4 Matching Annotations
  1. Nov 2017
    1. 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

      Throughout this section, Jefferson describes the power of proper education. One of his hopes is that UVA will make education a collective process. He feels that everyone has unique experiences to share that can increase one’s own expanse of knowledge. I think that this was a valuable principle to lay out in the formation of his institution, as it encourages students to seek out connections and start conversations with other peers and faculty instead of focusing solely on their individual studies. Perhaps this is why Jefferson proposed that the Professors live among the students in the Academical Village, so as to increase the amount of time they spend together and foster a better community.

    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, and with the sentiments of the legislature in favor of freedom of religion manifested on former occasions, 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;

      In my engagement, we are talking about how Thomas Jefferson chose not to incorporate religion into the University of Virginia. We learned that UVA was the first university in America to be founded without a connection to one specific religious denomination. This radical choice aligned with his belief that it is within our reasoning to determine whether or not we believe in God. His choice to offer an ethics class about God reflects how he advocated for individuals to create personal religious beliefs, as he did through his creation of The Jefferson Bible. It’s interesting to see how Thomas Jefferson’s views on how life should be lived were translated directly into aspects of this institution, for better or for worse. https://www.smithsonianmag.com/arts-culture/how-thomas-jefferson-created-his-own-bible-5659505/

  2. Sep 2017
    1. 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.

      One of Jefferson’s main goals for his new institution was to promote engagement in democracy. Jefferson states here that it should be a primary focus of students to understand the laws which are present in society, as well as the interpretations of these in the context of the world. Through analysis and discussion of such laws, the students would be able to operate in separate and equal spheres of agency, much like Danielle Allen picks at in her book (253). This idea is complementary to the argument presented in the Declaration of Independence. Perhaps Jefferson decided to include hints of this language here because he feels that the creation of UVA is the creation of a society, one which must reflect the ideals of the larger society around it- America.

    2. and all other circumstances of the place in general being favorable to it as a position for an University

      Here, Jefferson and the other writers are explaining that they chose the location for the University of Virginia because of its centrality to the white population and “all other circumstances of the place in general being favorable to it”. The document, however, fails to expound these “other circumstances” in depth, suggesting that they are secondary to race. Namely, the report never explicitly states potential social or economic benefits Charlottesville could offer as the location for UVA. The vague argument present in this report parallels the language used in UVA’s rejection letter to Alice Jackson, a black female who applied to a UVA graduate program in 1935. In this letter, the University explicitly denies Jackson on the premise that white and colored people could not attend the same schools and for “other good and sufficient reasons”, which were never directly stated. http://www.virginia.edu/woodson/projects/kenan/jackson/jackson.html