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"Those who labor for my happiness" : slavery at Thomas Jefferson's Monticello

Author: Lucia C Stanton
Publisher: Charlottesville : University of Virginia Press, ©2012.
Series: Jeffersonian America.
Edition/Format:   Book : Biography : State or province government publication : EnglishView all editions and formats
Database:WorldCat
Summary:
"Our perception of life at Monticello has changed dramatically over the past quarter century. The image of an estate presided over by a benevolent Thomas Jefferson has given way to a more complex view of Monticello as a working plantation, the success of which was made possible by the work of slaves. At the center of this transition has been the work of Lucia 'Cinder' Stanton, recognized as the leading interpreter  Read more...
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Genre/Form: Biography
Named Person: Thomas Jefferson; Sally Hemings; Thomas Jefferson; Thomas Jefferson
Material Type: Biography, Government publication, State or province government publication
Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Lucia C Stanton
ISBN: 0813932238 9780813932231 081393222X 9780813932224
OCLC Number: 752471539
Description: xiv, 369 pages : illustrations, portraits ; 24 cm.
Contents: Jefferson and slavery. "Those who labor for my happiness": Thomas Jefferson and his slaves ; Looking for liberty: Thomas Jefferson and the British lions ; "A well-ordered household": domestic servants in Jefferson's White House ; Jefferson's people: slavery at Monticello ; Perfecting slvaery: rational plantation management at Monticello --
Families in slavery. The other end of the telescope: Jefferson through the eyes of his slaves ; Free some day: the African American families of Monticello --
Families in freedom. Monticello to Main Street: The Hemings family and charlottesville ; Bonds of memory: identity and the Hemings family / Lucia Stanton and Dianne Swann-Wright ; "We will prove ourselves men": hemings descendants in the Civil War ; Fulfilling the Declaration: descendants of Monticello's African American families.
Series Title: Jeffersonian America.
Other Titles: Slavery at Thomas Jefferson's Monticello
Responsibility: Lucia Stanton.

Abstract:

"Our perception of life at Monticello has changed dramatically over the past quarter century. The image of an estate presided over by a benevolent Thomas Jefferson has given way to a more complex view of Monticello as a working plantation, the success of which was made possible by the work of slaves. At the center of this transition has been the work of Lucia 'Cinder' Stanton, recognized as the leading interpreter of Jefferson's life as a planter and master and of the lives of his slaves and their descendants. This volume represents the first attempt to pull together Stanton's most important writings on slavery at Monticello and beyond. Stanton's pioneering work revealed Jefferson's psychology in crucial ways, deepening our understanding of him without demonizing him. Perhaps even more important is the light her writings have shed on the lives of the slaves at Monticello. Her detailed reconstruction for modern readers of the life of the slave is more than vivid; it reveals an active role in the creation of Monticello and a dynamic community previously unimagined. The essays collected here address Jefferson and the lives of his slaves from a rich variety of perspectives, from family histories (including the Hemingses) to the temporary slave community at Jefferson's White House to stories of former slaves' lives after Monticello. Each piece is characterized by Stanton's deep knowledge of her subject and by her determination to do justice to both Jefferson and his slaves"--Publisher description.

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I have great admiration for these varied pieces, and the title essay is simply magisterial. I doubt it will ever be bettered. It is a remarkably empathetic piece, recovering the inner world of slaves Read more...

 
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