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Early in 1814 Jefferson began to make definite efforts toward the establishment of a university to give better educational advantages than were then attainable at William and Mary. Half a year later the legislature authorized the President and the Directors of the Literary Fund to look into the establishment of a new educational institution. Jefferson was requested to prepare an address for this Board. In this address was to be embodied his best thought upon higher education. In 1817 the University was established with Jefferson as the first Rector of its Board of Visitors. As late as 1823 so strenuous had been the opposition to the University that as yet nothing had been done. In that year the Board decided to wait no longer. Professors were selected from Oxford, Cambridge, and the University of Edinburgh. March, 1825, was set as the time of opening. In spite of great opposition and such adverse criticism by June a hundred students were in attendance. To Joseph C.Cabell, one of his co-workers, he wrote in 1820:-- "Surely the pride as well as the patriotism of our legislature will be stimulated to look to the reputation and safety of their own country, to rescue it from becoming the Barbary of the Union, and of falling into the ranks of our own negroes. To that coalition it is fast sinking. We shall be in the hands of the other states, what our indigenous predecessors were when invaded by the science and arts of Europe. The mass of education in Virginia, before the revolution, placed her with the foremost of her sister colonies. What is her situation now?