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leigh's picture
This sounds like a great Saturday afternoon activity.
Leigh
Bruce Dembling PhD's picture
I would like to see more material on Queen Charlotte and George III, especially during the growth of the abolition movement in Britain and how Jefferson reacted to news (eg. Lord Mansfield's Sommersett decision of 1772.) Can we recruit characters to portray Charlotte and George? Charlotte's letters re the American rebellion are available at UVA and would make authentic reading material. http://people.virginia.edu/~jlc5f/charlotte/letter_intro.html
Bruce Dembling PhD
Don Pearson's picture
The tour guide certainly succeeded in not celebrating Thomas Jefferson, but failed miserably in not denigrating him. While I am not opposed to speaking the truth in all situations, I believe opinionated statements like saying Jefferson's decision to not free all his slaves was simply a "lifestyle choice," are appropriate. I also find it disturbing that the staff at Monticello are committed to not celebrating the author of the Declaration of Independence, founder of the University of Virginia, third President of the United States, the founder of the University of Virginia, and so much more. In the days following the tour of Monticello, my family and I toured Poplar Forest, and Williamsburg. At both locations we took guided tours that spoke of Jefferson's life honestly, but definitely celebrated his accomplishments and contributions.
Don Pearson
Eric Staples's picture
Its not fiction
Eric Staples
ksmeltzer's picture
Dear Don, I am sorry to hear that you had a negative experience with your tour at Monticello. Our goal at the Thomas Jefferson Foundation is neither to denigrate nor celebrate Thomas Jefferson, but rather to help our visitors better understand Jefferson, his ideas, and his lasting contributions. We feel that in order to do this, one must learn about all facets of Jefferson’s life. This includes his many contributions to the founding of the United States, but also includes some of the more difficult aspects of his life, such as his complex relationship with slavery. If you would like to learn more in particular about the Foundation’s position related to Jefferson and Sally Hemings, I encourage you to visit this page of our website: http://www.monticello.org/site/plantation-and-slavery/thomas-jefferson-and-sally-hemings-brief-account. It presents what we know about Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemings based on the historical evidence, explains how the Thomas Jefferson Foundation arrived at its belief that Jefferson was the father of Sally Hemings’ children, and includes the full January of 2000 report produced by a research committee created by the Thomas Jefferson Foundation. You will also find several responses to the report offering dissenting opinions. We thank you for your feedback, Steve Light, Manager of House Tours
Kristie Smeltzer
cwollerton's picture
Yes, JeffersonResearch. As footnote 1 states, the "If a nation expects to be free . . ." portion of the quote is a true Jefferson quotation. You can find it in our Jefferson Quotes and Family Letters website at http://tjrs.monticello.org/letter/327. The question here is whether "If we are to guard against ignorance and remain free . . ." portions is a Jefferson quotation, which it does not appear to be.
Chad
Don Pearson's picture
My family and I enjoyed our recent visit to Monticello, the house and grounds are spectacular. I was dismayed at the apparent dislike for Thomas Jefferson by the person who guided our tour through the house. The guide's knowledge of the house was adequate, but she did not anything positive to say about Mr. Jefferson. A person with no prior knowledge of Thomas Jefferson's life and positive contributions to our great country, would walk away from the tour believing Jefferson was financially irresponsible, sexually immoral, and that his decision not to free his slaves was simply a lifestyle choice. While I do not know much about the finances of Jefferson during his life, I do not believe his alleged sexual exploits with a slave girl is settled fact, as the tour guide stated. She also said the matter is agreed upon by all the staff at Monticello. The matter of freeing slaves in 18th century Virginia is not as simple an issue, as the guide suggested. Just a cursory search through the books for sale in the gift store revealed sources that disagreed with the tour guide on each issue. The 12 minute video we watched in the theater also portrayed Jefferson positively. People who rewrite history to support their particular world view are especially abhorrent in my view, and are harmful to the patriotism of our great country.
Don Pearson
JeffersonResearch's picture
http://www.yamaguchy.com/library/jefferson/yancey.html " If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be. " Jefferson letter to Colonel Charles Yancey. Monticello, January 6, 1816.
JeffersonResearch
cwollerton's picture
The original obelisk tombstone was conserved by Smithsonian in 2014. Check out this cool article on the process - http://bit.ly/1oW1Hy5.
Chad
leigh's picture
Was this intended to be a sleeping area, or did TJ just decide to put a bed in that opening?
Leigh

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