Smithsonian Plans Exhibition on Jefferson and Slavery

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The Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture won’t open until 2015, but it is already mounting exhibitions. Next up, the museum announced on Tuesday, is an exhibition on Thomas Jefferson and slavery, organized with the Thomas Jefferson Foundation at Monticello.

The exhibition, which will examine the lives of six slave families at Monticello, will open Jan. 27, 2012, in a gallery at the National Museum of American History. It will include artifacts in the Smithsonian’s collection, including a lapdesk that Jefferson used to write the Declaration of Independence, as well as objects that have been discovered through excavations at Monticello like marbles, tools, a brass shoe buckle and a bone toothbrush.

The exhibition will also discuss evidence suggesting that Jefferson fathered children with one of his slaves, Sally Hemings....

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