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Mr. Jefferson's darling system of trusting the students, instead of spying them. 'I have seen,' he says, 'the plan of trusting to the student's honor, and of the abolition of all espionage, tested here and in the University of South Carolina. It has also been adopted in most of the Virginia colleges with the best results. Its effects in imbuing the body of the students with the spirit of truth and candor, in giving them the proper scorn for a lie, and in promoting a frank and manly intercourse between the students and professors, can not be too highly estimated. A student who is known to have been guilty of a violation of his examination pledge, or of any other
a falsehood in his dealings with the authorities,-things of rare occurrence,-is not permitted by his fellows to remain in the institution.'
It is also his opinion, that the university has signally answered the great design of its founder, which was to raise the standard of liberal education in Virginia. The mere fact of keeping its diplomas, so far as is possible to human scrutiny, free from falsehoods, and issuing no diplomas of the kind called honorary, has had a perceptible effect, he thinks, in restoring to parchment a portion of the power it once had to confer honorable distinction.
Like all other institutions of learning in the Southern States, it was subjected to a most severe ordeal during the late war. The number of students had gone on increasing from year to year, until it had reached an average of six hundred and fifty. Then came the rude blast of war, which a Southern student must have been much more or something less than human, not to have obeyed. Abstract truth is usually powerless when father, mother, sisters, brothers, friends, and neighbors are all pulling the other way. Hundreds of alumni (the strength of a university) fell in battle, never doubting that they died for their country and their rights. But during the whole of the four years' struggle, the university was kept open, and only once did the war come near it. In March, 1865, General Sheridan was at Charlottesville with a body of cavalry; but during the few days of his stay in the neighborhood he placed guards around the grounds of the university, and preserved its property uninjured. For the first two or three years after the peace, education being in arrears, and the people, it is said, more hopeful than they are now, the number of students was again nearly five hundred. The Catalogue for 1876 shows three hundred and sixty-five. Virginia, besides bearing up under a great load of debt, has nobly continued the annual appropriation of fifteen thousand dollars; and two citizens of the State, Samuel Miller and Thomas Johnson, have recently (1773) given one hundred and forty thousand dollars to found a department of industrial chemistry and engineering.
Mr. Jefferson was often called on to advise the sons of his warm personal and political friends, as to studies and conduct, of which we introduce examples in this place.
COURSE OF LAW READING 1767. The following Course of Legal Study was drawn up by Mr. Jefferson about the year 1765 for the use of a young friend whose course of reading was confided to him, and revised by him in 1814 in respect to subsequent publications:
Before you enter on the study of the law a sufficient groundwork must be laid. For this purpose an acquaintance with the Latin and French languages is absolutely necessary. The former you have; the latter must now be acquired. Mathematics and Natural Philosophy are so useful in the most familiar occur. rences of life, and are so peculiarly engaging and delightful as would induce every one to wish an acquaintance with them. Besides this, the faculties of the mind, like the members of the body, are strengthened and improved by exercise. Mathematical reasonings and deductions are therefore a tine preparation for investigating the abstruse speculations of the law. In these and the anal. ogous branches of science the following books are recommended:Mathematics—Beyzout, Cours de Mathématiques—the best for a student ever
published; Montucla or Bossut, Histoire des Mathématiques. Astronomy.-Ferguson, and le Monnier or de Lalande. Geography.-Pinkerton. Nat Philosophy. -Joyce's Scientific Dialogues; Martin's Philosophia Britannica,
Muschenbroek's Cours de Physique.
