89 Matching Annotations
  1. Nov 2017
    1. Signed and certified

      There was once an analysis of the signatures of the writers of the Declaration. It would be interesting to have a brief biography of each of these signers and see if their signatures correlated with their importance in the creation of the document or their egos.

      -Shannon Lee

    2. must advance the knowledge & well-being of mankind: not infinitely, as some have said, but indefinitely

      Earlier in the paragraph, they mention how learned men think applied sciences are useless, but the commissioners know that science is of supreme importance in advancing technology. Perhaps they simply dismissed the concerns of those men of "respectable information" when creating their course catalog and included tons of science and math concepts. -Shannon Lee

    3. in each of which should be a lecturing room with from two to four apartments for the accommodation of a professor and his family

      Did they only plan to have ten professors? Would it be the most prestigious professors that got to live there, like the professors in charge of the groups of subjects mentioned later in the report? Was the University to provide accommodations for extra professors? The fact that they were going to allow professors to live where they worked and among students is pretty strange in the modern context, but it would have encouraged bonding between masters and pupils which is good. -Shannon Lee

    4. within the powers of a single professor

      The founders should have included a method for more professors to head a group of subjects. They should also have included a vetting process for professors to make sure the quality of the students' education was high. If the professor they hired for the group was terrible, students that wanted to major in that area were out of luck, a situation that is not conducive to a proper education.

      -Shannon Lee

    5. Medicine, when fully taught, is usually subdivided into several professorships, but this cannot well be without the accessory of an hospital, where the student can have the benefit of attending clinical lectures & of assisting at operations of surgery.

      The lack of preparation for a true and thorough medicinal education seems to be foreshadowing the slapdash nature of the Anatomical House, where people stole dead enslaved bodies from cemeteries for the students to use as cadavers. The founders should have created plans for a proper classroom for medical students and for cadaver deliveries.

      -Shannon Lee

    6. no greater obstruction to industrious study could be proposed than the presence, the intrusions, and the noisy turbulence of a Multitude of small boys

      "A multitude of small boys" would definitely not be conducive to the mission of an institution of higher education to prepare citizens for the real world. They probably wouldn't understand the advanced knowledge being taught in class. It's interesting to note how the creation of the university facilitated "preliminary schools" throughout Virginia, definitely helping to educate the population.

      -Shannon Lee

    7. 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

      When I read this, it makes me think they are breeding an army. They are more worried about the "healthiest" site and the "fertility" of the site just so it can be worthy enough for the white population. Where are these worries for the rest of the population? If you want to create the greatest university, then you have to keep the whole population in mind.- Christen Bolton

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

      While these sound like good qualities to teach maturing, young adults, these values were not intended for everyone. They did not care how the students treated the slaves during this time, so how can you improve a community that only looks out for their own race?- Christen Bolton

    9. we propose but a single professor for both medicine & anatomy

      It's interesting how little attention was given to medicine at the inception of the University. There appears to have been a very limited amount of material covered in this subject and all of it done by one professor. I'd assume that they managed with this owing to a limited number of students studying medicine at the time. All of this stands in stark contrast to present day UVa, this just goes to show how much the university has evolved since its inception.

      -Kisal Batuwangala

    10. Rhetoric

      It's interesting to note that 'rhetoric' was taught as it's own singular subject. This highlights the importance that both the university and the society gave to things like speech and debate. It also raises the question as to what brought about such a big focus on this subject during this period, seeing how its not given so much attention at present.

      -Kisal Batuwangala

    11. Transcendental

      Interesting how the meaning of this has changed over time. It seems it used to be related to Geometry. Now, the main definition of transcendental is "relating to a spiritual or nonphysical realm." However, if you look further there is a mathematical definition, as well: "(of a number, e.g., e or π) real but not a root of an algebraic equation with rational roots." This does not seem to do with geometry

      • Jake Keating
    12. James River company.

      The James River company was actually just a company for literally the James River. It was a canal company and all they owned and business was concerned was the James River it seems.

      • Jake Keating
    13. Statics, respect matter generally, in a state of rest, and include Hydrostatics, or the Laws of fluids particularly, at rest or in equilibrio Dynamics, used as a general term include Dynamics proper, or the Laws of solids in Motion and Hydrodynamics, or Hydraulics, those of fluids in Motion Pneumatics teach the theory of air, its Weight, Motion, condensation, rarifaction &c Acoustics or Phonics, the theory of sound Optics the Laws of Light & vision Physics or Physiology in a general sense, mean the doctrine of the Physical objects of our senses

      The branches of physics listed here are indicative of the relatively limited world of science at the university's founding. While there is a wide range of physical subjects in this list, it is nothing like the huge branch of highly specialized areas of physics like we find today. This collection of physical study is also indicative of the importance of the holistic education desired for students at the University of Virginia.

