing to offer all 57 of his slaves. The fact that one individual would own 57 slaves in mind-baffling. 57 slaves are more humans than students in some of my larger classes here at UVA. This line of the Rockbridge Gap Report is cringe inducing for a 21st century reader. Perhaps back in 1818 when the document was written ownership of that large a number of slaves was the norm. It is completely dehumanizing to think that slaves, real humans, could be offered as a trade for a favor. However, the progress that society has made regarding equality of mankind is noteworthy, although much progress remains.

    2. that education like private & individual concerns, should be left to private & individual effort; not reflecting that an establishment

      This is an interesting take on the relationship between an individual and an institution. The writers of the Rockfish Gap Report are saying that what an individual at the University wants to do with theirself is entirely up to that individual and the actions of that individual do not have any reflection upon the values or beliefs of the University as a whole. On one hand, this makes sense as individuals have free will to do as they please and an institution like a University shouldn't really compromise that. However, one could also see it that the University is a governing body responsible for its members and their consequent actions. Therefore, the University could be liable for the actions of its members. Either way, the University's job is to educate its members and should uphold a certain code of conduct - for decency's sake.

    3. In the education of youth, provision is to be made for 1. tuition. 2 diet. 3. lodging. 4. government: and 5. honorary excitements

      This is a statement that seeks to justify the money that is being made by the university for the education of the students that attend. More specifically, it briefly highlights all the categories that expenses can be classified into. Similar to today, I believe that these broad categories are being used to hide little hidden costs. Just like going to college today, these little hidden costs add up to make a significant contribution to the cost of attending college. The rest of the document continues to elaborate more on these categories, but I still feel that there is an element of hidden costs.

    4. To give to every citizen the information he needs for the transaction of his own business.

      This proposed object starts off so optimistically, by saying that the university wishes to provide its students with the knowledge necessary to succeed as a citizen. However, the second half of the proposed object brings up the fact that the schools goal is to provide males with this knowledge. Considering the time period that these proposals were made, this statement is obviously referring to white males. Therefore, this particular object does not give every citizen the information that is needed for the transaction of their own business.

    5. And generally to form them to habits of reflection, and correct action, rendering them examples of virtue to others & of happiness within themselves.

      This objective seems a bit ironic to me especially considering the kind of exclusivity of the type of students that attended when UVA was first founded. Also, it's hard to ignore the fact that at UVA they are meant to "correct action" and "render themselves examples of virtue to others", both good moral values, except while African Americans were being oppressed and not given the same opportunities as these men attending the University. Lauren L.

  2. Nov 2017
    1. the care of the grounds

      Many students here at the University have no idea why we refer to the grounds in the way we do, myself included. It just seems to be tradition. Here in the Rockfish Gap report, the term "grounds" appears a whopping 2 whole times! I assume that it's from this document that we derive our tradition of calling our university "grounds." It's crazy how something so small has become so engrained in our student culture.

      It may be worth questioning as to whether or not this term invokes a sense of superiority and/or pretentiousness through its use both in the student body and in an outsider's view of the university.

      Jedidiah Park

  3. Oct 2017
    1. It was the degree of centrality to the white population of the state which alone then constituted the important point of comparison between these places

      I find this statement in the document appalling. The founders portray blatant racism within the first paragraph as they decide upon the foundation for the University. I find it baffling that a university designed for the bettering of an entire state would exclude its benefits from such a large segment of the population for which it was designed. Furthermore, it is concerning that issues regarding the exclusion of certain groups of the population remain an issue today amidst the twenty-first century. However, it is encouraging that the University and the larger population of the United States have made great progress towards removing these racist beliefs.

      -Jenna Taylor

    2. Education, in like manner engrafts a new man on the native stock, & improves what in his nature was vicious & perverse, into qualities of virtue and social worth

      I found this section of the document inspiring. This empowering belief regarding education is still held today at the University of Virginia and in today's broader society. Although the founders of the University prove to be quite discriminatory and immoral throughout many sections of the document, their argument here, that education betters a man, brings a hint of optimism to this section of the report.

      -Jenna Taylor

    3. each of these was unexceptionable as to healthiness & fertility.

      The focus on healthiness and fertility reminds me sickeningly of the treatment of slaves and of women throughout history, as land, a place for a school to be built, was regarded in the same way that human beings were -- property; only worthy of life if they met specific criteria. A slave was only useful if it was healthy enough to perform the work necessary of its existence (as the slave owners thought). If a slave could not work in a field or in the home, they were a useless slave and often times killed for their inability to perform. The fertility of a slave and it's ability to reproduce was profitable as slave owners were able to buy a slave (if they raped their females) or two (male and female), and have their slave continue to produce more slaves and therefore more bodies able to do the slaveowner's biding. Such is similar to the view of women, as health and fertility were the most important aspects of a woman to society, besides obedience. Women's fertility could be manipulated and used for gain of both men and society. In some instances, women were only considered worthy of life if they produced male offspring. Such is seen in royalty, as King Henry vehemently believed that Catherine "was condemned by God not to have a boy and that Anne would provide him with one". This belief that the only worth of a woman is their ability to produce male heirs was carried into society for a long time after the Tudor times. And although the thoughts towards women are not as strict in modern society, the stigma towards women unable to have children or who do not want children has continued into modern society.

      source link : http://www.historylearningsite.co.uk/tudor-england/henry-and-divorce/

    4. “the branches of learning,

      I find this phrase "branches of learning" interesting, as it implies that learning stems from a singular object, which in essence is a university. It is a very remarkable way to think of learning, as the university is the foundation for learning, but the different branches (topics) stem from not only what is taught officially at the university in classrooms, but also from the experiences that occur here and people that call this place home. I know that this statement did not mean what I think it means now back when it was written, but I still find it a beautiful way to talk about learning. The metaphor of a tree implies that roots in the university - the land it was built on, the people who built it, the people who used to live on this land - can affect the university and the way students learn from it and on it. Such is so applicable to today as we are attempting to embrace the rotten roots of our dear university, attempting to learn from the injustisces against humanity that occurred on and before our university.

    5. To expound the principles & structure of government, the laws which regulate the intercourse of nations, those formed municipally for our own government, and a sound spirit of legislation, which banishing all arbitrary & unnecessary restraint on individual action shall leave us free to do whatever does not violate the equal rights of another.

      This passage, though seemingly intuitive and well- meaning, was very troubling for me. What I found troubling about it was not in the words of Jefferson and the other founders, but rather in how those principles are carried out at UVa today. In essence, I agree with Jefferson - students at UVa should be taught to understand the "principles and structure of government" and in particular their own government. I agree with him in that I think we should all have a right to be free from unnecessary restraint. However, when he says that we shall be free to do whatever does not violate the equal rights of another, I cannot help but think of the events on August 12th. It seems to me that in protecting freedom of speech by allowing these people on our grounds, we also blatantly disregarded one of our founding principles. Do confederate and nazi flags not violate the rights of blacks and jews respectively? -Ben Kava