ABOUT Annette Gordon-Reed
September 22, 2008
How I uncovered the story of the woman who was missing from childhood history books.
In this excerpt of "The Hemingses of Monticello," author Annette Gordon-Reed examines how Sally Hemings and her brother, the chef James Hemings, enjoyed the cosmopolitan lifestyle of Paris in the 1770s while living with Thomas Jefferson during his stint as Ambassador to France. Teenaged Sally gets her own wages and a taste of freedom that eluded her back home in Virginia.
In this excerpt of "The Hemingses of Monticello," author Annette Gordon-Reed examines the life of Hemings matriarch Elizabeth (mother of Sally), born in 1735. Here is a rare glimpse at the life of woman born to an Englishman and an African-born enslaved woman, whose offspring would go on to live relatively privileged lives entwined with the fate of Founding Father Thomas Jefferson.
In this excerpt from 'The Hemingses of Monticello,' author Annette Gordon-Reed examines the contradictions inherent in the relationship between Hemings and Jefferson families-united by slavery and blood ties. The relationship began at the childhood home of Jefferson's wife Martha Wayles Jefferson, a Williamsburg-area plantation known as the 'The Forest.' At that estate, the Hemings matriarch Elizabeth bore several children with her owner, John Wayles. Elizabeth's last child, Sally became half-sister, servant and confidante to Martha Wayles Jefferson, as well as mother of several children by Thomas Jefferson.
In this book excerpt, author Annette Gordon-Reed explores the ways that Thomas Jefferson's Virginia estate, Monticello, became both his private sanctuary and embodiment of his conflicted feelings about slavery. Jefferson and his wife Martha inherited the Hemings family, many of whom were related to Martha Wayles Jefferson by blood. Here is a glimpse of their lives at Monticello.
In this book excerpt, author Annette Gordon-Reed examines Sally Hemings's care of Dr. Robert Sutton who had treated King Louis XV for small pox. Young Hemings undergoes the ordeal of inoculation against the disease for 40 days in isolation on the outskirts of Paris.