National Trust Condemns Actions Against Staff at MontpelierHistorians in the News
tags: slavery, historic preservation, African American history, James Madison, Montpelier, public history
This morning, the National Trust for Historic Preservation learned that key professional staff members of The Montpelier Foundation who have spoken out in support of the Montpelier Descendants Committee have been terminated or suspended. The terminations included Elizabeth Chew, Executive Vice President & Chief Curator, and Matt Reeves, Director of Archaeology and Landscape Restoration, two long-term employees who are largely responsible for building the groundbreaking interpretive and research programs at Montpelier in collaboration with the descendant community.
The National Trust strongly condemns these actions against highly regarded and nationally recognized professionals, which will impede the effective stewardship of Montpelier and diminish important public programming at this highly significant historic site.
The National Trust has been working to achieve a resolution to the very public dispute between the Foundation and the Montpelier Descendants Committee, but these and other recent actions by the Foundation lead us to question whether a resolution is possible under the current leadership of the Foundation.