The 52nd Lewis and Clark Trail Heritage Foundation Annual Meeting was hosted by Charlottesville, Virginia’s Home Front Chapter. The future of Lewis and Clark scholarship and involvement will depend on both the Lewis and Clark trails we can walk on (and row on) and on virtual space that is becoming more and more important to learning and community. As we recruit new members and face the challenges of this year, we are creating online spaces and using the new technology.
We had lectures and live question and answer sessions with scholars such as Elizabeth Chew of Montpelier, who answered the question, “What happened to the University of Virginia’s Lewis and Clark artifacts. An online, interactive experience, “A Vote for Democracy,” examined Lewis and Clark documents and also pointed the way to new educational outreach in schools. For the Moulton Lecture, J. Jefferson Looney, the Daniel P. Jordan Editor of The Papers of Thomas Jefferson at Monticello, highlighted the retirement years of Thomas Jefferson, the culmination of his life of thought and action.
The meeting included film of the home places of the Lewis and Clark families and of Thomas Jefferson, as well as portraits of the new spaces devoted to history in Charlottesville and the region. Through video and photographs we looked at the University of Virginia’s Memorial to Enslaved Laborers; the Lewis Family’s estate house within Charlottesville, “the Farm,” and the Woolen Mills area; the Lewis & Clark Statue, now slated to be moved; and the new welcome center at Monticello. You’ll see where Ken Burns celebrated his Lewis and Clark film at the birthplace of George Rogers Clark, and where the new Lewis and Clark Exploratory Center was constructed on land once owned by William Clark’s grandfather.
Virtual tours included the new Lewis & Clark Exploratory Center, the new Visitor’s Center and exhibits at Monticello, and the expanded Montpelier. We will also be giving you a close look at the Lewis & Clark statue on Charlottesville’s Main Street, which is slated to be moved, possibly to the Lewis & Clark Exploratory Center. In particular we will highlight the friezes along the base that tell the Lewis & Clark story.