5 Matching Annotations
  1. Dec 2017
    1. In entering on this field, the commissioners are aware that they have to encounter much difference of opinion as to the extent which it is expedient that this institution should occupy

      Though this passage directly refers to the "difference of opinion" concerning what should be taught at the University, as can be read right below it, I think it is interesting that this passage is included and the University today still prides itself on true difference of opinion. I think it is absolutely necessary that every opinion on grounds has a platform, even if some may be uncomfortable for some members of the community. If students graduate the University wanting to argue for their own ideas, it is absolutely essential that they have been exposed to the entire range of arguments on any given issue. I think that overall, this passage is important, and says a lot about the University's "character" as a whole.

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

      I found this to be a very interesting line that I had looked over the last time I read this. This, personally, is a subject I feel strongly about. I am a big proponent of public education, and I disagree with the people they describe here that believe education is a private concern, because education is most definitely a public concern. This gives me more respect for the writers of this report and Jefferson for wanting to create a public university that would make education a public, and not private, effort.

    3. What, but education, has advanced us beyond the condition of our indigenous neighbours? and what chains them to their present state of barbarism & wretchedness, but a besotted veneration for the supposed supe[r]lative wisdom of their fathers and the preposterous idea that they are to look backward for better things and not forward, longing, as it should seem, to return to the days of eating acorns and roots rather than indulge in the degeneracies of civilization.

      This sentence speaks volumes when it comes to how Jefferson viewed the indigenous people in the area. Not only does he refers to their “barbarism & wretchedness” but also casts doubts upon their system of ancestral beliefs/guidance. To me, this echoes/borders along the lines of white superiority and the white savior complex. It seems as he is suggesting that their education will be the catalyst for rescuing people of color, specifically the indigenous people, out of their plight. This mindset is one that is similar to something that we saw later on when it came to the destruction of Vinegar Hill. What was once a vibrant, thriving black community was deemed a slum by those who did not understand the way of life that existed outside of their own real thus its “revitalization” began. What instead took place was the displacement of many black families into public housing, unfitting of what the community deserved, and the destruction of their way of life.

    4. To know his rights; to exercise with order & justice those he retains;

      This statement has been one this is most impactful to me. Growing up, I was taught that the law only protects those who knows how to use it and it is has been very evident now more than ever. We see those in a privileged position of power and wealth, buy their way, and cheat the system, leaving those behind to fight for the scraps that they toss down. We see individuals, like Brock Turner, possibly facing up to 14 years in prison for his crimes, but only being sentenced to 6 months, and then only serving 92 days of his sentencing, before getting released. A prime example of gender and class privilege, Brock Turner, is now working to appeal his sexual assault convictions. When then see individuals, like Cyntoia Brown, who was a victim of rape, and forced prostitution, being tried as an adult, despite being 16 at the time, after she killed one of her clients out of self defense. She was convicted of first degree murder, first degree felony murder, and aggravated robbery, and was sentenced to life in prison. It was only in 2012 that the US Supreme Court stepped in and banned mandatory life sentencing without parole for juveniles. Her case does carry the possibly of parole - when she turns 69 years old however. It’s actually quite funny how this was a primary focus of the University back then as it still pertains to us now. I wonder as to what triggered them to include this as part of the RockFish Gap Report. Could it be future insight on the turmoils that the nation currently faces or was it the realization that nothing, not even a government that was created by the people for the people, is infallible?

  2. Nov 2017
    1. & of indefinite extent in one direction at least,

      I recently went on a historical tour of UVA and therefore find this requirement quite interesting. Originally, there were the pavilions and the rotunda, and the lawn stretched indefinitely towards the side where Old Cabell Hall is now located. I wonder why they wanted it to be indefinite, maybe to show the scope of the students' futures? However, once it became legal for freed slaves to own land, many of the freed slaves owned land that was visible when facing towards that indefinite stretch of land. There needed to be another academic building, and it was because of the land there that they chose to close the gap of indefinence with Old Cabell rather than continuing to build outwards so that the students and faculty would not have to see the land owned by the freed slaves. That is why the "Z" on the steps of Old Cabell is black and not white. I just thought this was something interesting, and shows the strength of racism to prevent the University from carrying out Jefferson's wishes to keep an "indefinite extent" on one side of the lawn.