Burwell Colbert, an enslaved butler

1783-after 1850

Burwell Colbert was born a slave in 1783. At ten years old, he began working in the nail-making shop at Monticello. He trained to be a painter and a glazier, a person who sets glass in window panes. In 1805, Jefferson wrote that Burwell “paints and takes care of the house.” In later years, Burwell…

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