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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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8728. UNIVERSITY (National), Proposed establishment.—
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8728. UNIVERSITY (National), Proposed establishment.—

Education is here
placed among the articles of public care, not
that it would be proposed to take its ordinary
branches out of the hands of private enterprise,
which manages so much better all the
concerns to which it is equal: but a public institution
can alone supply those sciences
which, though rarely called for, are yet necessary
to complete the circle, all the parts of
which contribute to the improvement of the
country, and some of them to its preservation.
The subject is now proposed for the
consideration of Congress, because, if approved
by the time the State Legislatures
shall have deliberated on this extension of
the Federal trusts, and the laws shall be
passed, and other arrangements made for
their execution, the necessary funds will be
on hand and without employment. I suppose
an amendment to the Constitution, by
consent of the States, necessary, because the
objects now recommended are not among
those enumerated in the Constitution, and to
which it permits the public moneys to be
applied. The present consideration of a
national establishment for education, particularly,
is rendered proper by the circumstance,
also, that if Congress, approving the
proposition, shall yet think it more eligible to
found it on a donation of lands, they have it
now in their power to endow it with those
which will be among the earliest to produce
the necessary income. This foundation would
have the advantage of being independent on
war, which may suspend other improvements
by requiring for its own purposes the resources
destined for them.—
Sixth Annual Message. Washington ed. viii, 68. Ford ed., viii, 494.
(Dec. 1806)