      -Andrew Henry

    14. Chemistry, is meant, with its other usual branches, to comprehend the theory of Agriculture

      This is yet another reminder of the importance placed on agriculture in the founding of the University of Virginia. Also, the word "theory" is important. It indicates that agriculture is considered a field worthy of studying and comprehending through thought, not just through blind experimentation in the field (pun intended)

      -Andrew Henry

    15. This would generally be about the 15th year of their age when they might go with more safety and contentment to that distance from their parents.

      Entering college at the age of 15 is almost unheard of in the United States today, but this would not have been as surprising in the early 19th century. People at that time lived shorter lives, so they experienced major life changes much earlier than would be considered proper or even legal today. Even with this in mind, it is hard to understand a 19th century student graduating from the University of Virginia at the same age at which I will complete my first year.

      -Andrew Henry

    16. As well might it be urged that the wild & uncultivated tree, hitherto yielding sour & bitter fruit only, can never be made to yield better: yet we know that the grafting art implants a new tree on the savage stock, producing what is most estimable both in kind & degree.

      This analogy implies that the new positive habits that education imparts on students are additive rather than transformative. Is this interpretation intentional? Is there validity in saying that man/students nature cannot be changed, and new habits are new rather than changing previously held ones.

    17. It is supposed probable that a building of somewhat more size in the middle of the grounds may be called for in time, in which may be rooms for religious worship under such impartial regulations as the visitors shall prescribe

      It is interesting that at this point in the development of the university (1) the university does not have any specific religious affiliations, and (2) that rather than being non denomination, the university is -considering- building a religious building. I would've thought that building a non denomination, or at least some religious building would have been a giving, rather than a possibility.

    18. 203 acres joining the last mentioned tract, purchased of William Paxton

      I did some research and could not find who William Paxton was, I am curious if anyone knows of is maybe better than me at finding this type of information. Seems like someone giving 203 acres would be a prominent figure. Who was he?

    19. the degree of centrality to the white population of the state

      Today, the white population composes 82.7% of Albermarle County and 70.4% of Charlottesville City. The white population of the University is approx. 60%. Albermarle is still very central to white populations of VA. I wonder if the University was founded in 2017, would a founding committee be more likely to choose a location further east where there is more racial diversity?

      Lelia Battle

    20. Proctor & all other necessary agents; to appoint & remove professors, two thirds of the whole number of visitors voting for the removal: to prescribe their duties & the course of education, in conformity with the law: to establish rules for the government & discipline of the students not contrary to the laws of the land: to regulate the tuition fees, & the rent of the dormitories they occupy

      Going to one of my later comments about the foudners influence on writing the Declaration, ideas on political theory, and social contract (including possible communication with Madison) this again looks a lot like how they set up the university like a government.

    21. as the legislature may from time to time think proper to enact for their government; and the said University should in all things, & at all times be subject to the controul of the legislature.

      This passage highlights the relevance the new country and government had on the formation of the school. Jefferson had spent most of his life working on creating and then perfecting (to his ideal) our current democratic system. The fact that he requires his school to answer not just to one person, but a body is reminiscent the radical new form of governing America has adopted.

      • Maddie
    22. That the said visitors should appoint one of their own body to be rector & with him be a body corporate, under the style & title of the Rector & visitors of the University of Virginia, with the right as such, to use a common seal: that they should have capacity to plead & be impleaded, in all courts of justice, and in all cases interesting to the University, which may be the subjects of legal cognizance & jurisdiction; which pleas should not abate by the determination of their office, but should stand revived in the name of their successors; and they should be capable in law, and in trust for the University, of receiving subscriptions & donations, real & personal, as well from bodies corporate, or persons associated, as from private individuals.

      What I like about the writing of this and how it is so structured and bureaucratic (in a way) makes me think to how or founding father was writing this. James Madison being present allows us to assume since Jefferson and him were close and often sent letters to one another that they were also in contact regarding this report. How did their theories of government and people influence this writing and set up the system for student self-governance.

    23. English grammar, the higher branches of numerical Arithmetic, the geometry of straight lines and of the circle, the elements of navigation and Geography to a sufficient degree, and thus afford to greater numbers the means of being qualified for the Various Vocations of life, needing more instruction than merely menial or praedial1 labor;

      Here we see that Jefferson preferred education to expand not only towards the higher education of university, but also towards primary education. The subjects he wishes to be taught at these primary schools are very similar to the liberal arts education he favored at the university level, in which he sought to create a well-rounded citizen who is knowledgeable in most disciplines. To educate a young man then, past the subjects his preferred vocation requires, was likely a foreign concept, but Jefferson sought to not only do this, but to begin the process young. On my part, I agree with him in this belief. People, especially when young, as they are still developing set beliefs and thoughts, should be exposed to a broad range of topics. I believe what is learned in ones youth is critical in forming the person that comes later.

