Isaac Granger Jefferson, Memoirs of a Monticello Slave (Virginia, 1847), 3.



Isaac Granger Jefferson, Memoirs of a Monticello Slave (Virginia, 1847), 3.

Includes music itself or text of song


Identity of singers; solo/group






Geographical location

Charlottesville, Virginia (Monticello)


This was when Mr Jefferson was in Paris. Isaac remembers coming down to Williamsburg in a wagon at the time Mr Jefferson was Governor. He came down in the phaeton: his family with him in a coach & four. Bob Hemings drove the phaeton: Jim Hemings was a bodyservant: Martin Hemings—the butler. These three were brothers: Mary Hemings & Sally, their Sisters. Jim & Bob bright mulattoes, Martin, darker. Jim & Martin rode on horseback. Bob went afterwards to live with old Dr Strauss in Richmond & unfortunately had his hand shot off with a blunderbuss. Mary Hemings rode in the wagon. Sally Hemings’ mother Betty was a bright mulatto woman & Sally mighty near white: she was the youngest child. Folks said that these Hemingses was old Mr Wayles’ children. Sally was very handsome: long straight hair down her back. She was about eleven years old when Mr Jefferson took her to France to wait on Miss Polly. She & Sally went out to France a year after Mr Jefferson went. Patsy went with him at first, but she carried no maid with her. Harriet one of Sally’s daughters was very handsome. Sally had a son named Madison, who learned to be a great fiddler. He has been in Petersburg twice: was here when the balloon went up—the balloon that Beverly sent off.


In the memoir, Isaac talks about Sally Hemmings and how her son learned to be a great fiddle player.

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