In 1804, after journeying thousands of miles through Central America and northern South America, Alexander von Humboldt -- who would later gain international renown for exploits and writings -- made a special stop in Washington, DC, to see one of his intellectual heroes, Thomas Jefferson.
While Jefferson often gets the credit, it was enslaved chefs like James Hemings, who created Monticello's famed "half Virginian, half French" cuisine. Food Historian Leni Sorensen explains how Hemings's training in France and the installation of stew stoves changed cooking here.
Monticello's former Robert H. Smith Director of Restoration, Bob Self, demonstrates the making a mortise and tenon joint, one of the classic techniques that would have been used by joiners James Dinsmore and John Hemmings at Monticello.
Jefferson described the Polygraph as "the finest invention of the present age." Monticello guide Charles Morrill, who's been working on reproductions of various versions of the Polygraphs Jefferson owned, describes the device's importance to Jefferson. Polygraph appears courtesy the University of...
Fear of separation from loved ones was one of the great underlying terrors of slavery. Today we hear the story of a fight that broke out between two enslaved teenagers working in Monticello's Nailery and the dire consequences that followed.