      • Maddie S.
    24. Their philosophical apparatus; their expected interest in the funds of the Cincinnati society

      I did some research on the Cincinnati society and found some interesting facts. The society was formed, lead by Henry Knox (our first Secretary of War in the modern constitution and the continental congress). The society was formed to keep the morals and foundations of the revolution alive, even after the end of the revolution. Perhaps they contributed because the University of Virginia would embody the ideals of the revolution and was something the men could get behind.

    25. To enable him to calculate for himself, and to express & preserve his ideas, his contracts & accounts in writing.

      Another part where Jefferson emphasizes the self reliance that the university intends to promote by making educated citizens who can fend for themselves and be able to keep track of their own personal business.

    26. To harmonize & promote the interests of agriculture, manufactures & commerce and by well informed views of political economy to give a free scope to the public industry.

      Jefferson's ideal america was an a republic where everyone was a farmer who could provide for themselves, so it makes sense that his university would promote harmony between all of these interests and promote well informed views so that everybody would be well informed about what was going on in the world and how they could affect it.

    27. every citizen

      Here, the term "citizen" needs to be understood differently from how it is interpreted now. In fact, at that time only white males were considered citizens, excluding black slaves and women. Thus, "every citizen" seems like incorporating a wide, broader range of people whereas access to the university was actually very narrow.

    28. The Commissioners for the University of Virginia having met, as by law required at the tavern in Rockfish gap on the blue ridge,

      This indicates that the Law required the Commissioners to meet, but it interesting to note that they met in a "tavern". It seems odd that the birth of a university took place in a place as little connected to knowledge and education as a tavern.

    29. History (being interwoven with Politics & Law[)]

      Even two hundred years ago, interdisciplinary learning was a priority for policymakers. It makes sense to contextualize politics and law with history, so that students will understand WHY laws were made rather than just memorize the statutes.

  2. Oct 2017
    1. liberal tuition fees

      Was UVA to only be accessible to the wealthy?

    2. But the Commissioners are happy in considering the statute under which they are assembled as proof that the legislature is far from the abandonment of objects so interesting: they are sensible that the advantages of well directed education, moral, political & economical are truly above all estimate

      I believe this is key, as the founders included morals as their second value, every time they list them. I noticed that above, the improving of a student's morals and faculties by reading was listed just third. This value has been carried on by the students and graduates of the university. The value of Honor being defined by the students themselves and each student holding the next to that standard. This is truly, as I see it, the best way to teach such a value, and I believe the Commissioners would remain to be happy currently.

    3. Ideology is the doctrine of thought

      This is rather interesting to me. It makes me question what kind of Ideologies the students on grounds were being cultivated to have at the time. Where they being cultivated into thinking that their race was the superior race considering the fact that anyone that didn't look like them was a servant, a subject for them.

    4. To develope the reasoning faculties of our youth, enlarge their minds cultivate their morals, & instil into them the precepts of virtue & order.

      This particular quotation provides a fount aphorism in emphasis of general education over specialized education, a noble idealism of progressive learning eliminated by societal (usually economic) pressures today. The irony herein lies in the divisive racial content juxtaposing the "virtues" and "order". Enlightenment in higher education is strived for as much as humanic empathy within this document; however it is then constrained into unrighteous, racist principals that we presently struggle to uncover and recover from on an institutional level. Though good was sought-after in the institution, the irony within intellectuals of 1818 reflects a less cultivated, more dangerous mindset in society. Still, this foundation of institutionalized racism is arguably more oppressive and damaging to the modern age, so the true nobility of higher education for some must be called into question in realms of morality. For not only are these concepts ironic in presentation, they are also hypocritical in ethical "virtue".<br> -Emily Harris

    5. we have proposed no professor of Divinity; and tho rather, as the proofs of the being of a god, the creator, preserver, & supreme ruler of the universe, the author of all the relations of morality, & of the laws & obligations these infer, will be within the province of the professor of ethics

      Most colleges in 17th and 18th century were affiliated with their own respective religious denomination. Basic divinity schools where ministers got an education were found at every college across America until Thomas Jefferson founded the first university to explicitly disregard the training of ministers. This is reflective of Thomas Jefferson’s personal belief in separation of Church and education as he thought religion to be a deeply personal set of individual ethics between persons. In fact, Thomas Jefferson kept a scrapbook of sorts, referred to as The Jefferson Bible today, where he cut the four gospels in Greek, Latin, English, and French and pasted them next to each other. He excluded all divine miracles (including the resurrection), omitted all redundancy, and put the gospels in chronological order. -Emily Harris

    6. 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.

