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Monticello to Unveil New Exhibit on Jefferson's Well-Known Relation, Sally Hemings

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The exhibit will open on Saturday, June 16 The exhibit will open on Saturday, June 16
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) -

The historic home of Thomas Jefferson is set to unveil a brand new exhibit that will pay homage to Sally Hemings, with whom Jefferson fathered six children.

Monticello will officially unveil the new exhibit on Saturday, June 16, as part of a massive ceremony called “Look Closer."

Close to 300 direct descendants of Hemings's family and other slave families are expected to be in attendance.

Monticello will be celebrating the 25th anniversary of its oral history project, “Getting Word.” The project compiled stories from Hemings' descendants to try to piece together a more thorough view of the plantation's history.

Historians say they are excited to finally be able to share this more complete story with the public.

“It’s a story about America, it’s a story about race, it’s a story about freedom and slavery, and it’s perhaps best told through the lens of those who were enslaved here,” says Brandon Dillard, Monticello’s special programs manager. “We can now tell this story in a very visceral way.”

Guests will be able to view a re-creation of where Hemings lived at Monticello, as well as a number of other new spaces including a textile mill display.

The event kicks off Saturday at 10 a.m. with a public address by Leslie Greene Bowman, the Thomas Jefferson Foundation president.

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