This foundation being laid, you may enter regularly on the study of the law, taking with it such of its kindred sciences as will contribute to eminence in its attainment. The principal of these are Physics, Ethics, Religion, Natural Law, Belles Lettres, Criticism, Rhetoric, and Oratory. The carrying on several studies at a time is attended with advantage. Variety relieves the mind as well as the eye, palled with too long attention to a single object, but, with both, transitions from one object to another may be so frequent and transitory as to leave no impression. The mean is therefore to be steered, and a competent space of time allotted to each branch of study. Again, a great inequality is observable in the vigor of the mind at different periods of the day. Its powers at these periods should therefore be attended to, in marshaling the business of the day. For these reasons I should recommend the following distribution of your time :
Till Eight o'dock in the morning, employ yourself in Physical Studies. Ethics, Religion, natural and sectarian, and Natural Law, reading the following books :Agriculture.—Dickson's Husbandry of the Ancients; Tull's Horse-hoeing Hus:
bandry; Lord Kames' Gentleman Farmer; Young's Rural Economy; Hale's
Body of Husbandry; De Serres's Théâtre d'Agriculture. Chemistry.--Lavoisier, Conversations in Chemistry. Anatomy.—John and James Bell's Anatomy. Zvölogy.—Abrégé du Système de la nature de Linné par Gillbert; Manual
d'Histoire Naturelle by Blumenbach, Buffon, including Montbeiliard and La
Cepede; Wilson's American Ornithology. Botany.-Barton's Elements of Botany; Turton's Linneus; Persoon's Synopsis
Plantarum. Ethics and Natural Religion.--Locke's Essay; Locke's Conduct of the Mind in
the Search after Truth; Stewart's Philosophy of the Human Mind; Enfield's History of Philosophy; Condorcet, Progrès de l'Esprit Humain; Cicero de Officiis, Tusculanae, de Senectute, Somnia Scipionis; Senecæ Philosophica ; Hutchinson's Introduction to Moral Philosophy; Lord Kames' Natural Relige ion; Traité Elémentaire de Morale et Bonheur. La Sagesse de Charron.
Religion Sectarian.—Bible; New Testament, Commentaries on them by Middle.
ton in his Works, and by Priestley in his Corruptions of Christianity and Early Opinions of Christ; The Sermons of Sterne, Massillon and Bourdaloue. Natural Law.- Vattel, Droit des Gens; Rayneval, Institutions du Droit de la Nature et des Gens.
From Eight to Twelve read Law. The general course of this reading may be formed on the following grounds. Lord Coke has given us the first views of the whole body of law worthy now of being studied; for so much of the admirable work of Bracton is now obsolete that the students should turn to it occasionally only, when tracing the his. tory of particular portions of the law. Coke's Institutes are a perfect digest of the law in his day. After this, new laws were added by the Legislature, and new developments of the old law by the judges, until they had become so voluminous as to require a new digest. This was ably executed by Matthew Bacon, although unfortunately under an alphabetical instead of analytical ar. rangement of matter. The same process of new laws and new decisions on the old laws going on, called at length for the same operation again, and produced the inimitable Commentaries of Blackstone.* In the department of the Chancery, a similar progress has taken place. Lord Kames bas given us the first digest of the principles of that branch of our jurisprudence, more valuable for the arrangement of matter than for its exact conformity with the English decisions. The reporters from the early times of that branch to that of the same Matthew Bacon are well digested, but alphabetically also in the abridgment of the cases in equity, the second volume of which is said to be done by him. This was followed by a number of able reporters, of which Fonblanque has given us a summary digest by commentaries on the text of the earlier work, ascribed to Ballow, entitled 'A Treatise on Equity.' The course of reading recommended then in these two branches of the law is the following :Common Law.-Coke's Institutes ; Select Cases from the Subsequent Reporters
to the time of Matthew Bacon; Bacon's Abridgment; Select Cases from the Subsequent Reporters to the Present Day; Select Tracts on Law, among which those of 'Baron Gilbert are all of the first merit; the Virginia Laws;
Reports on them. Chancery.—Lord Kames' Principles of Equity, 3d edition ; Select Cases from
the Chancery Reporters to the time of Matthew Bacon; the Abridgment of Cases in Equity ; Select Cases from the Subsequent Reporters to the Present Day; Fonblanque's Treatise of Equity.
Blackstone's Commentaries (Tucker's edition) as the best perfect digest of both branches of law.
