FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - September 1, 2016
Media Contact: Alexandria Tyre
CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA—On September 17th, the Thomas Jefferson Foundation at Monticello will host a public summit on the legacies of slavery and freedom as the capstone of Human/Ties, a multi-day event organized with the University of Virginia to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the National Endowment for the Humanities. An original copy of the 13th Amendment will be on limited display at Monticello, home of Thomas Jefferson, author of the Declaration of Independence, from September 13th through September 20th.
The 13th Amendment, signed by President Abraham Lincoln in 1865, abolished slavery and outlawed involuntary servitude. The amendment declared that "Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction."
The document to be exhibited at Monticello is one of three engrossed Senate copies signed by President Lincoln and co-signed by Hannibal Hamlin, vice president and president of the senate; Schuyler Colfax, speaker of the house; John W. Forney, secretary of the senate; and 36 of the 38 senators who voted for passage of the amendment.
Generously loaned by David M. Rubenstein, the 13th Amendment is being displayed as part of Human/Ties, a four-day celebration of the National Endowment for the Humanities’ 50th anniversary, organized by the NEH and the University of Virginia with support from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. All programming is free and open to the public. On September 17th, the Thomas Jefferson Foundation at Monticello will host the capstone summit of Human/Ties on “Memory, Mourning, Mobilization: Legacies of Slavery and Freedom in America.”
Rubenstein, co-founder and co-CEO of The Carlyle Group, is the leading supporter of Monticello’s Mountaintop Project, a multi-year effort to restore Monticello as Jefferson knew it and to tell the stories of the people – enslaved and free – who lived and worked on the 5,000-acre plantation. Rubenstein’s on-going “patriotic philanthropy” efforts are protecting and preserving important historical and cultural treasures across the country and making them more accessible to the public.
“Monticello aspires to be a place for inspiration, where all Americans are able to consider the role of race, power and culture in the founding of the nation,” Leslie Greene Bowman, president of the Thomas Jefferson Foundation at Monticello, said. “We are deeply grateful to Mr. Rubenstein for loaning us this rare copy of the 13th Amendment, a transformative document that is dramatically relevant to our discussion of the legacy of slavery and race today.”
The Monticello Summit brings together some of the nation’s leading voices on race and the legacies of slavery, including Marian Wright Edelman, Henry Louis Gates, Jr., Annette Gordon-Reed, Jon Meacham, and Bree Newsome, and features special appearances by Nikki Giovanni, the Union Run Baptist Church Choir, and more. After the panel discussions, attendees will have access to a variety of programming on the mountain, including a community partners’ expo, guided archaeology walks, and interpretive programming along Mulberry Row, once the “Main Street” of the plantation.
“Monticello is an essential place to examine the nation’s complicated and often painful past, and to reflect on our current society and ideals,” Gayle Jessup White, Monticello’s community engagement officer, and a descendant of Thomas Jefferson and Peter Hemings, said. White will open the summit with Lucia Stanton, Shannon Senior Historian Emeritus at Monticello and founder of the Getting Word oral history project.
The Monticello Summit is free and open to the public, and will also be streamed online. Reservations for the summit are recommended. Guest registration, a detailed schedule and a complete list of speakers are available at monticello.org/neh.
About The Thomas Jefferson Foundation at Monticello
The Thomas Jefferson Foundation was incorporated in 1923 to preserve Monticello, the home of Thomas Jefferson, in Charlottesville, Virginia. Today, the foundation seeks to engage a national and global audience in a dialogue with Jefferson’s ideas. Monticello is recognized as a National Historic Landmark and a United Nations World Heritage Site. As a private, nonprofit organization, the foundation’s regular operating budget does not receive ongoing government support to fund its twofold mission of preservation and education. About 440,000 people visit Monticello each year. For information, visit monticello.org.