Reading Level: Middle School

Runaway Ad

Jefferson ran this ad offering a reward for the return of “Sandy” in “The Virginia Gazette” on September 14, 1769.



History is often a Mystery

Sometimes history is more mystery than fact. This is the case with what we know about Sandy. Much of his life’s story is a mystery to us today. He was born about 1734 and his death date is unknown. Sandy ran away from Monticello in 1769. Thomas Jefferson then placed an advertisement in The Virginia Gazette newspaper to find him. From this advertisement we know that Sandy was an enslaved shoemaker. He also had some carpentry skills. He was left handed and was a jockey. The advertisement also tells us that Sandy was short and fat.

Thomas Jefferson’s account books tell us that he bought things like grass seed and venison from Sandy. The account books also tell us that Thomas Jefferson sold Sandy to Charles Lewis in 1773. Charles Lewis was an uncle of Thomas Jefferson’s wife Martha. He lived six miles east of Monticello at Buck Island.

At this time historians have been unable to find out much more about Sandy. We do not know his last name or even if he was married and had a family. Hopefully future research will uncover more information about Sandy.