Properly displayed, cared for and explained, historical artifacts are an invaluable part of telling the full story of not only Jefferson, but also the enslaved community and the broader Revolutionary era. Here are just a few examples of items from Poplar Forest’s collection that we would like to share with our visitors:
Original ceramic vessels – Only fragments remain of the ceramic vessels that once graced the dining room table of Jefferson’s retreat home. While period examples of the Oxford and Cambridge series are on display in the house, the original pieces are not currently displayed.
Architectural elements – Stew stove grates, shutter pintles, keys, locks and more—these are the objects that were once part of the original fabric of the house, helping Poplar Forest restore Jefferson’s retreat in exacting detail.
Bell system and everyday objects of the enslaved population – We would like to display what remains of the bell system that once rang out in the kitchen, to summon enslaved laborers to the dining room. Together with many more everyday objects of the enslaved community—coins, pipes, buttons—we can bring their individual stories to life.