Woman. Mother. Sister. Slave.
Sally Hemings and Monticello
Claims that Thomas Jefferson fathered six children with an enslaved woman at Monticello, Sally Hemings, entered the public arena during Jefferson’s presidency and have remained a subject of discussion and disagreement for two centuries. Today, based on the best-available documents, scientific, statistical and oral history evidence, this once-rumored liaison is now presented as a piece of the history of Monticello.
Be part of a fascinating day as we learn the multifaceted story of Thomas Jefferson, our third president, Sally Hemings and their children. Explore a Monticello you’ve never seen before through the eyes of Hemings’ great, great, great, great niece.
Our morning begins with a private guided tour in intimate small groups through one of the world’s most historic estates –Monticello. Gaze upon the glorious interiors, including his restored private suite. These rooms, "arranged according to his own taste & convenience,” reveal how Jefferson used the space and affirm just what an eye he had for design and architecture. Stroll through the gardens and view the majestic views of the nearly 5,000 acres of unfolding natural beauty. Explore the recently-rebuilt Mulberry Row, the “dynamic, industrial hub of the plantation”, including the slave quarters, where we pause and try to grapple with the emotional complexities associated with Jefferson – the author of the Declaration of Independence and an owner of over 600 enslaved people.
Our last stop of the morning is a private peek into the newly installed exhibit on Hemings in Monticello’s South Wing, where she may have once lived. It was only recently restored, after historians were led to her private quarters based on a description of its location by one of Jefferson’s grandsons. You never know what is hiding under what was once a modern day bathroom!
During a private lunch, Gayle Jessup White, a descendant of both the Hemings and Jefferson families, will share the enormity of the oral history project she leads documenting memories of hundreds of descendants of Monticello’s enslaved community. We’ll have the privilege of hearing a few of her family’s fascinating experiences. These family stories are yarn which is woven into a full tapestry of not only Monticello’s, but our nation’s history.
Sunday, October 14, 2018 @ $270.00
Depart 6:30am. Full Breakfast, background talk and film clips to set the stage for our visit. Arrive Monticello 10am. Touring till lunch at 1pm. 2:30pm - Free time to walk back up to the gardens or enjoy the vast Gift Shop [home décor, dining & kitchen, garden, apparel and accessories, handcraft gifts, and heirloom seeds] Depart 3:30pm. On the return drive, wine and cheese followed by the movie “Jefferson in Paris”. Arrive Baltimore 6:30pm