University of Virginia Library

Search this document 
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.;

collapse sectionA. 
33. ACADEMY, Transfer of Geneva.—[continued]
expand sectionB. 
expand sectionC. 
expand sectionD. 
expand sectionE. 
expand sectionF. 
expand sectionG. 
expand sectionH. 
expand sectionI. 
expand sectionJ. 
expand sectionK. 
expand sectionL. 
expand sectionM. 
expand sectionN. 
expand sectionO. 
expand sectionP. 
expand sectionQ. 
expand sectionR. 
expand sectionS. 
expand sectionT. 
expand sectionU. 
expand sectionV. 
expand sectionW. 
expand sectionX. 
expand sectionY. 
expand sectionZ. 

expand section 
expand section 

33. ACADEMY, Transfer of Geneva.—[continued]

I have returned, with infinite
appetite, to the enjoyment of my farm my family
and my books, and had determined to meddle
in nothing beyond their limits. Your proposition,
however, for transplanting the college of
Geneva to my own country, was too analogous
to all my attachments to science, and freedom,
the first-born daughter of science, not to excite a
lively interest in my mind, and the essays which
were necessary to try its practicability. This
depended altogether on the opinions and dispositions
of our State Legislature, which was
then in session. I immediately communicated
your papers to a member of the Legislature,
whose abilities and zeal pointed him out as
proper for it, urging him to sound as many of
the leading members of the Legislature as he
could, and if he found their opinions favorable,
to bring forward the proposition; but if he
should find it desperate, not to hazard it; because
I thought it best not to commit the honor
either of our State or of your college, by an
useless act of eclat. * * * The members
were generally well-disposed to the proposition,
and some of them warmly; however, there was
no difference in the conclusion, that it could not
be effected. The reasons which they thought
would with certainty prevail against it, were i,
that our youth, not familiarized but with their
mother tongue, were not prepared to receive instructions
in any other; 2, that the expense of
the institution would excite uneasiness in their
constituents, and endanger its permanence; and
3, that its extent was disproportioned to the
narrow state of the population with us. Whatever
might be urged on these several subject,
yet as the decision rests with others, there remained
to us only to regret that circumstances
were such, or were thought to be such, as to
disappoint your and our wishes.—
To M. D'Ivernois. Washington ed. iv, 113. Ford ed., vii, 2.
(M. Feb. 1795)