4 Matching Annotations
  1. Nov 2017
    1. healthiness of the site

      I wonder what he meant by "healthiness". Did he mean economically healthy? If so I can understand why he said he wanted the university to be in proximity to the white population. If we look at the socioeconomic status of the United States population at that time, unfortunately, any other race had little to no socioeconomic status. While I do not agree with how racism has lead to this type institutionalization, I believe this could be a possible reason for my Thomas Jefferson said this.

    2. 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,

      For how much the university still follows this report it is intriguing to see where UVA has deviated from this report. I also find it funny how Thomas Jefferson said, “guarding from encroachment & surprise” and that was how the Chapel was eventually built.

  2. Oct 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. To improve by reading, his morals and faculties. To understand his duties to his neighbours, & country, and to discharge with competence the functions confided to him by either. To know his rights; to exercise with order & justice those he retains; to choose with discretion the fiduciaries of those he delegates; and to notice their conduct with diligence with candor & judgment.

      What struck me most about these five lines is the repetition of male pronouns such as “he,” “his,” and “him.” I think it is hypocritical of the author’s goal of giving “every citizen” the right to an education. The reference of only male pronouns suggests that females were not considered citizens, which simply isn’t true. On a more positive note, it seems that the authors’ of this document are placing great importance on individual development, which can be seen through phrases such as the “transaction of his own business.” The word “own” especially conveys this message and is reflective of the growing interest in capitalism and individualism during that time. It was believed that the focus on the individual would indirectly benefit society further. But could it be that this emphasis on the individual caused one to be more oblivious of social issues such as racism and sexism? It is important to note that at the time only white males were considered to be individuals, not women nor African Americans.

    2. In this enquiry they supposed that the governing considerations should be the healthiness of the site, the fertility of the neighbouring country, and it’s centrality to the white population of the whole state:

      This sentence stuck out to me because it reminded me of a discussion I had in my high school anthropology class: we were discussing why certain skin tones were more favorable than others across cultures. One of the reasons offered here in the Rockfish document is that the color white represents "healthiness." This idea was not only apparent in the United States, but is a widely popular idea in many Asian cultures even today. According to these cultures, white suggests cleanliness and a sense of purity. But where did such ideas come from? It can be difficult to further investigate this because it is highly offensive. As an Indian American, I found this line challenging to read because it suggests that any other skin tone is inferior or unhealthy. That is a lot to process. Despite this difficulty, I do find it to be imperative to explore where such ideas derived from to prevent the popularity of such beliefs in the future. One theory we discussed in my anthropology class last year is that people favor skin tones of those in power. There was indeed a time in which darker skin was seen as superior and even today, tan skin is becoming more and more popular. But at the time the Rockfish Gap Report was written, it was certainly the white population that was in power, and due to this power, they felt that they were more entitled to a higher education. This does not mean their actions were justifiable whatsoever but it could provide insight as to why the authors believed the things they did.