      I understand that society was somewhat more racist and close minded in Jefferson's time, but I find this comment to be unforgivably supremacist. It is true that education elevates the minds of people, but with education must come empathy and open mindedness. Julia Stewart

    7. with awfull reverence

      This quote seems to point at a lot of Jeffersonian beliefs, most importantly a strong individualism, a belief in focusing on advancing towards a greater future, and an official form of secularism. To me this quote is quite sad as it seems to reek of pride and excessive notions of self-worth - the argument against this is that Jefferson is simply pointing out that blindly following tradition is regressive, but I think we see best why this is an unfortunate statement in how Jefferson describes the native population as being lesser humans because they continue their ancestor's practices. This is a very Western notion, to praise ingenuity and young striving individuals over the wisdom of elders, and to view with near pity the idea of following their way of life. This American notion is what has destroyed many cultures, such as the Ladakhi people who now send their children to Western schools where they are taught that farming is savage and that math and grammar prove one's superiority over others, which as a consequence has made the elders of the community feel inadequate and simply stupid. I wish Jefferson had a calmer and more respectful view of tradition and community, but he seems too full of pride and American Protestant virtues to be able to reconcile abstract ideals of progress with views of being at peace with nature.

    8. to return to the days of eating acorns and roots

      I think this line in particular proves the linear narrative Jefferson applies to his thinking, believing that history is constantly climbing towards more progress and never regressing. I feel like this is a statement that comes mainly from the fact that Jefferson was influenced by Enlightenment ideals and saw America as the shift from an ancien regime to one that is newer and therefore better. This narrative comes from post-Reformation views of history, and I think America's capitalistic drive too comes from this creatio ab nihilo view of productivity and human freedom and creativity driving future towards greater and greater progress. This metaphor is employed elsewhere in the text too, such as in the physicality of the university as being able to be expanded and built upon.

    9. all arbitrary & unnecessary restraint on individual action

      This is a very vague statement. What exactly qualifies as "arbitrary and unnecessary restraint"? Who gets to decide if a certain individual action is necessary or sensible/proper? And what is the basis for classifying different actions as such?

      -Wafa Salah

    10. where too may be exercised the stricter government necessary for young boys, but unsuitable for youths arrived at years of discretion.

      I find it interesting that the board sees high-school aged boys as troublesome but that college-aged "youths" don't need reprimanding. Gayle M. Schulman shows this attitude in action in "Slaves at the University of Virginia," which states "Professors could issue a firm and authoritative reprimand to a student, but could not be personally insulting or degrading... In one instance a student complained of a Professor that, 'he was imposed upon, and spoken to in an authoritarian manner--as an overseer speaks to a Negro.'" I strongly believe that the lack of accountability that these college students were held to only further extended their ideas of "master-slave" mentalities, for in their minds, they could do no wrong. Emma Walker

    11. comforts of human life

      The fact that the University wanted to make the young men "comfortable" at school is admirable, but at what cost? The only comfortable living done in these times was at the expense of slave labor, and it's infuriating to see that the students were to be treated so well by people they had no respect for. We learned in Making the Invisible Visible that the students weren't allowed to bring their own slaves from home, which was both upsetting and a hard adjustment for many. This rule forced more work upon the slaves at the University, as they were each in charge of attending to several students daily. Emma Walker

    12. Some good men, and even of respectable information, consider the learned sciences as useless acquirements; some think that they do not better the condition of men

      It is understandable to see people viewing science to be invaluable as their daily lives had not been changed dramatically by scientific breakthrough. The interesting and exciting thing about this comment on people's perception of science confirms that UVa was built with a vision looking into the future. We, as a school, are not contented with the current norm, but are always working toward greater goals.

      Leo Yang

    13. 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.

      Among many other goals the commissioners of UVa were trying to pursue, this objective is particularly important to the foundation of an American education institute. One has to know her or his right to protect himself or herself from prejudice and not infringe on others' rights. The qualities pointed out in this sentence constitutes the base for UVa's vision as of today: honor, integrity, trust, and respect.

      http://www.virginia.edu/statementofpurpose

      Leo Yang

    14. To develope the reasoning faculties of our youth, enlarge their minds cultivate their morals, & instil into them the precepts of virtue & order.

      I particularly enjoy this line of the report. I appreciate this emphasis on personal growth in conjunction with academic growth that is so prevalent throughout the report. Furthermore, I also appreciate that these two types of growth seem to share the same level of importance.

    15. of which the legislature require the development: those for example which are to form the statesmen, legislators & judges, on whom public prosperity, & individual happiness are so much to depend.

