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The Thomas Jefferson Papers:
Jefferson and Hemings Sources

Isaac Jefferson: Memoirs of a Monticello Slave

 

The Memoirs of Isaac Jefferson begin, "Life of Isaac Jefferson of Petersburg, Virginia, Blacksmith, containing a full and faithful account of Monticello and the family there, with notices of the many distinguished characters that visited there, with his Revolutionary experience and travels, adventures, observations and opinions, the whole taken down from his own words."

 


Page 1
"Isaac Jefferson was born at Monticello"

Page 2
"Isaac remembers John Nelson an Englishman at work at Monticello"

Page 3
"Sally Hemings' mother Betty was a bright mulatto woman and Sally mighty near white"

Page 4
"After one year the government was moved from Williamsburg to Richmond. Mr. Jefferson moved there with his servants, among 'em Isaac"

Page 5
"The day before the British came to Richmond (the Arnold), Mr. Jefferson sent off his family in the carriage"

Page 6
"The soldiers at Richmond, in the camp at Bacon Quarter Branch would come every two or three days to salute the Governer at the Palace"

Page 7
"When the British come in, an officer rode up and asked, 'Where's the Governor?' Isaac's father (George) told him: 'He's gone to the mountains'"

Page 8
"Isaac heard the powder-magazine when it blew up--like an earthquake"

Page 9
"General Washington brought all Mr. Jefferson's folks and about twenty of Tuckahoe Tom's (Tom Mann Randolph's) back to Richmond with him"

Page 9B

Page 10
"Old master [Thomas Jefferson] was never seen to come out before breakfast--about 8 o'clock"

Page 11
"The first year Mr. Jefferson was elected President, he took Isaac on to Philadelphia"

Page 12
"Every Sunday Isaac would go to the President's house--large brick house, many windows"

Page 13
"Isaac went back to Monticello"

Page 14
"Isaac carried on the tin-business two years: it failed. He then carried on the nail-business at Monticello seven years: made money at that"

Page 15
"Isaac wanted Mr. Giles to marry Miss. Polly. Arthur always said, he was a mighty fine man"

Page 16
"Mr. Jefferson used to hunt squirrels and partridges; kept five or six guns; oftentimes carried Isaac with him"

Page 17
"From Monticello you can see mountains all round as far as the eye can reach"

Page 18
"Isaac and John Hemings nursed him [Thomas Jefferson] two months: had to car[ry] him about on a han-barrow"

Page 18B

Page 19
"Mr. Jefferson had a large park at Monticello: built in a sort of a flat on the side of the mountain"

Page 20
"The woods and mountains was often on fire: Isaac has gone out to help to put out the fire"

Page 21
"Isaac left Monticello four years before Mr. Jefferson died"

Page 22
"He [Isaac] is quite pleased at the idea of having his life written and protests that every word of it is 'true'"

 




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