The Atlantic

When Slavery Is Erased From Plantations

Some presidential estates and other historical sites have struggled to reconcile founding-era exceptionalism with the true story of America’s original sin.
Source: Sylvia Jennings Alexander Estate / The Atlantic

The story of Sally Hemings—the enslaved woman who bore six of Thomas Jefferson’s children—is told from the basement of Jefferson’s mansion at his Monticello plantation in Charlottesville, Virginia. The third American president’s legacy barely touches the brick floors and plastered walls of Hemings’s windowless room, their two lives more unconnected at Monticello today than they were in 1791.

At George Washington’s Mount Vernon estate, slavery is similarly separated from the nation’s founding father. A temporary exhibition,  “,” explores the lives of 19 men, women, and children owned by Washington. It is the site’s attempt to tell the stories of the enslaved at the Virginia plantation—yet Washington’s legacy sits a safe distance away from this narrative, as the framework for his

Vous lisez un aperçu, inscrivez-vous pour en lire plus.

Plus de The Atlantic

The Atlantic2 min de lecturePolitics
The Atlantic Politics & Policy Daily: Stacey’s Nom?
Stacey Abrams hinted this week that she’d be open to being vice president. Plus: Israel reversed course, but Representative Rashida Tlaib won’t go.
The Atlantic9 min de lectureSociety
America Moved On From Its Gay-Rights Moment—And Left a Legal Mess Behind
Half a decade after the Supreme Court’s same-sex-marriage decision, the justices and Congress are still trying to figure out what federal law should say about LGBTQ rights.
The Atlantic3 min de lecture
The Books Briefing: What Happens When You Lose the Place You Come From
In our latest cover story, Vann R. Newkirk II details how 1 million black families were forced off their farmland, a loss that translates to about $3.7 billion to $6.6 billion in today’s dollars. Such stories of displacement—the loss of property, or