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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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2399. EDUCATION, Jefferson's Bills on.—[continued].
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2399. EDUCATION, Jefferson's Bills on.—[continued].

I have sketched and put
into the hands of a member a bill, delineating
a practicable plan, entirely within the means
they [the Virginia Legislature] already have
on hand, destined to this object. My bill
proposes: 1. Elementary schools in every
county, which shall place every householder
within three miles of a school. 2. District
colleges, which shall place every father within
a day's ride of a college where he may dispose
of his son. 3. An university in a healthy
and central situation, with the offer of the
lands, buildings, and funds of the Central
College, if they will accept that place for their
establishment. In the first will be taught
reading, writing, common arithmetic, and
general notions of geography. In the second,
ancient and modern languages, geography
fully, a higher degree of numerical arithmetic,
mensuration, and the elementary principles
of navigation. In the third, all the useful
sciences in their highest degree. To all of
which is added a selection from the elementary
schools of subjects of the most promising
genius, whose parents are too poor to give
them further education, to be carried at the
public expense through the colleges and university.
The object is to bring into action
that mass of talents which lies buried in poverty
in every country, for want of the means
of development, and thus give activity to a
mass of mind, which, in proportion to our
population, shall be the double or treble of
what it is in most countries. The expense
of the elementary schools for every county,
is proposed to be levied on the wealth of the


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county, and all children rich and poor, to be
educated at these three years gratis. * * * This is, in fact and substance, the plan I proposed
in a bill forty years ago, but accommodated
to the circumstances of this, instead
of that day.—
To M. Correa. Washington ed. vii, 94.