Accepting that Thomas Jefferson was the father of Sally Hemings’s children is not an “attack” on Jefferson. Nor is it giving in to some notion of “political correctness.” Rather, it is an acknowledgment and acceptance of historical evidence. It does not diminish Jefferson’s many accomplishments and achievements which are of world-historical importance.
On June 16, 2018, Monticello unveiled exhibits and newly restored spaces, including the opening of the South Wing and The Life of Sally Hemings exhibit. This landmark conclusion of a major restoration initiative at Monticello also commemorated 25 years of the Getting Word Oral History Project.
The issue of Jefferson’s paternity has been the subject of controversy for at least two centuries, ranging from contemporary newspaper articles in 1802 (when Jefferson was President) to scholarly debate well into the 1990s. It is now the Thomas Jefferson Foundation’s view that the issue is a settled historical matter.
Monticello is one of the most beautiful and recognizable houses in America. It’s elegant and harmonious, and it was revolutionary for American architecture at the time. If you ever need a quick reminder of its features, just fish a nickel out of your pocket.
From writing the Declaration of Independence to commissioning the Louisiana Purchase, Thomas Jefferson is one of the most influential figures in our presidential history. But strides toward social and political freedom were not the only things he made relevant during his two terms. We have Jefferson's unique taste to thank for popularizing some of the most beloved foods in American culture—think ice cream, mac 'n' cheese and even french fries.
Thomas Jefferson was a man of many faces and accomplished a lot in his lifetime. Here are a few facts you never knew about one of the most interesting men in American history.
931 Thomas Jefferson Parkway
Charlottesville, VA 22902