The recent news cycle has seen a number of articles and a television interview proclaiming that Monticello is no longer a place where you can learn about Thomas Jefferson’s contributions to American history. Instead, these stories claim that the only thing you can learn is that Jefferson was a slaveholder. These stories are disappointing and inaccurate, but not at all surprising.

We know that when we are educating the public on Jefferson’s history-defining accomplishments and revealing an honest narrative about slavery at Monticello, we have and will continue to receive criticism from different parts of the political spectrum, from those who desire that we focus solely on one aspect or the other, but not both.

For nearly a century, Monticello has been—and continues to be— a place where you can learn about Thomas Jefferson’s significant impact on our history. The principles enshrined in the Declaration of Independence, words Jefferson specifically wrote, serve as our nation’s mission statement, and provide common ground for all Americans. Sharing this history is central to our mission.

  • In our tours, livestreamsdigital resources on citizenship, and publications, Monticello provides guests and viewers online with the legacy of Jefferson’s world-changing ideals.

  • We draw upon decades of historical sources, many written by Jefferson, to share the history of slavery at Monticello and of Jefferson’s involvement in slavery. Monticello staff, and others, have compiled research going back more than fifty years to tell the story of one of the best-documented plantations in the United States.

  • We have and will continue to present an honest history of all aspects of Monticello and Jefferson’s life and legacy.

  • For those who choose to visit with a spirit of discovery and reflection, Monticello offers a rich experience. The overwhelming majority of guest feedback is favorable.

As our nation approaches the 250th anniversary of its independence in 2026, we are committed to discussing all aspects of Jefferson’s history and of Monticello. Jefferson believed that education, bolstered by the exercise of reason and a free conscience, was the surest path to human progress. We share that belief, and our vision is to bring history forward to better understand our present and to improve our future. Our work is important in this moment. We hope you can experience it for yourself.