Offered by the Thomas Jefferson Foundation for schools, libraries, museums, community centers and other sites


As the home of Thomas Jefferson and the best-documented plantation in America, Monticello is an essential place to confront the paradox of slavery in a nation founded on the ideals of liberty and equality. Decades of archaeology, research, and a slave descendant oral history project have brought individuals out of the shadows of slavery. These sources have revealed stories of family resilience, the tragedies of sale and separation, and the struggle for freedom and equality.

In 11 freestanding panels, Monticello and the Legacies of Slavery examines slavery at Monticello as well as its painful legacies, among them the burdens of inequality still carried by many people of color in the United States. It draws heavily from material gathered through the Getting Word Oral History Project, amplifying the voices of descendants of Monticello’s enslaved community. It has been specifically designed to bring the power of place and ideas at Monticello to schools, libraries, and other community venues across the country.

In addition to the enslaved families of Monticello, including Sally Hemings and her children, the exhibition introduces the Monticello plantation, Jefferson’s attitudes on race and slavery, and stories from the enslaved community—establishing an overall narrative arc from slavery to freedom and the continuing struggle for equity.


  • Two copies available for travel
  • Duration: one-month loan period at each venue
  • Recommended space: 60-70 running feet
  • 11 freestanding panels, easily configured to different spaces
  • Panels are approximately 33” wide and stand 88” high
  • Available June 2019

This exhibition is presented by the Thomas Jefferson Foundation at Monticello with support from the National Endowment for the Humanities.

For further information, please contact Mary Mason Williams.