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Recent Podcast Episodes

William Monroe Trotter Battles 'The Birth of a Nation'

Trailblazer. Newspaper publisher. Civil rights titan. Meet William Monroe Trotter, one of the most influential descendants of Monticello’s enslaved community—and someone that too many people have never heard of.

John and Priscilla Hemmings

Monticello guide Kyle Chattleton looks at the extremely close relationship of Monticello's enslaved joiner John Hemmings and his wife, Priscilla, an enslaved domestic servant owned by Jefferson's son-in-law and at the couple's complex relationship with the Jefferson family.

Music and Monticello's Enslaved Community

Music was an important part of life for enslaved people at plantations across the U.S. Monticello guide and musicologist Kyle Chattleton looks at the ways enslaved people here and across the nation used music and at the foundational role they played in creating a distinctly American musical tradition.

A Theft at Monticello

Enslaved people did not simply accept the confines of their bondage, and resistance took many forms. An example is found in the story of York, a young man enslaved at Monticello who attempted to escape in 1798.

The Louisiana Purchase and Its Legacies

Monticello guide Justin Bates discusses Jefferson's interest in the Louisiana Territory, his hopes for an "Empire of Liberty" across the North American continent, and the Purchase's lasting legacies.

Thomas Jefferson and the Corps of Discovery

Monticello guide Ariel Armenta explores Thomas Jefferson’s intentions for the Corps of Discovery and Merriwether Lewis’s preparations. She also focuses on the diverse character of this Corps, and the Expedition's lasting scientific impacts.

A Difficult Visit: Anna Maria Thornton

We have several accounts from visitors to Monticello during Jefferson’s lifetime who were surprised and delighted by their time on the mountaintop. Yet… not everyone had such a pleasant experience. Case in point: Anna Maria Thornton’s visit in 1802.

Robert Hemings’s Manumission

Monticello's Kyle Chattleton discusses one of the few moments in Monticello’s history where an enslaved individual was freed by Jefferson.

Cornelia Jefferson Randolph

Monticello Guide Laura-Michal Balderson discusses Cornelia Jefferson Randolph's relationship with her grandfather, Thomas Jefferson, and highlights her mechanical drawings of the University of Virginia and Monticello's first floor.

The Levy Stewardship of Monticello

Monticello Guide Holly Haliniewski looks at the Levys, who owned and preserved Jefferson's mountaintop for nearly a century. Aired on November 6, 2020.

The Contentious Election of 1800

Historian Edward Larson shares the story of this unprecedented campaign, the surprising results that nearly tore our young nation apart, and the behind-the-scenes maneuvering that ultimately led to the first peaceful transfer of power in American history. Released on November 4, 2020

A Tragic Marriage

Former Monticello Guide Katy Gehred tells the story of the troubled marriage of Jefferson's grandaughter Ann Cary Randolph. Released on October 15, 2020

Thomas Jefferson's Grand Day Out in London

Monticello guide David Thorson details the events of March 21, 1786, a day of shopping and entertainment in London for Thomas Jefferson. Released on September 9, 2020

Helping Jefferson's Words Live On

It's a monumental task. Editing and publishing all of Jefferson's papers following his retirement from the presidency in 1809. Radio producer Sean Tubbs gives us an inside look at the process and talks with J. Jefferson Looney, Editor-in-Chief of the Papers of Thomas Jefferson: Retirement Series, about the what, why, how, and how long of this consequential project.
(Originally posted on April 10, 2006; approx. 13.75 minutes.)


Archive of Monticello Podcasts, 2005-2010 »