In reading the Reporters, enter into a common-place book every case of value, condensed into the narrowest compass possible, which will admit of presenting distinctly the principles of the case. This operation is doubly useful, insomuch as it obliges the student to seek out the pith of the case, and habituates him to a condensation of thought, and to an acquisition of the most valuable of all talents, that of never using two words where one will do. It fixes the case, too, more indelibly in the mind.
From Twelve to One read Politics. Politics, General.—Locke on Government, Sidney on Government, Priestley's
First Principles of Government, Review of Montesquieu's Spirit of Lawg. De Lolme sur le constitution d'Angleterre; De Burgh's Political Disquisitions; Hatsell's Precedents of the House of Commons; Select Parliamentary Debates of England and Ireland ; Chipman's Sketches of the Principles of Gov.
ernment; The Federalist. Political Economy.-Say's Economie Politique ; Malthus on the Principles of Population · De Tracy's work on Polit. Econ., now about to be printed, 1814.
In the Afternoon read History. History, Ancient.—The Greek and Latin Originals; Select histories from the
• Mr. Jefferson regarded Blackstone as an unsafe expounder of constitutional law.
Universal History ; Gibbon's Decline of the Roman Empire ; Histoire
ancienne de Millot. Modern-Histoire moderne de Millot; Russel's History of Modern Europe ;
Robertson's Charles V. English.—The original historians, to wit: The History of Edward 2nd, by E. F.;
Habington's Edward 4th ; More's Richard 3rd ; Lord Bacon's Henry 7th; Lord Herbert's Henry 8th; Goodwin's Henry 8th, Edward 6th, Mary, Camden's Elizabeth, James, Ludlow; Macaulay (Catharine); Fox; Belsham; Baxter's History of England; Hume republicanized and abridged; Robert
son's History of Scotland. American.-Robertson's History of America; Gordon's History of the Inde
pendence of the U. S.; Ramsay's History of the American Revolution; Burk's History of Virginia; Continuation of do., by Jones and Girardin, nearly ready for the press.
From Dark to Bedtime. Belles Lettres; Criticism; Rhetoric; Oratory, to wit: Belles Lettres.- Read the best of the poets, epis, didactic, dramatic, pastoral,
lyric, etc.; but among these, Shakspeare must be singled out by one who wishes to learn the full powers of the English language. Of him we must declare as Horace did of the Grecian models, 'Vos exemplaria Græca noc
turnâ versate many, versate diurna.' Criticism.—Lord Kames' Elements of Criticism; Tooke's Diversions of Purley.
Of Biographical criticism, the Edinburgh Review furnishes the finest models
extant Rhetoric.--Blair's Rhetoric; Sheridan on Elocution; Mason on Poetic and
Prosaic Numbers. Oratory.—This portion of time (borrowing some of the afternoon when the days
are long and the nights short) is to be applied also to acquiring the art of writing and speaking correctly by the following exercises: Criticise the style of any book whatsoever, committing the criticism to writing. Translate into the different styles, to wil the elevated, the middling, and the familiar. Orators and poets will furnish subjects of the first, historians of the second, and epistolary and comic writers of the third. Undertake at first, short compositions, as themes, letters, etc., paying great attention to the elegance and correctness of your language. Read the orations of Demosthenes and Cicero; analyze these orations, and examine the correctness of the disposition, lan. guage, figures, state of the cases, arguments, etc.; read good samples also of English eloquence. Some of these may be found in Small's American Speaker, and some in Carey's Criminal Recorder; in which last the defense of Eugene Aram is distinguished as a model of logic, condensation of matter and classical purity of style. Exercise yourself afterward in preparing orations on feigned cases. In this, observe rigorously the disposition of Blair into introduction, parration, etc. Adapt your language to the several parts of the oration, and suit your arguments to the audience before which it is supposed to be delivered. This is your last and most important exercise. No trouble should therefore be spared. If you have any person in your neighborhood engaged in the same study, take each of you different sides of the same cause, and prepare pleadings according to the custom of the bar, where the plaintiff opens the defendant answers, and the plaintiff replies. It will further be of great service to pronounce your oration (having before you only short notes to assist the memory) in the presence of some person who may be considered as your judge.
