Thomas Jefferson Estate Claims His Slaves Were Born and Raised As If They Were Free

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When Thomas Jefferson died, scores of slaves were sold from his Monticello plantation to settle his debts.

Peter Fossett, 11, was among them, recalling that he was ‘born and reared as free, not knowing that I was a slave, then suddenly, at the death of Jefferson, put on an auction block and sold to strangers.’

Fossett’s story is one of many included in several new projects launching this winter to shed light on the slaves who lived and worked at Monticello.

Sprawling: Jefferson’s home (top right) stands on acres of land at the Charlottesville, Virginia estate where several projects launching this winter will shed light on the slaves who lived and worked there

A website launching January 27 will showcase oral histories of the slaves in an online project called ‘Getting Word: African American Families of Monticello’.

An exhibit at the Smithsonian in Washington D.C. called ‘Slavery at Jefferson’s Monticello: Paradox of Liberty’ also opens January 27 and will weave in some excerpts from the ‘Getting Word’ project. And an outdoor exhibit, ‘Landscape of Slavery: Mulberry Row at Monticello,’ will open February 17 at the Monticello estate in Charlottesville, Virginia.

‘We don’t shy away from slavery, we talk about slavery because we know that it’s fundamentally important to understanding Jefferson and understanding America,’ said Susan Stein, a senior curator at Monticello. ‘In this time period, 20 per cent of America’s population was enslaved, and 38 per cent of Virginia’s population in 1790 were slaves.’

Expanding the reach of the oral history project is among Monticello’s ongoing efforts to give more prominence to the role of slaves as well as indentured servants and others who worked on the 5,000-acre plantation owned by America’s third president. Jefferson drafted the Declaration of Independence, and although he owned slaves, he called slavery ‘an abominable crime’.









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6 Comment

  1. thank goodness these homo erektus were not allowed to vote or own land, Just look at em, Not a brain between the lot of them, Im gonna wager, Too stupid to tie their own shoes, let alone read the DOI, Our biggest mistake was not picking our own cotton and leaving these parasites in their filthy , insect and disease infested jungles, Now look at this once great country, every african with his hand out demanding, not asking, for everything under the son that we work for, Somehow they get the false notion that they are owed reparations from some fake slavery idea, It was their own kind and jews who dominaated the slave industry, Besides, white people who were educated wanted nothing to do with owning black slaves, they were much more trouble than they were worth and what is never mentioned is the fact that there were as many white slaves as their wre black, Im waiting for the ineveitable sounds of chimpouts all across the land, Wait for it,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

    • What plant did this ape come from? Everybody that has studied the history of this country knows thatis was stolen the the indians and the majority of the slaves were KIDNAPPED from their homes, brought here and made to work as slaves. American History 101. Not only Jews but the Irish, porguesse, Spain, and other nations took part int he slave trade. Yes, the slaves were trouble because the KEPT RUNNING AWAY FROM YOU AND THE SLAVE PLANTATION. Do you ever pick up a book and read it?

  2. It is not wise to argue with fools. From a distance, people can’t tell who is who.

  3. Quando Thomas Jefferson morreu, dezenas de escravos eram vendidos a partir de sua plantação de Monticello para liquidar suas dívidas.

    Peter Fossett, 11, estava entre eles, lembrando que ele foi "nascido e criado como livre, sem saber que eu era um escravo, então, de repente, com a morte de Jefferson, colocar em um leilão e vendida a estranhos."

    A história de Fossett é um dos muitos incluídos no lançamento de vários novos projetos neste inverno para lançar luz sobre os escravos que viveram e trabalharam em Monticello.

    Alastrando: a casa de Jefferson (canto superior direito) fica em hectares de terra no Charlottesville, Virginia propriedade onde vários projetos de lançamento neste inverno vai lançar luz sobre os escravos que viveram e trabalharam lá.

    Um site de lançamento 27 de janeiro vai mostrar histórias orais dos escravos em um projeto on-line chamado "Começar de palavra: famílias afro-americanas de Monticello.

    Uma exposição no Smithsonian em Washington DC chamado de 'escravidão em Monticello de Jefferson: Paradoxo the Liberdade "também abre 27 de janeiro e vai tecer em alguns trechos da' Obtendo a Palavra de projeto. E uma exposição ao ar livre, "Paisagem the Escravatura: Row Mulberry em Monticello, 'abrirá 17 de fevereiro na propriedade de Monticello em Charlottesville, Virginia.

    "Nós não fugir the escravidão, nós falamos sobre a escravidão, porque sabemos que é de fundamental importância para a compreensão de Jefferson e compreensão América", disse Susan Stein, curador sênior do Monticello. "Neste período de tempo, 20 por cento the população the América foi escravizada, e 38 por cento the população the Virgínia em 1790 eram escravos.

    Ampliando o alcance do projeto de história oral é um dos esforços contínuos the Monticello para dar mais destaque ao papel de escravos, bem como servos e outros que trabalhavam na plantação de 5.000 hectares de propriedade de terceiro presidente dos Estados Unidos. Jefferson redigiu a Declaração de Independência, e embora ele possuía escravos, chamou escravidão "um crime abominável".


  5. Christianity is what your masters gave you, that's the religion they chose for you because what my ancestors brought from Africa, they told you, was black magic and pure superstition. Now, if you're christian, you're just carrying the tradition of the slave master.

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