Thomas Jefferson Foundation
I. Committee Charge and Overview
On December 21, 1998, Dr. Daniel P. Jordan, president of the Thomas Jefferson Foundation, appointed a research committee of Monticello staff members, including four Ph.D.'s and one medical doctor, and charged the committee with evaluating the DNA study of Dr. Eugene Foster and associates, assessing it within the context of all other relevant historical and scientific evidence, and recommending the impact it should have on historical interpretation at Monticello. The committee's members were:
- Chair: Dianne Swann-Wright, Director of Special Programs
- Whitney Espich, Communications Officer
- Fraser Neiman, Director of Archaeology
- Anne Porter, Education Instructor
- David Ronka, Interpreter
- Lucia Stanton, Shannon Senior Research Historian
- Elizabeth Dowling Taylor, Head Guide
- White McKenzie Wallenborn, Associate Interpreter
- Camille Wells, Director of Research
The committee met as a whole ten times from December 1998 to April 1999, to discuss sources read by all members (see III) and reports by individual members on additional topics (issues of interpretation, media response, and the views of historians). Subcommittees on the scientific and documentary evidence were formed to gather and process information and consult with experts in the field. After preparation of a draft report, the committee consulted with members of Monticello's Advisory Committee for the Robert H. Smith International Center for Jefferson Studies and Advisory Committee on African-American Interpretation, and met in February 1999 with six individual members of these committees.
Minutes from the committee meetings are in the files of the Chair, Dianne Swann-Wright.
Go on to Part II: Assessment of DNA Study