Slavery at Jefferson's Monticello

April 11, 2014 11:17:40 AM PDT
Just a few blocks away from where Thomas Jefferson stayed while drafting the Declaration of Independence, the National Constitution Center is taking a deeper look into one of the most divisive issues in the history of America with an exhibition called Slavery at Jefferson's Monticello. The Thomas Jefferson Foundation conducted hundreds of interviews, did numerous excavations and spent more than 50 years researching North America's best preserved and most studied plantation. The exhibit is the result of that work.

"Slavery at Jefferson's Monticello is about the pervasive problem of slavery in early America," explains Susan Stein, Senior Curator at Monticello.

The exhibit delves into the experiences of six enslaved families who lived and worked at Monticello and uses their personal artifacts and oral histories from their descendants to tell their story. "What we know about enslaved people, what historians and archeologist have discovered are coming from that archeological record," says Stein, "By focusing on individuals we can learn more about slavery and what it meant to be enslaved."

The exhibit includes more than 280 artifacts, objects that show the work the slaves did on the plantation. There are also some of Jefferson's personal items.

Stein says, "It tells a story that is fundamentally important to our country. You can't understand America without understanding slavery and you can't understand slavery without knowing about its people."

Slavery at Jefferson's Monticello runs through October 19th. For tickets, go to www.Constitution Or you can visit to learn about other area events. Just click on the entertainment channel on the left hand side.

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