Person

Thomas Jefferson

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Layered collage of an eye over the portrait of Thomas Jefferson, against the backdrop of the Declaration of Independence.

Who Really Wrote ‘the Pursuit of Happiness’?

The voice of Doctor Johnson, archcritic of the American Revolution, was constantly in mind for the Declaration of Independence’s drafter.
Shawn Huckins' painting of Thomas Jefferson with a WiFi symbol over his face, 2017.

Meet Thomas Jefferson

Portraying a 19th-century president.
1825 painting of a white man kissing a Black woman, and a white man whipping a Black man.

Jefferson’s Secret Plan to Whiten Virginia

Jefferson’s system depended on shoring up the bulwarks of race and basing the law on a theory of government that withdrew protection from unfavored groups.
The front cover of Peter Manseau's new book, featuring a photo of Jefferson's bible.

Doubting Thomas

Is Jefferson's Bible evidence that the Founding Fathers engaged with scripture to birth a Christian nation? Or that they sought to foster a new secular order?
Picture of the many different people that make up the US.

The Right to Leave

Thomas Jefferson was a proponent of open migration. But who qualified as a refugee?
screenshot of primary source archive with "slut" in search browser and primacy source results listed below

Sluts and the Founders

Understanding the meaning of the word "slut" in the Founders' vocabulary.
Painting of 18th century hunting party of men in long, tri-cornered hats, and curly wigs, riding horses.

The Comforts of a Single State

Thomas Jefferson imagines an unequal gender utopia.
Portrait of Thomas Jefferson

Sunrise at Monticello

Jefferson and his connection to partisanship in early America.
A collage featuring Thomas Jefferson.

What Thomas Jefferson Could Never Understand About Jesus

Jefferson revised the Gospels to make Jesus more reasonable, and lost the power of his story.
partner

Thomas Jefferson, Yellow Fever, and Land Planning for Public Health

Jefferson envisioned land-use policies that he hoped would mitigate epidemics – and other urban evils.

Historians Write About a Different Jefferson Now: Four Books Show How Different

Four new books show how different, and maybe also why.
Revolutionary War reenactment.

The Second-Amendment Case for Gun Control

It's a myth that the Founders opposed the regulation of deadly weapons.

James Madison Understood Religious Freedom Better than Jefferson Did

One emphasized the freedom to think; the other, in effect, the freedom to pray.
Lithograph of Thomas Jefferson

Hero or Villain, Both and Neither: Appraising Thomas Jefferson, 200 Years Later

A Pulitzer historian assesses what we are to make of UVA’s founder, 200 years hence.

‘She Was Part of This Family’: Jefferson Descendants Reflect on Sally Hemings Exhibit

Many who trace their roots back to the enslaved community at Monticello are expected to attend the exhibit opening.

Jefferson’s Monticello Finally Gives Sally Hemings Her Place in Presidential History

New exhibits put slavery at the center of Monticello's story, and make it clear that Jefferson was the father of Hemings' children.

Mr. Jefferson’s Books & Mr. Madison’s War

The burning of Washington presented an opportunity for Jefferson’s books to educate the nation by becoming a national library.

Thomas Jefferson and Us

The resurgence of the debate over the Sage of Monticello's legacy: Is Jefferson the ultimate patriot or ultimate hypocrite?

Sally Hemings, Thomas Jefferson and the Ways We Talk About Our Past

Why the words we use to describe Sally Hemings matter.

Charlottesville: Why Jefferson Matters

Annette Gordon-Reed explores the ways in which the many paradoxes of Jefferson make him a potent figure for racists and anti-racists alike.