The Legacy of Slavery at Monticello: Background information when reading My Monticello

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My Monticello

Fiction

by Jocelyn Nicole Johnson

My Monticello by Jocelyn Nicole Johnson X
My Monticello by Jocelyn Nicole Johnson
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  • Published:
    Oct 2021, 224 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Lisa Butts
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About this Book

The Legacy of Slavery at Monticello

This article relates to My Monticello

Mulberry Row at Monticello (dirt road lined with trees) In the novella that makes up the second half of My Monticello, survivors of a white nationalist uprising seek shelter at Thomas Jefferson's estate. Jefferson's former residence and plantation located just outside of Charlottesville, Virginia is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and currently operates as a museum dedicated to the third U.S. president by the Thomas Jefferson Foundation. However, Jefferson's legacy as a founding father is complicated by his history as a slaveholder, despite his referring to slavery as a "moral depravity" and crafting legislation banning the import of enslaved Africans to Virginia. It is believed that Jefferson was the father of six children with an enslaved woman named Sally Hemings, who lived with and labored for Jefferson all her life, beginning when she was 14 years old.

Thomas Jefferson kept around 600 enslaved people over his lifetime, with about 100 living and working at Monticello at any given time. The property had four farms, a dairy, a textile...

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