New Exhibits at Monticello
July 7, 2018 2:48 PM   Subscribe

On the weekend of June 16th 2018, around 300 descendants of the slave population at Monticello, Thomas Jefferson’s plantation near Charlottesville, attended the opening of new exhibits that “mark the restoration and reopening of a new interpretive approach that centers the experience of the enslaved.”

"Coincident with the opening of the new exhibition, the Thomas Jefferson Foundation, which owns and operates Monticello, released a public statement unequivocally acknowledging the veracity of the Jefferson-Hemings relationship.”

Previously, on plantation tours.
posted by tedious (9 comments total) 46 users marked this as a favorite
Jefferson, after a back of the envelope calculation, realized that he could make a "4 percent profit every year on the birth of black children." The result? He kept keeping slaves. More about his nailery.

also this is my first post!
posted by tedious at 2:50 PM on July 7, 2018 [24 favorites]

Well done!
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 3:21 PM on July 7, 2018

I had heard that his excuse was that he had gone into so much debt buying wine and books and entertaining that there was no choice but to keep on slavin'.
posted by thelonius at 3:23 PM on July 7, 2018

The irony is that Jefferson sent his 4 percent formula to George Washington, who freed his slaves, precisely because slavery had made human beings into money, like “Cattle in the market,” and this disgusted him

I found this sentence to be a bit misleading. Washington didn't free his slaves until AFTER his death and Martha's death, by will. Not unlike Jefferson, both did a fair amount of handwringing about owning slaves but could not bring themselves to live a life without them. This article seems to portray Washington differently than reality.

Iirc, one major difference however was that Jefferson didnt free anybody upon his death (except Sally and kids?) - ridden with debt, his slaves were sold like the rest of his property.
posted by Karaage at 3:28 PM on July 7, 2018 [12 favorites]

Well done, swell post.
posted by chavenet at 3:34 PM on July 7, 2018

Awesome site! Bookmarked for later leisurely perusal of the online exhibits.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 5:27 PM on July 7, 2018

There's an intro here for a Woodwright's Shop episode on John Hemings' carpentry work. Roy sounds kind of breezy about it but there are other episodes he did related to Jefferson and he nearly always makes a point of mentioning that the carpenter was a slave (and has pointed out the "All men are created equal" paradox a couple times more)
posted by bonobothegreat at 6:51 AM on July 8, 2018 [1 favorite]

I'm impressed that Monticello actually admitted to the keeping of slaves. That's a major step for them.
posted by honey badger at 10:13 AM on July 8, 2018

Not unlike Jefferson, both did a fair amount of handwringing about owning slaves but could not bring themselves to live a life without them.

It's a helluva drug, white supremacy. It’s easy to see how wrong it is but much harder to live without its benefits.
posted by Big Al 8000 at 6:32 PM on July 8, 2018 [3 favorites]

« Older "I brought my diploma to my cell window so people...   |   Five weeks, five records: Kanye's Wyoming Sessions Newer »

This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments