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Thomas Jefferson


  • Teaching "All Men are Created Equal" (Part I)

    by Jeff Schneider

    A longtime teacher of American history maintains that a close reading of the Declaration of Independence makes it possible to discuss revolution and racism in a thoughtful way without intimidating either white students or students of color.


  • America's First Peaceful (Just Barely!) Transfer of Power

    by Akhil Reed Amar

    While the selection of Thomas Jefferson as the third president in 1801 (after an electoral college deadlock) is touted as a crucial peaceful transfer of presidential power from one party to another, the transition was far more fraught with peril than most realize. 


  • Jefferson's Other Legacy: Religious Liberty

    by Cameron Addis

    Thomas Jefferson's critics have pointed out his ownership of slaves as reason to question his continued relevance as a symbol of freedom. But his commitment to religious liberty helped to prevent violent sectarian conflict and should be honored. 



  • Letters From an American: November 3, 2020

    by Heather Cox Richardson

    These injuries to our system have saddled us with an Electoral College that permits a minority to tyrannize over the majority. That systemic advantage is unsustainable in a democracy. One or the other will have to give.



  • Why Thomas Jefferson Created His Own Bible

    by Peter Manseau

    The "Jefferson Bible," representing Thomas Jefferson's efforts to excise the supernatural and miraculous from the New Testament, is an important document of American religious culture. The story of its preservation by Cyrus Adler and John Fletcher Lacey is a remarkable tale as well that reflects changes in the political nature of American religion.



  • I’m a Direct Descendant of Thomas Jefferson. Take Down His Memorial.

    by Lucian K. Truscott IV

    it’s time to honor one of our founding mothers, a woman who fought as an escaped slave to free those still enslaved, who fought as an armed scout for the Union Army against the Confederacy — a woman who helped to bring into being a more perfect union after slavery, a process that continues to this day. In Jefferson’s place, there should be another statue. It should be of Harriet Tubman.



  • America’s First Connoisseur

    James Hemings, one of Thomas Jefferson's slaves, taught his fellow slaves at Monticello everything he knew about food, transmitting his influence down the generations, onto the tables of Virginia’s social elite.


  • Historic Houses Turn to Technology Amid COVID-19 Closures

    by Hana Hancock

    Historic home sites have responded to the COVID crisis by developing online exhibits. More work remains to be done, and many cultural and historical institutions are in financial peril from the crisis, reports HNN's Social Media Editor.