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

Monticello was a working plantation, and Jefferson was eager to make it pay. His slaves may have been members of his family, but they were units of production as well. Everywhere on his plantation he sought to eliminate pockets of idleness. If a slave was too old or too sick to work in the fields, he or she was put to tending the vegetable gardens or to cooking in the quarters. When one of his former head men named Nace became ill, Jefferson ordered that he be entirely kept from labour until he recovers; nevertheless, Nace was to spend his days indoors shelling corn or making shoes or baskets. Jefferson was willing to prescribe lighter work for women who were pregnant or raising infant children because they were actually breeding more property; thus, said Jefferson, a child raised every 2 years is of more profit than the crop of the best laboring man. This is one of the times, he said, when providence has made our interest and our duties coincide perfectly.

Gordon S. Wood
Empire of Liberty: A History of the Early Republic, 1789–1815 (2009)