      This is an interesting statement and demonstrates who exactly the university hoped to educate back then. The students who it educated would go on to very high standing roles in society. While we certainly have students now who hope and will go on to assume similar roles, I believe the university seeks not just to educate those who will lead, but also prepare normal citizens who will go on to fulfill jobs, which still important, won't be as directly powerful. In my opinion this is an important change, as every citizen, wherever they may be from socially and financially, and in whatever role they go on to fill in society, should be educated to the fullest extent in order to be an active member of our nation.

      • Maddie S.
    16. It is too of common descent with the language of our own Country, a branch of the same Original Gothic Stock, and furnishes Valuable illustrations for us.

      Today, English, a Germanic language, is America's unofficial official language. English's role as the unofficial state language was even greater two centuries ago; this position among languages spoken in the U.S. is made evident when it is labelled "the language of our own Country".

      • Andrew Henry
    17. Fluxions

      "Fluxions", coined by Isaac Newton in 1665, are known as "derivatives" today. Newton defined a "fluxion" as "the instantaneous rate of change of a varying (flowing) quantity". These "fluxions" are integral (pun intended) to Newtonian calculus.

      • Andrew Henry
    18. Some Articles in this distribution of Sciences will need observation.

      Taking into account that everyone is making annotations about the subjects and how these might or might not have been influenced by the many events of the period, I think it is important to look at the closing line of the section. What does observation here mean? Does observation mean direct changes in what was written? Does it mean that the Commissioners did not agree on this curriculum and the classes taught? It is necessary to look into history and know what was actually taken from this first report in order to actually give value to all of the above annotations. The only thing we have done here is speculate on why these subjects were originally planned.

    19. To develope the reasoning faculties of our youth

      This is one of the most, if not the most, important objectives of education, and yet, unfortunately, it is becoming less and less relevant in educational institutions. To our loss, we, students, these days, seem to be more concerned about passing an exam or doing well on an assignment than actually understanding the material. It is not entirely our fault,however, as societal pressure and educational systems seem to also prioritize grades over knowledge. I believe this issue should be one of our primary concerns, but I am also glad to have witnessed that people aren't as oblivious to it as they were once before.

      Wafa Salah

    20. Also the whole of his Slaves amounting to 57 in number.

      This is the only time slaves are mentioned outright in this document. Jefferson and the other founders obviously view them as property, listing them between acres of land and placing them low on the list. This is interesting to me as without slaves the university likely never would have been founded, built, or maintained. It's disheartening that they provided so much to this university, unwilling as well, and yet seem to be almost an afterthought in this document. According to Encyclopedia Virginia, these slaves cleared land, cut and hauled lumber, made bricks, and transported stone in the beginning. Most were rented from their owners, likely causing them to be separated from their homes and loved ones. It also gives the name of a few slaves such as Carpenter Sam, who helped to build pavilions, Elijah who hauled stone, and William Green working as a blacksmith. It's important we recognize not just the labor they provided to the University, but also them as people and human beings who are apart of the University's complex history.

      • Maddie S.
    21. This particular line stood out to me because it draws upon explicit racism and an equally worrying subtext of dehumanization. The preceding sentences discuss land and the physical attributes of the University, only to be followed by this line about slave labor. In formatting the document this way, the commissionners seem to be equating the value of slaves to the land upon which they work. It strikes me with the message that slaves fall into the same category as the land, thus stripping them of any sense of humanity or value.

      -Lina Modjarrad

    22. It was the degree of centrality to the white population of the state

      In relation to the Race, Racism, Colony and Nation class that I'm in, there has been a long history of underestimating the intelligence of people of color in America, especially in Virginia. One of our readings mentioned that two black students at William and Mary were condemned for laughing in the college library, and an officer confronted them and did not believe they were students. His first assumption was that they were "bused in for a program." The fact that this report explicitly tailors the institution to the white population shows a connection between past and present. This type of racism might not be as blunt as it is in this report, but it lies in the micro-aggressions and subtle forms of white supremacy that are unfortunately still prevalent in America.

      -Lina Modjarrad

    23. In conformity with the principles of our constitution, which places all sects of religion on an equal footing,

      In my engagement, "Can a Text be Ethical?", we have been studying the importance of religion in regards to government and policies. For our final assignment, we have to analyze the logic behind when it is important to use religious texts, such as the New Testament, to make ethical decisions. I think this line in the document perfectly encapsulates the whole point of this class: all religions should be considered equal. But the difficult question is when do we take religious beliefs into consideration? Jefferson believed his university should uphold the same values that his country upholds, which are that of freedom and equality for all. However, this then dives into the question of how far equality extends. If equality was so important to Jefferson, why was it only relative to religion? He is widely-known for keeping many slaves, so it is obvious that social equality was not of relevance to him. Then again, we must wonder if it was because he wasn't trying to make a political statement with the founding of a university. The amount of funding and support that a university requires is unimaginable, which is why it would make sense that Jefferson would pick his battles to allow for a new university instead of fighting for racial equality.

