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.

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