Student of the Enlightenment
"Your own reason is the only oracle given you by
When he entered the College of William and Mary in 1760, "it was my great good fortune," Thomas Jefferson later wrote, "and what probably fixed the destinies of my life, that Dr. William Small of Scotland was then Professor of Mathematics." But William Small, the only faculty member who was not an Anglican clergyman, taught much more than mathematics; indeed, the whole European intellectual ferment seemed grist for his mental mill. When he was appointed temporarily to fill the philosophical chair, he offered lectures on ethics, rhetoric, and belles lettres — the first in the college, Jefferson noted, ever to do so. With a "happy talent of communication" as well as
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Publication information: Book title: Sworn on the Altar of God: A Religious Biography of Thomas Jefferson. Contributors: Edwin S. Gaustad - Author. Publisher: W.B. Eerdmans. Place of publication: Grand Rapids, MI. Publication year: 1996. Page number: 16.
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