Trashing Thomas Jefferson’s legacy — Monticello is going woke
NEW YORK POST
Monticello is going woke — and trashing Thomas Jefferson’s good name in the process.
The Charlottesville, Virginia, home of the Founding Father and America’s third president is one of our best-known national monuments, familiar from its appearance on the nickel since 1938.
But the hilltop mansion designed by Jefferson himself, once preserved as a tribute to the author of the Declaration of Independence, now offers visitors a harangue on the horrors of slavery.
“The whole thing has the feel of propaganda and manipulation,” Jeffrey Tucker, founder of the libertarian Brownstone Institute and a recent visitor, told The Post. “People on my tour seemed sad and demoralized.”
The new emphasis is the culmination of a 10-year effort to balance the historical record, officials of the Thomas Jefferson Foundation, the nonprofit that owns the estate, have said.
But visitors complain that employees go out of their way to belittle Jefferson and his life.
“The tour guides play ‘besmirchment derby,’ never missing a chance to defame this brilliant, complex man,” Stephen Owen of Enochville, NC, wrote on Facebook.
“Half of the comments on Jefferson were critical,” wrote William Bailes of Chester, Virginia in an online review after visiting in June. “Even my 11-year-old daughter noticed the bias.”
Tucker described his guide last month as “surly and dismissive” of Jefferson’s accomplishments.
“Someone asked if Jefferson had built a machine in the house, and the guide said, ‘Nah, he never built anything, he was just a tinkerer,’” Tucker recalled.
Jeffrey Tucker, founder of the libertarian Brownstone Institute, accused the Thomas Jefferson Foundation of putting “propaganda” inside the Monticello.MLADEN ANTONOV/AFP via Getty Images
“It was ridiculous. He was the architect of this house and of the University of Virginia — what are you talking about?”
Jefferson’s life story is full of thorny contradictions. The world’s foremost proponent of liberty, who wrote the immortal words, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal,” was nonetheless a committed slave owner until his death in 1826.
That has made him a prime target for the left. Last year, a Jefferson statue was unceremoniously booted from the New York City Council’s chamber, where it had stood for 187 years.
Header featured image (edited) credit: Jefferson/VCG Wilson/Corbis via Getty Images
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