      -Lauren Hickey

    24. The considerations which have governed the specification of languages to be taught by the professor of Modern Languages were that the French is the language of general intercourse among nations, and as a depository of human Science is unsurpassed by any other language living or dead:

      It is interesting to me that French was considered to be superior to all other languages, whether or not they were still in use. Latin is thought to be an extremely important language, since most of our historical documents were originally written in Latin. As far the sciences go, which is emphasized in this document as critical to the learning of all students, Latin is used to describe most everything. The names of plants, animals, and medical terminology are all Latin, which is why it is unusual for the text to refer to the French language as the "best".

    25. Also the whole of his Slaves amounting to 57 in number.

      The custom of the time allowed slaves to be treated as property. It is interesting how slaves are included in this account of purchased property. How could the writers of the document believe in an education that would "leave us free to do whatever does not violate the equal rights of another"?

    26. To improve by reading, his morals and faculties.

      The leaders who wrote this document wanted a student to improve his mental abilities, ethical ideas, and reading. The morals that a student should learn though are not specified. These morals probably did not include racial equality with the slaves at the time. This improvement of morals could have caused students to disregard the problem of slavery when talking about morals.

    27. 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 exemplifies the "superior" mentality of the people that are part of a industrialized society as opposed to the indigenous population. Although education is important in furthering the knowledge of humankind and making advancements to help, it is also important to look back and learn from the past. It is not as if the indigenous people didn't learn, they just never learned to study the subjects of ideas. They were grounded in their own ways and they refused to change because they were happy with what they had. Civilization has brought people many great advancements but it also has wrung terrible consequences. The times of simplicity are gone and, the peace of that simplicity, with it.

    28. To develope the reasoning faculties of our youth, enlarge their minds cultivate their morals, & instil into them the precepts of virtue & order.

      This is an interesting quote when one considers the implications of the time period with when this was written. In today's world, many adults are opposed to the ideals that the millennials are bringing into the world because they are different. I am unsure if, when writing this document, anyone considered the monumental changes that could occur if they allow the youth to develop and "cultivate" their own morals. People might think ideally but when change comes along they believe it is wrong even though it is what they wanted in the first place. School is a very important place to learn about society and culture and this is why students' minds are shaped by schooling. They develop their own thoughts based off of what they believe is right for society by learning about its strengths and weaknesses. After schooling however, people still need to accept the fact that they are still learning about the world and everything is subject to change; they cannot stay within the same frame of mind or else the world will not be able to advance towards a better future.

    29. The Commissioners for the University of Virginia having met, as by law

      By intending to make public education more accessible, one would believe the Commissioners wanted to increase the education of the whole community; instead, their only concern was to improve the education of the white male population. By not considering women or other races as equals, the Commissioners were hindering the overall value of education around the area.

    30. Proceeding thus far without offence to the constitution

      Prior to this statement, Jefferson explains that there is no professor of Divinity or religion. He claims this is to not interfere with the constitution. What in the constitution does he not want to offend? Presumably he is referring to the first amendment. Thus, he thinks that teaching religion would impose the religion and infringe upon the freedom to exercise any religion one desires. Does teaching a religion force it upon someone? In fact, the teaching of some religions and not others may have this effect by limiting students understanding of certain religions.

    31. the commissioners are aware that they have to encounter much difference of opinion

      The commissioners recognize that there are many different opinion about the founding role of the university. They, then, list the opinions of others and argue why they are invalid. The arguments are about the establishment of the school as an institution to promote the liberal arts. However, they do not recognize the greater effect the school has on its surroundings. No one objects to the slave labor that will build and operate the school. They pretend to take into account others opinions, when the initial students and professors were mostly all of the same background: rich, white, educated, southern men. The school still somewhat perpetuates these ideas with white people having the vast majority control of the school. - Charlie Jones

    32. Rhetoric

      It is interesting to see that Rhetoric is considered a formal subject, just like it was in the ancient city-state of Athens. It was an imperative tool for men that dove into the area of politics, whereas nowadays it is not formally taught.

    33. French is the language of general intercourse among nations, and as a depository of human Science is unsurpassed by any other language living or dead

      This statement highlights the fact that the founding of this university was during a time of youth for America. English, being among the languages of "general intercourse among nations", has become popular in succession with the rise of America as a world power. The fact that French was viewed as the universal language represents the immaturity of America as a nation at the time of this document's creation, not having made a mark on the world stage yet. This is important to keep in mind when reading this document in order to understand the feat which its authors were hoping to accomplish: the establishment of a university which would produce intelligent citizens that would help America mature as a nation.

