• Monticello Music

    • Thomas Jefferson
    by Performances by Sugar Ridge Quartet, Pete Vigour, L. Mackey, and J. Deal.
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    Jefferson was an accomplished amateur violinist and an avid concertgoer who once declared music is "the passion of my soul." This time we present a selection of music related to Jefferson and Monticello, ranging from popular tunes to classical pieces.

  • Epidemics and Thomas Jefferson

    • Revolutionary Ideas
    • Science and Exploration
    by J. Jefferson Looney
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    Thomas Jefferson knew a thing or two about epidemics. The virulent diseases most feared in his time were smallpox and yellow fever.

  • Monticello and Honest History

    • Bringing History Forward
    • Slavery and the Legacy of Race
    by Leslie Greene Bowman
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    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.

  • Ascendant: The Power of Descendant Communities to Shape Our Stories, Places and Future

    • Bringing History Forward
    • Slavery and the Legacy of Race
    by Monticello
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    Part of a two-day event to honor Monticello's Getting Word community and the re-dedication of the Burial Ground for Enslaved People, this public program highlights the importance of descendant voices in the telling of American history—voices that have often been marginalized, or left out completely. Featured speakers include filmmaker Ava DuVernay, The Atlantic writer Clint Smith, Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Annette Gordon-Reed, musician Wynton Marsalis, Ford Foundation President Darren Walker, descendants of families who were enslaved at Monticello, and more.

  • by J. Jefferson Looney
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    Thomas Jefferson sold his extensive collection of books to the nation in 1815 to replace the congressional library destroyed when the British burned the United States Capitol the previous year. Famously declaring that “I cannot live without books,” he quickly began ordering replacements of titles that were particularly important to him. Despite repeated attempts, however, one title escaped him: a work by John Baxter published in London ca. 1796–1801 and entitled A new and impartial History of England, From the most Early Period of Genuine Historical Evidence to the Present Important and Alarming Crisis.

  • by Monticello
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    The unprovoked invasion of a sovereign state by another violates fundamental international law and reminds us that engines of despotism and lawlessness still exist and must be opposed.

  • by Alice Wagner
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    Thomas Jefferson’s relationship with religion was... complicated, to say the least. People still argue over what he may or may not have truly believed, but one thing is clear: Jefferson gave religion a lot of thought. In the British Empire, the king served as both head of state and head of the Church of England, but Jefferson wanted something different for the United States.

  • Divided Loyalties: Benjamin and William Franklin

    • People and Places
    • Revolutionary Ideas
    by Kathryn Braun
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    It may seem surprising that one of our most well-known founding fathers, Benjamin Franklin, had a Loyalist son.

  • by Anna Berkes
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    How do we know what Monticello looked like during Jefferson’s time? Monticello has been called one of the best-documented plantations, and the same goes for the house interior; we are lucky to have a wealth of correspondence, visitor accounts, and even diagrams from Jefferson’s time. Today, we take for granted all of these rich sources and records that help us in our work. But back in the early 20th century, the situation was far different. For Women’s History Month, it feels appropriate to honor Marie Kimball, the woman who first rediscovered these sources and helped to make Monticello what it is today.

  • Piecing Together Minerva Granger's Life Using Archaeological and Documentary Sources

    • Archaeology
    • Plantation Agriculture, Gardens & Grounds
    • Slavery and the Legacy of Race
    by Crystal O'Connor
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    Minerva Granger was one of the enslaved women who was essential to Jefferson’s agricultural endeavors on his plantation. Along with her family and other members of the enslaved community, she planted and harvested tobacco and later wheat, which Jefferson sold on Atlantic markets.