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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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2398. EDUCATION, Jefferson's Bills on.—
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2398. EDUCATION, Jefferson's Bills on.—

The bill [on Education in the Revised
Code of Virginia] proposes to lay off every
county into small districts of five or six miles
square, called hundreds, and in each of them
to establish a school for teaching reading,
writing, and arithmetic. The tutor to be
supported by the hundred, and every person
in it entitled to send their children three years
gratis, and as much longer as they please,
paying for it. These schools to be under a
visitor who is annually to choose the boy of
best genius in the school, of those whose parents
are too poor to give them further education,
and to send him forward to one of the
grammar schools, of which twenty are proposed
to be erected in different parts of the
country, for teaching Greek, Latin, geography,
and the higher branches of numerical arithmetio.
Of the boys thus sent in any one year,
trial is to be made at the grammar schools
one or two years, and the best genius of the
whole selected, and continued six years, and
the residue dismissed. By this means twenty
of the best geniuses will be raked from the
rubbish annually, and be instructed at the
public expense, so far as the grammar schools
go. At the end of six years instruction, one-half
are to be discontinued (from among
whom the grammar schools will probably
be supplied with future masters); and the
other half, who are to be chosen for the superiority
of their parts and disposition, are to
be sent and continued three years in the study
of such sciences as they shall choose, at William
and Mary College. * * * The ultimate
result of the whole scheme of education
would be the teaching all the children of
the State reading, writing, and common arithmetic;
turning out ten annually of superior
genius, well taught in Greek, Latin, geography,
and the higher branches of arithmetic;
turning out ten others annually, of still superior
parts, who, to those branches of learning,
shall have added such branches of the
sciences as their genius shall have led them
to; the further furnishing to the wealthier
part of the people convenient schools at which
their children may be educated at their own
Notes on Virginia. Washington ed. viii, 388. Ford ed., iii, 251.