    34. And where a sparse population would not, within such a compass, furnish subjects sufficient to maintain a school, a competent enlargement of [a] District must, of necessity, there be submitted to

      The writers clearly would like if the student population of this new University could come solely from the area around the school as mentioned in the previous sentences, but the writers mention that if a sparse population cannot supply the school with a sufficient amount of students then they would be forced to enlarge the district that they are drawing students from but do so competently so that they could draw a sufficient student body. The writers had no idea what would become of the institution of higher learning in the United State, but they are invariably supporting out-of-state students which there are now an abundance of.

    35. Military

      It's interesting to note the amount of focus the university had on military education, and the wide variety of forms it came in (Projectiles, Military architecture etc.). This was well before the world wars or any other major global conflict which leads me to question the reasons behind this extensive focus.

    36. And generally to form them to habits of reflection, and correct action, rendering them examples of virtue to others & of happiness within themselves. These are the objects of that higher grade of education, the benefits & blessings of which the legislature now propose to provide for the good & ornament of their country the gratification & happiness of their fellow citizens, of the parent especially & his progeny on which all his affections are concentrated.

      Jefferson highlights here how the university has the goal to enforce a reflective nature and spirit among its students and to teach them how to be respectful citizens to themselves and others. He emphasizes how the primary goal of higher education is to create well-rounded and well-educated individuals who also want to share this nature with their peers and instill values of creating a positive community. -Allison Ryu

    37. The objects of this primary education determine its character & limits. These objects would be, 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. And, in general, to observe with intelligence & faithfulness all the social relations under which he shall be placed. To instruct the mass of our citizens in these their rights, interests and duties, as men and citizens, being then the objects of education in the primary schools, whether private or public, in them should be taught reading, writing & numerical arithmetic, the elements of mensuration (useful in so many callings) and the outlines of geography and history, and this brings us to the point at which are to commence the higher branches of education, of which the legislature require the development: those for example which are to form the statesmen, legislators & judges, on whom public prosperity, & individual happiness are so much to depend.

      The goals that Jefferson outlines here are how he wants every student that attends the university to learn and what he wants them all to receive as students. Essentially, each of these objects aims to shape the students into more competent and active community members with their own well-developed opinions, but the ability to hear out others' opinions, as well, and still act for the better of society with his knowledge. Furthermore, Jefferson entails ideas such as "To know his rights; to exercise with order & justice..." to emphasize his desire for every student to exercise his civil rights as citizens. -Allison Ryu

    38. The objects of this primary education determine its character & limits. These objects would be, 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.

      In this part of the text, it talks about what the goals are for the students who are getting a primary education. This is interesting because it maps out what the students should be learning and what concepts they should grasp. Even though the terms are very ill-defined, they map out that the students should improve their reading, morals, and writing. The best part of this text is when it mentions that every citizen should be able to express or preserve his/her ideas. I found this interesting because the university gives the rights to the student to express their ideas. Matt Moore

    39. 2d. The board having thus agreed on a proper site for the University to be reported to the legislature, proceeded to the second of the duties assigned to them, that of proposing a plan for its buildings; and they are of opinion that it should consist of distinct houses or pavilions, arranged at proper distances on each side of a lawn of a proper breadth, & of indefinite extent in one direction at least, in each of which should be a lecturing room with from two to four apartments for the accommodation of a professor and his family: that these pavilions should be united by a range of Dormitories, sufficient each for the accommodation of two students only, this provision being deemed advantageous to morals, to order, & to uninterrupted study; and that a passage of some kind under cover from the weather should give a communication along the whole range.

      I found this paragraph very interesting. I did not know so much thought and design went into designing where the dorms and pavilions were located in correlation to the lawn. It is interesting to know that everything on campus was built there for a reason. Their ability to take the students academics and their study time into effect is what makes this university unique. They mention that the pavilions should be accommodated by 2 students who deemed advantageous to morals, to order, and to uninterrupted studying. This shows how much this university cares about their students and that is what caught my eye when reading.

      Matt Moore

    40. within the powers of a single professor

      What strikes me the most about this practice of one professor teaching all of the courses, is the lack of diversity of thought per course offered. While professors often teach more than one course these days, there are other professors and instructors who add different varieties of thinking about the genre a student wishes to learn. If only one professor controlled an entire grouping of these classes, how would the diversity that respective courses offer reflect the opportunity to truly understand the courses themselves?

    41. forming them into groups

      It's very interesting that the grouping of courses was first by course area themselves, instead of the modern fashion of by the major that one tends to accomplish. What's even more striking, however, is that these areas may be how the the lasting areas of study are grouped.

