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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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7736. SCIENCE, Pursuit of.—
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7736. SCIENCE, Pursuit of.—

On the revival
of letters, learning became the universal
favorite [pursuit]. And with reason, because
there was not enough of it existing to manage
the affairs of a nation to the best advantage,
nor to advance its individuals to the happiness
of which they were susceptible, by improvements
in their minds, their morals, their health,
and in those conveniences which contribute to
the comfort and embellishment of life. All the
efforts of the society, therefore, were directed
to the increase of learning, and the inducements
of respect, ease, and profit were held up
for its encouragement. Even the charities of
the nation forgot that misery was their object,
and spent themselves in founding schools to
transfer to science the hardy sons of the plow.
To these incitements were added the powerful
fascinations of great cities. These circumstances
have long since produced an overcharge
in the class of competitors for learned occupation,
and great distress among the supernumerary
candidates; and the more, as their habits
of life have disqualified them for reentering
into the laborious class. The evil cannot be
suddenly, nor perhaps ever entirely cured: nor
should I presume to say by what means it May
be cured. Doubtless there are many engines
which the nation might bring to bear on this
object. Public opinion, and public encouragement
are among these.—
To David Williams. Washington ed. iv, 513.
(W. 1803)