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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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466. ARISTOCRACY, Education and.—
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466. ARISTOCRACY, Education and.—

The bill [of the Revised Code of Virginia] for the more general diffusion of learning
proposed to divide every county into wards
of five or six miles square, like the [New
England] townships; to establish in each
ward a free school for reading, writing and
common arithmetic; to provide for the annual
selection of the best subjects from these
schools, who might receive, at the public expense,
a higher degree of education at a district
school; and from these district schools
to select a certain number of the most promising
subjects, to be completed at an University,
where all the useful sciences should be
taught. Worth and genius would thus have
been sought out from every condition of life,
and completely prepared by education for defeating
the competition of wealth and birth
for public trusts.—
To John Adams. Washington ed. vi, 225. Ford ed., ix, 427.
(P. 1813)