April 9 – January 4,2015
Thomas Jefferson helped create a new nation based on individual freedom and self-government—yet he remained a slaveholder throughout his life. This powerful, revealing, and deeply personal exhibit follows the stories of six slave families who lived and worked at Jefferson’s plantation—the Fossett, Granger, Gillette, Hemings, Hern, and Hubbard families—and their descendants who fought for justice and helped bring to light their ancestors’ lives and values. Slavery at Jefferson’s Monticello features more than 280 artifacts that represent each family’s trade as well as personal items of Jefferson’s including a walking stick, chess set, books, spectacles, and replica of the portable desk used to draft the Declaration of Independence. Explore the story of slavery in early U.S. history while discovering the struggle and the self-determination at the heart of America’s founding. Leave being inspired to discover your own family heritage and history.
This exhibit is presented by the Thomas Jefferson Foundation at Monticello in partnership with the National Museum of African American History and Culture. All objects in this exhibit are from the collection of the Thomas Jefferson Foundation at Monticello, unless otherwise noted.
Additional support for the National Constitution Center’s presentation of this exhibit was provided by a grant from the Pennsylvania Abolition Society.
The Constitution Center can connect journalists with experts on the Constitution and other topics.
Get insights from the annual AP-NCC poll, the PA Civic Health Index, and other timely reports.