North Carolina History Center at Tryon Palace

  • Edward Rothstein, who has been writing reviews of museums and exihibitions for The New York Times for several years, looks at the $60 million North Carolina History Center at Tryon Palace (See NY Times 6-Aug-2011). Under review is not only the Center, which Rothstein considers to be quite well done, but the changing fashion of recreated history in the last 20 years. As historical homes such as Tryon Palace drew fewer and fewer visitors, visitor centers were built becoming not just the gateways to the major historical homes, but, at times, their rivals, offering new expositions and elaborate genuflections to contemporary tastes.
JDN | 6-Aug-2011

C. Vann Woodward has written of Jefferson, It fell to the lot of one Virginian to define America. It was in his private life that Jefferson defined the relationship between blacks and whites in America, acting out in the most specific sense the psychosexual dilemma of the whole nation. Other great men in history have loved unlettered women, among them Rousseau and Goethe, each of whom lived for years with virtually illiterate mistresses and then in the end married them. But Jefferson’s dilemma was peculiarly American. So savage were the penalties of this kind of love in the New World that he could neither admit it nor defend it without fear of social ostracism, and he had to keep up an elaborate pretense that it did not exist. He could not openly, and perhaps even privately admit his paternity to Sally’s children.

Fawn M. Brodie
Thomas Jefferson: An Intimate History (1974)