Codicil to Will

Sea of Liberty  |  document

In this amendment to his will, Jefferson freed 5 of his 162 slaves. Two of the five were Madison and Eston Hemings, his sons by his enslaved mistress, Sally Hemings, who remained legally enslaved but was allowed to live as a free woman after Jefferson died. In January 1827, Jefferson’s family sold 157 enslaved people at auction to pay his debts.

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