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University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Virginia (Howe)

Gazetteer/Almanac

Henry Howe, Historical Collections of Virginia… (Charleston, SC: William R. Babcock, 1852), 165.

The UNIVERSITY OF VIRGINIA is one mile west of Charlottesville, and although of a deservedly high reputation, it is an institution of recent origin. The legislature of the state, at the session of 1817-18, adopted measures for establishing the university, which, however, did not go into operation until 1825. The institution was erected and endowed by the state; and it owes its origin and peculiar organization to Mr. Jefferson. It has a fine collection of buildings, consisting of four parallel ranges about 600 feet in length, and 200 feet apart, suited to the accommodation of 9 professorships, and upwards of 200 students; which, together with the real estate, cost over $300,000. It possesses valuable libraries, amounting to 16,000 vols., and is amply provided with philosophical and chemical apparatus, together with a fine cabinet of minerals and fossils, and an anatomical and miscellaneous museum. The observatory, a short distance from the university, is furnished with the requisite astronomical instruments. "The plan of the university differs materially from that of other institutions in the Union. The students are not divided into four classes, with a course of studies embracing four years; but the different branches are styled schools, and the student is at liberty to attend which he pleases, and graduate in each when prepared. In order to attain the title of "Master of Arts of the University of Virginia," the student must graduate in the several schools of mathematics, ancient languages, moral philosophy, natural philosophy, chemistry, and in some two of the modern languages. The chairman of the faculty is annually chosen from the faculty, by the board of visitors. This board is appointed by the governor and council every four years, and chooses its own rector. This institution is, in every respect, organized and justly regarded as an university of the first class. The number of students, including the law and medical departments, is not far from 200."

How to Cite This Page: "University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Virginia (Howe)," House Divided: The Civil War Research Engine at Dickinson College, http://hd.housedivided.dickinson.edu/node/20243.