Jefferson, Land, and Independence
Thomas Jefferson is often referred to as the “apostle of liberty.” His Declaration of Independence has been used as a model by people in over 100 nations asserting self-determination and by groups as diverse as the women of the 1848 Seneca Falls Convention to the Black Panthers of the 1960s. The Declaration proclaimed soaring notions of individual liberty, equality, and independence for a new nation. Yet, it is easy to forget, or miss, that central to Jefferson’s vision of independence and liberty was land, or the ownership of land – landedness, both for the individual and the nation. This symposium will begin with the Declaration of Independence and identify the role of land in Jefferson’s vision. We will then focus on the role of independent, land-owning farmers—including African-American farmers—before turning to consider land, especially Western land, in Jefferson’s “empire of liberty.”
This program has something for everyone: learning opportunities, tours, exclusive and off-the-beaten-path visits, and much more.
Participants will have the opportunity to:
- Arrive early to tour the Grounds, relax, and enjoy the University of Virginia—early arrival is optional
- Live on the historic Lawn or Brown College at Monroe Hill
- Learn about the new Memorial to Enslaved Laborers at UVA
- Take an optional excursion to Poplar Forest, Jefferson’s retreat home (limited capacity —first-come basis)
- Spend a day at Morven Farm, the property Jefferson purchased for his “adopted son,” Colonel William Short
- Share dinner with peer participants on an enchanted mountaintop, Montalto, once owned by Jefferson
- Enjoy daily morning meals in Pavilion VII, the Colonnade Club—the University’s first building
- Dine in the historic Rotunda, the first library at the University of Virginia
- Enjoy lectures and informal conversations with scholars and fellow participants
Don’t miss this biennial learning experience at Summer Jefferson Symposium 2020!