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The Jeffersonian cyclopedia;

a comprehensive collection of the views of Thomas Jefferson classified and arranged in alphabetical order under nine thousand titles relating to government, politics, law, education, political economy, finance, science, art, literature, religious freedom, morals, etc.;

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32. ACADEMY, Transfer of Geneva.—
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32. ACADEMY, Transfer of Geneva.—

I. * * * enclose for your perusal and consideration * * * the proposition of M. D'Ivernois,
a Genevan of considerable distinction, to translate the Academy of Geneva in a body
to this country. You know well that the colleges
of Edinburgh and Geneva as seminaries
of science, are considered as the two eyes of
Europe. While Great Britain and America give
the preference to the former, all other countries
give it to the latter. I am fully sensible
that two powerful obstacles are in the way of
this proposition. First, the expense; secondly,
the communication of science in foreign languages;
that is to say, in French and Latin;
but I have been so long absent from my own
country as to be an incompetent judge either of
the force of the objections, or of the disposition
of those who are to decide on them. * *
What I have to request of you is, that you will
* * * consider his proposition, consult on
its expediency and practicability with such gentlemen
of the Assembly [of Virginia], as you
think best, and take such other measures as you
shall think best to ascertain what would be the
sense of that body, were the proposition to be
hazarded to them. If yourself and friends approve
of it, and there is hope that the Assembly
will do so, your zeal for the good of our country
in general, and the promotion of science, as
an instrument towards that, will, of course, induce
you and them to bring it forward in such a
way as you shall judge best. If, on the contrary,
you disapprove of it yourselves, or think
it would be desperate with the Assembly, be so
good as to return it to me with such information
as I may hand forward to M. D'Ivernois, to
put him out of suspense. Keep the matter by
all means out of the public papers, and particularly,
* * * do not couple my name with the proposition
if brought forward, because it
is much my wish to be in nowise implicated in
public affairs.—
To Wilson Nicholas. Washington ed. iv, 109. Ford ed., vi, 513.
(M. Nov. 1794)