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

      I found this particular "object of education" extremely interesting as I think morality should be at the center of any education. As one of the goals of UVa since its founding, it is evident that Jefferson and those who wrote the Rockfish Gap Report wanted to create individuals who are competent to change society around them to better coincide with moral values of the time - this, in my mind, should be at the heart of any education, particularly a public one. I also think that the use of the word "faculties" is interesting here, because it seems to suggest that the University will teach its students to embrace their vulnerability - maybe even just acknowledge it - at times, rather than fight it. To teach each student about his or her own morals and faculties is a goal that any and very University should aim for, and I think it is somewhat uplifting (though obviously this goal hasn't always been carried out perfectly) that these words were included in the Rockfish. - Ben Kava

  2. Oct 2017
    1. I know this has been a popular phrase to annotate, but I can't read it without commenting. The phrasing of the entire preceding passage I find odd - the fact that they would place this line about slaves after explaining the entirety of the physical property of a possible university in Lexington I think says a lot about the nature of the racial climate at UVa's founding. It almost sounds like the slaves are less important or valuable than even the land which is mentioned before them. The fact that the word "also" is used, signals that these slaves were an afterthought, and reinforces the notion that the University was founded with the core principal of providing education in a central location to the white population. I wonder, though, if Jefferson thought about how the University would survive after the inevitable abolition of slavery and of the University's place in the fight to abolish it. -Ben Kava

    2. 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