4 Matching Annotations
  1. Nov 2017
    1. And generally to form them to habits of reflection, and correct action, rendering them examples of virtue to others & of happiness within themselves.

      It’s interesting to see the phrases “habits of reflection” and “correct action” in this report, because I wonder if the board members reflected on the debates they had over the four short days of creating the report, and if they thought the final decisions they made were “correct” (by their values at the time). By analyzing the ethics of the Rockfish Gap Report from the perspective of a present-day UVA student, we are utilizing “habits of reflection” and evaluating “correct action” too. Regarding the talk of education producing “examples of virtue to others” (virtue being defined as “behavior showing high moral standards”), I can’t help but think that this idea of only extending education to a small group of people is not in line with our current values of inclusivity and diversity, and would seriously impede the productivity of a learning environment.

    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.

      Notice that this passage comes directly after the authors say future generations should accumulate “the knowledge acquired by all those who preceded” and try to “advance the knowledge & well-being of mankind”. Even though there they talk about bettering all of society, they immediately contradict themselves! The Board follows by saying that this one group of people -- their “indigenous neighbours” -- are held back and “chained” by their uneducated status and their “barbarism & wretchedness”. This means they saw the problem, but decided that the status quo was okay and that education should still not be available to them, even though they literally just said that education would better all of mankind. It’s crazy to me how in some ways the Board was very innovative and forward-thinking, like in their acknowledgement that progress is important, but in other aspects so backward-thinking, like their refusal to treat all people as ones deserving of an education.

  2. Oct 2017
    1. this present year 1818

      It’s important to understand the historical context behind the time of UVA’s founding. What else was happening in 1818 in the United States? Regarding politics, James Monroe, a Democratic Republican from Virginia, was President, and John Marshall (also from Virginia) was Chief Justice. Furthermore, as the Board sought to only allow white people into their education system, the First Seminole War occurred as slaveholders tried to recapture slaves that had run away and were living among the Seminoles. The Era of Good Feelings had also started, which, after the outcome of the War of 1812, lead Americans to feel a sense of nationalism and pride.

    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; and it cannot be but that each generation succeeding to the knowledge acquired by all those who preceded it, adding to it their own acquisitions & discoveries, and handing the mass down for successive & constant accumulation, must advance the knowledge & well-being of mankind: not infinitely, as some have said, but indefinitely, and to a term which no one can fix or foresee

      Although this report states that the facilitation of education will inspire people to become honorable and ethical, it is clear that the Board of Commissioners means this for a very limited audience -- white men. Despite the fact that they say that each following generation will acquire the knowledge and experience of those who came before and increase the “well-being of mankind”, the fact that they say “not infinitely. . . but indefinitely” points to the fact that they intend to limit their scope of possible education from flourishing to women and people of color. All in all, it’s ironic that the Board understands the idea of progressivity as learning is facilitated, but refuses to accept that in order for infinite advancement of knowledge, education must be provided to all.