Thomas Jefferson's Slaves: Freedom vs Loyalty

Thomas Jefferson

This is a short story about my life. I was born on April 13, 1743 at Shadwell, Virginia. I wentto college at William and Mary in from 1760 to 1762. I was a lawer, planter, and a public official. My slaves were treated like I treated my own family. When I wanted to give up slavery, my slaves did not want to leave because they were treated better with me then any one else would treat them. My granddaughter Ellen remembered assisted me in laying out the Monticello flowerbeds. One of my slaves named Hughes was responsible for the care of the horses and the stables. Also he drove the carriage to court and he transported my family members and goods for me. Those were some of the things my slaves had to do. So now you know the truth about how I treated my slaves.

Issac Jefferson

I'm Isaac Jefferson. I was one of Thomas Jefferson's slaves. I was born at Monticello in 1775. I was one of the three sons to be important members of the Monticello of labor force. His wife Ursula was a trusted household servant was purchased at a sp ecial request for Thomas Jefferson wife Martha. In 1874, I became a free man when I worked as a blacksmith in Peterburg Virginia. I continued to live my life in Peterburg, Virginia for the rest of my life since I became a freeman.

Sally Hemmings

Sally Hemming is my name, and I was one of Thomas Jefferson's slaves. Thomas and I were lovers and we had to hide the truth about our relationship. Mr. Jefferson and I were really close. He trusted me like I was part of the family. I had a feeling that Jefferson liked me when I got there, I was an inheritanceof Mrs. Jefferson diseased aunt. But I am glad because Thomas Jefferson never tried to hurt me, neither did none of his family members. After Jefferson died his family members turned mad men, and started to kill alot of us slaves.

John Hemmings

I was a slave of Thomas Jefferson. I started as a slave hewing logs, building fences and barns. After that I became a carpenter at the ageof seventeen. I was told by Thomas Jefferson to be the best wood worker. I learned to make all kinds of fine ma hogany furniture. I was the favorite with Jefferson's grandchildren. They told Jefferson of my making toys and furniture. When Jefferson died, he freed me in his will. I was the son of Betty Hemings, it was said that Joseph Neilson was my farther. I don 't really know.Jefferson treated his slaves justlike they were his own family so if I had to be a slave for anyone. It would be to ThomasJefferson because he was loyal, and kind to all of us. To me Thomas Jefferson is a generousman in a way, but he did have slaves, but at least he treated us as if we were family.


Acadmic American Encyclopedia I-J Volume 2 pg. 391-392

Encyclopedia Americana Jefferson-Latin Volume 16 pg.1-9

The World Book Encyclopedia J-K Volume 2 pg.76-87

Collier's Encyclopedia Infinity-Kazak Volume 13 pg.526-530

Monticello, Home of Thomas Jefferson

Photo Credit: Thomas Jefferson: The Library of Congress

The Slaves of George Washington: The Library of Congress

Nathaniel Rollins
Erik Hines
Thomas Hartman
Eric Carpenter

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