The Lawn, University of Virginia

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Thomas Jefferson, 1743–1826

Charlottesville, Virginia, USA; 1819–25

When Thomas Jefferson founded the University of Virginia in 1819, there were few other such educational establishments around. Harvard (1636) was the oldest university foundation in the USA and by 1776 the country had ten universities – a remarkable number, given that there were still only two in the UK. Like the medieval European universities, they were all religious institutions, and none was further south than Philadelphia.

Opened in 1825, the University of Virginia was among the first not to require its students and staff to have a particular ...

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