Topic: African Americans

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Isaac Jefferson

This photograph shows Isaac Jefferson, a free blacksmith in Petersburg, Virginia, in 1847. Born at Monticello, he was one of ten Jefferson slaves who escaped with the British during the...

Monticello Slaves who gained freedom

Jefferson freed two slaves in his lifetime and five in his will. Three others ran away and were not pursued. All were members of the Hemings family. The seven he officially freed had skills they could use to earn money. 

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Our Countrymen in Chains

This illustrated broadside features a poem by John Greenleaf Whittier, a founding member of the American Anti-Slavery Society. Whittier accepted enslaved people as his “countrymen.” He stressed the hypocrisy of...
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Plan and Section of a Slave Ship

This image depicts the cramped and inhumane conditions existing on a British slave ship. Anti-slavery advocates publicized such images in order to generate public outrage and garner support for banning...
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The Abolition of the Slave Trade

This anti-slavery cartoon shows Captain John Kimber savagely beating a fifteen-year-old girl for trying to protect her “virjen modesty.” Kimber killed the girl, who had refused to dance naked for...
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Virginian Luxuries

This image shows the evils of slavery. On the left panel, a white man attempts to kiss a black woman, apparently against her will. On the right panel, a white...
Lesson Plan

Does Slaveholding Tarnish Jefferson’s Legacy?

The impact of slaveholding on Jefferson’s legacy
Lesson Plan

Explore the daily life of a slave at Monticello

During this lesson the learner will use primary and secondary sources found in the Slavery at Monticello app to determine how slaves truly impacted the production at Monticello.  ...
Lesson Plan

Did Thomas Jefferson do enough?

Countless documents demonstrate Jefferson’s view on slavery as an “abomination [that] must have an end”, and yet he possessed over 600 slaves in his lifetime; freeing only a handful. This...
Lesson Plan

Empire of Liberty or Empire of Slavery?

This three-stage lesson explores Thomas Jefferson’s plans to create an “Empire of Liberty” and the problems he faced in realizing his goals. In so doing, it considers the state of...