NOTE. -Under each of the preceding heads, the books are to be read in the order in which they are named. These by no means constitute the whole of what might be usefully read in each of these branches of science. The mass of excellent works going more into detail is great indeed. But those here noted will enable the student to select for himself such others of detail as may suit his particular views and dispositions. They will give him a respectable, an useful and satisfactory degree of knowledge in these branches, and will them. selves form a valuable and sufficient library for a lawyer who is at the same time a lover of science.
Course of Study and Travel for Public Life. In a letter to Thomas Mann Randolph, Jr.,* at the time, July, 1786, a student in the University of Edinburgh, who had consulted him in respect to his studies, Mr. Jefferson writes as follows :
I am glad to find, that among the various branches of science presenting themselves to your mind, you have fixed on that of politics as your principal pursuit. Your country will derive from this a more immediate and sensible benefit. She has much for you to do. For though we may say with confidence, that the worst of the American constitutions is better than the best which ever existed before, in any other country, and that they are wonderfully perfect for a first essay, yet every human essay must have its defects. It will remain, therefore, to those now coming on the stage of public affairs, to perfect what has been so well begun by those going off it. Mathematics, Natural Philosophy, Natural History, Anatomy, Chemistry, Botany, will become amusement for your hours of relaxation, and auxiliaries to your principal studies. Precious and delightful ones they will be. As soon as such a foundation is laid in them, as you may build on as you please, hereafter, I suppose you will proceed to your main objects, Politics, Law, Rhetorie, and History. As to these, the place where you study them is absolutely indifferent. I should except Rhetoric, a very essential member of them, and which I suppose must be taught to advan. tage where you are. You would do well, therefore, to attend the public exer. cises in this branch also, and to do it with very particular diligence. This being done, the question arises, where you shall fix yourself for studying Politics, Law, and History? I should not hesitate to decide in favor of France, because you will, at the same time, be learning to speak the language of that country, become absolutely essential under our present eircumstanees. The best method of doing this, would be to fix yourself in some family where there are women and children, in Passey, Auteuil, or some other of the little towns in reach of Paris. The principal hours of the day you will attend to your studies, and in those of relaxation, associate with the family. You will learn to speak better from women and children in three months, than from men in a year.
Such a situation, too, will render more easy a due attention to economy of time and money. Having pursued your main studies here, about two years, and acquired a facility in speaking French, take a tour of four or five months through this country and Italy, return then to Virginia, and pass a year in Williamsburg, under the care of Mr. Wythe; and you will be ready to enter on the public stage, with superior advantages. I have proposed to you to carry on the study of the law with that of politics and history. Every political measure will, forever, have an intimate connection with the laws of the land; and he, who knows nothing of these, will always be perplexed, and often foiled by adversaries having the advantage of that knowledge over him. Besides, it is a source of infinite comfort to reflect, that under every chance of fortune, wo have a resource in ourselves from which we may be able to derive an honora. ble subsistence. I would, therefore, propose not only the study, but the prace tice of the law for some time, to possess yourself of the habit of public speaking. With respect to modern languages, French, as I have before observed, is indispensable. Next to this, the Spanish is most important to an American.
• Mr. T. M. Randolph, son of Col. Thomas Mann Randolph of Tuckahoe, married, in 1790 Martha Jefferson, begin life with an accomplished education and ample means—but owing to certain defects of mental constitution, the power of prompt and continuous action, did not achieve the success which was anticipated for him. He commanded a regiment in the war of 1812, was member of the State Legislature and of the National Congress, and Governor of Virginia for three years from 1819. He died in 1828, and his wife, in 1836—leaving behind them ten children. To one of their children ('Thomas Jefferson Randolph) Mr. Jefferson gave the management of his estate in 1814, and bequeathed his manuscripts by will, of which he was executor. He published, in 1929, an edition of Jefferson's writings, and received from Congress $25,000 for the manuscripts of a public character in his possession, which were published in 1853, in nine volumes, under the editorship of Henry A. Washington.