Monticello Descendants

Monticello has always been filled with the rich history of its most famous resident, Thomas Jefferson, whose story has been told and retold through the years. But the plantation — nestled in mountains in Charlottesville, Virginia — has also had to reckon with its painful history of slavery. In addition to being the third president of the United States and writer of the Declaration of Independence, Jefferson owned more than 600 people.  For full story, click here.

Thomas Jefferson’s Slaves

“Two-and-a-half months had passed since Velma Williams’ 96th birthday on July 4, 2016, but never one to let her age get to her, she wanted to celebrate the occasion by driving cross-country from her home in Oakland, California, to Charlottesville, Virginia. Along the way, she’d stay at her cousin Nancy Ann’s apartment in New York City and then head south to her cousin Ruth’s in Richmond, Virginia.  Together, the three cousins would present themselves at the International Center for Jefferson Studies in Charlottesville to be interviewed by researchers from Getting Word, an oral history archive for descendants of Thomas Jefferson’s enslaved community. Ruth had told Velma something of the project, but Velma, whose primary research interest has always been military history, didn’t think much on it.” For full story click here.