    42. leave every sect to provide as they think fittest, the means of further instruction in their own peculiar tenets

      This statement is basically stating that the university will not practice under a single denomination, but rather allow all sects to practice, or not practice, on grounds. Directly reflecting the sentiments of Thomas Jefferson in the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom, this sentence allows the sects, and not the university as a whole, to practice what they wish.

      Taylor Thompson

    43. the university will be overwhelmed with the Grammar school or a separate establishment under one or more ushers for its lower classes will be advisable, at a mile or two distance from the general one:

      I find this statement to be extremely interesting, because it is basically stating that a completely separate establishment would be developed to school the lower class students so that they are not far behind in their studies. Today's No Child Left Behind Act almost parallels this concept by giving provisions to disadvantaged students.

      Taylor Thompson

  3. Sep 2017
    1. the French is the language of general intercourse among nations, and as a depository of human Science is unsurpassed by any other language living or dead:

      I thought this was very interesting and highlights a difference in the world from when this document was written to now, as French is no longer the language of general intercourse. English has taken its place.

    2. 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

      Jefferson holds a strong vision for the future, which normally has positive qualities, such as the ability for the school to expand geographically and the idea of giving older students more liberty. However, in this section we see the negatives of this view, which is used to justify the way he looks down on Native Americans as too focused on the past and a fundamentally inferior people.

    3. This would generally be about the 15th year of their age when they might go with more safety and contentment to that distance from their parents

      I'm surprised that the commissioners would think that 15 year old boys would have the maturity to pursue education away from home. It's fascinating to consider how the demographic of the university has changed in the past two hundred years, from a population of 15-year old white boys to the diverse culture it is today, composed of 17-24 year olds of many races and genders.

    4. nothing, more than education, adorning the prosperity, the power and the happiness of a nation

      Regarding the lens in which we view the world in my engagement class entitled Race, Racism, Colony, and Nation, this reference to the "prosperity...power, and the happiness of a nation," can be connected to the differences between the experience of the colony and the nation within America. The colony, in this case, referring to the slaves and other marginalized communities unable to enjoy these rights that Jefferson believes are adorned by education. The nation, referring to the community of white people that is clearly who this document (and at this time, the university) was made by and for.

    5. Some good men, and even of respectable information, consider the learned sciences as useless acquirements; some think that they do not better the condition of men; and others that education like private & individual concerns, should be left to private & individual effort; not reflecting that an establishment, embracing all the sciences which may be useful & even necessary in the various vocations of life, with the buildings & apparatus belonging to each, are far beyond the reach of individual means, & must either derive existence from public patronage or not exist at all. This would leave us then without those callings which depend on education, or send us to other countries, to seek the instruction they require.

      UVA was founded to encourage higher education, what was called the “holy cause of the University.” Jefferson believed in aiming at the highest. In looking at the historical origin of UVA, we find its connection with wide-reaching ideas of a system of public education. Jefferson seemed to recognize that our schools, if they are to serve efficiently, must have broad foundations.

    6. he admission of enlargement to any degree to which the institution may extend in future times.

      The Commissioners founded UVa with a vision and the confidence that the university will prosper and expand. They looked forward to the future and determine to make an impact--a core value still upheld by the university as of today.

    7. To enable him to calculate for himself, and to express & preserve his ideas, his contracts & accounts in writing.

      It's interesting that one of the original and primary goals of the university was not just to help turn students into productive members of society, but also to enable them to better themselves and accomplish their own goals. The phrase "to express & preserve his ideas" stood out to me as an example of this.

    8. Also the whole of his Slaves amounting to 57 in number.

      Not relevant to the writers, added to the list of objects owned

    9. men and citizens,

      This adds another qualification onto who's interests are being protected (white + men)

    10. 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 report does not speak about race relations in the state or in regards to the construction of the university, but it does begin with the assumption that the primary concern of the government should be to the white population.

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

      The founders believed that honorary degrees were just as important as the other provisions made. By waving the requirements for attendance, the elite white males are given an unfair advantage of the rest of the country by obtaining a proper education.

    12. so congenial with our political institutions, and so important to be woven into the American character.

      This statement regarding the plans for establish a government at the University can be seen as fulfilled through the current government at UVA. UVA's current government is self-run by the students, embodying the essential idea of self-governance rooted in the American character.

    13. Chemistry, is meant, with its other usual branches, to comprehend the theory of Agriculture

      Chemistry is explained in this context not as a natural science but for it's use to understand agriculture which was a practical skill at the time.

    14. every citizen

      Drawing from references to only white populations previously does "every citizen" here refer only to a white population? If not wouldn't this have required that african american students be allowed to attend the university from its inception?

    15. centrality to the white population of the whole state

      The University was primarily designed to educate white people. It thus needed to be in proximity with a large white population.

  4. Jun 2017
  5. Mar 2017