The Hemingses of Monticello has ratings and reviews. Bruce said: This is an extremely well written and thought provoking boook. Gordon-Reed add. As The Hemingses of Monticello makes vividly clear, Monticello can no longer be known only as the home of a remarkable American leader, the author of the. In the mids the English captain of a trading ship that made runs between England and the Virginia colony fathered a child by an enslaved woman living.

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The Hemingses of Monticello : an American family

Annette Gordon-Reed grew up in east Texas. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. With its empathetic and insightful consideration of human beings acting in almost unimaginably difficult and complicated family circumstances, The Hemingses of Monticello is history as great literature.

Set up a giveaway. This website uses cookies as well as similar tools and technologies to understand visitors’ experiences. She mojticello in New York City.

These slaves were half-brothers and half-sisters of Martha Jefferson. The Transformation of Virginia, — by Rhys L. Winners in History While I initially started this book hoping to learn more about heminbses affair between Jefferson and Hemings, a much more interesting story emerged not just about Sally, but about her entire family and the fate they suffered as slaves in America.

The Hemingses of Monticello: An American Family

You don’t always get it in school, and it’s not a topic that Virginians like to discuss about one of their heroes. This book is extremely omnticello, I believe, in the depth with which Gordon-Reed develops the psychology and sociology of the complex and monticcello topic of the sexual interaction between Caucasian masters and their female slaves. She relies heavily on supposition and logic to This is a very ambitious attempt to reconstruct the world of the Hemingses who lived at Monticello with Thomas Jefferson.

Not only do we meet Elizabeth Hemings—the family matriarch and mother to twelve children, six by John Wayles, a poor English immigrant who rose to great wealth in the Hemingsew colony—but we follow the Hemings family as they become the property of Jefferson through his marriage to Martha Wayles.

Biracial relationships immensely complicated life at Monticello, where the Virginia planter famous for declaring the equality of all men counted among his slaves four of his own children, fathered in a union he never publicly acknowledged.


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Gordon-Reed presents an oppressed people, but returns their humanity, creativity, and individuality. Dec 07, Bruno Bouchet rated it it was ok.

Lists with This Book. The Coming of the War, by Bernadotte E. I had read the author’s earlier book about the relationship before DNA proved her right hmeingses had been impressed by the complexity of the relationships and times. The explanations of resources and research support the historical details presented in this book.

She offers a better picture of his personality and home life than I’ve read before.

Gordon-Reed never slips into cynicism about the author of the Declaration of Independence. Gordon-Reed’s approach is primarily to use the context of slavery, psychology, and business transaction ledgers to figure out what must of happened. While not an easy read, this is a fascinating book that deserved every honor that it was given when it was published. One of the reasons that Elizabeth Hemings, Sally’s mother, had a last name of her own was that she had been acknowledged by her father as his child.

We were the only children of his by a slave woman. We don’t know much about Sally. With the French revolution on the horizon and being sixteen and pregnant could have played a large role, even though her brother James could have possibly found a decent job. The Foundation noted that her “persistent investigation into the life of an iconic American president has dramatically changed the course of Jeffersonian scholarship. Women’s work is never done whether you be white or black-sewing, spinning, weaving, cleaning, preserving foods, etc.

We follow the Hemingses to Paris, where James Hemings trained as a chef in one of the most prestigious kitchens in France and where Sally arrived as a fourteen-year-old chaperone for Jefferson’s daughter Polly; to Philadelphia, where James Hemings acted as the major domo to the newly appointed secretary of state; to Charlottesville, where Mary Hemings lived with her partner, a prosperous white merchant who left her and their children a home and property; to Richmond, where Robert Hemings engineered a plan for his freedom; and finally to Monticello, that iconic home on the mountain, from where most of Jefferson’s slaves, many of them Hemings family members, were sold at auction six months after his death in I’ve read numerous biographies about our founding fathers, including Jefferson, and several other books about his relationship with his slaves and Sally Hemings.


She was first mentioned in a newspaper in Present at the Creation: Want to Read Currently Reading Read. Too often the oppressed American slaves are portrayed lacking individuality and even humanity.

In the mids the English captain of a trading ship that made runs between England and the Virginia colony fathered a child by an enslaved woman living near Williamsburg.

Dec 08, Kimberly rated it it was ok Shelves: Unfinished Business by Stephen Bonsal I will not finish this book. Other reviews said they thought the book was too long, I didn’t feel that way at all. The reviewer accuses the author of manipulating their emotions talking about slavery, which the reviewer already knows was horrible so why do they need to hear it any more about it, and mentions the “angry” tone of the author.

In addition, right now the part of the book that I’m reading is more about what it was like to be a member of the Hemings family or any family black or white that was living around Thomas Jefferson, than it is about Sally Hemings and Thomas Jefferson.

The Hemingses of Monticello: An American Family – Annette Gordon-Reed – Google Books

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. Not necessarily an easy read, but it is so well written and provoking that I almost read it as a novel even though it has the references and research that you would find in a textbook. Given the absence of diaries, letters, paintings, or direct accounts from the subjects in the book that would provide direct evidence for such a project, this was a very tricky task.

Washington and the Politics of Change in the sby G. Get fast, free shipping with Mlnticello Prime. Origins — Young Elizabeth’s world — John Wayles: For these two reasons, I had to quit listening to the book fairly early in.