4 questions

Of my father, Thomas Jefferson, I knew more of his domestic than his public life during his life time. It is only since his death that I have learned much of the latter, except that he was considered as a foremost man in the land, and held many important trusts, including that of President. I learned to read by inducing the white children to teach me the letters and something more; what else I know of books I have picked up here and there till now I can read and write. I was almost 21 1/ 2 years of age when my father died on the 4th of July, 1826.

About his own home he was the quietest of men. He was hardly ever known to get angry, though sometimes he was irritated when matters went wrong, but even then he hardly ever allowed himself to be made unhappy any great length of time. Unlike Washington he had but little taste or care for agricultural pursuits. He left matters pertaining to his plantations mostly with his stewards and overseers. He always had mechanics at work for him, such as carpenters, blacksmiths, shoemakers, coopers, It was his mechanics he seemed mostly to direct, and in their operations he took great interest. Almost every day of his later years he might have been seen among them. He occupied much of the time in his office engaged in correspondence and reading and writing. His general temperament was smooth and even; he was very undemonstrative. He was uniformly kind to all about him. He was not in the habit of showing partiality or fatherly affection to us children. We were the only children of his by a slave woman. He was affectionate toward his white grandchildren, of whom he had fourteen, twelve of whom lived to manhood and womanhood. His daughter Martha married Thomas Mann Randolph by whom she had thirteen children. Two died in infancy. The names of the living were Ann, Thomas Jefferson, Ellen, Cornelia, Virginia, Mary, James, Benj. Franklin, Lewis Madison, Septemia and Geo. Wythe. . . .

Maria married John Epps, and raised one son— Francis.

My father generally enjoyed excellent health. I never knew him to have but one spell of sickness, and that was caused by a visit to the Warm Springs in 1818.Till within three weeks of his death he was hale and hearty, and at the age of3 years walked erect and with a stately tread. I am now 68, and I well remember that he was a much smarter man physically, even at that age, than I am. When I was fourteen years old I was put to the carpenter trade under the charge of John Heming’s, the youngest son of my grandmother. His father’s name was Nelson, who was an Englishman. She had seven children by white men and seven by colored men—- fourteen in all. My brothers, Sister Harriet and myself, were used alike. We were permitted to stay about the “great house,” and only required to do such light work as going on errands. Harriet learned to spin and to weave in a little factory on the home plantation. We were free from the dread of having to be slaves all our lives long, and were measurably happy. We were always permitted to be with our mother, who was well used. It was her duty, all

her life which I can remember, up to the time of father’s death, to take care of his chamber and wardrobe, look after us children and do such light work as sewing,&c. Provision was made in the will of our father that we should be free when we arrived at the age of 21 years. We had all passed that period when he died but

Eston, and he was given the remainder of his time shortly after. He and I rented a house and took mother to live with us, till her death, which event occurred in1835.

In 1834 I married Mary McCoy. Her grandmother was a slave, and lived with her master, Stephen Hughes, near Charlottesville, as his Wife- She was manurnit-{-ar‘l hv him. which made their children free born. Mary MCCoy’s mother was his daughter. I was about 28 and she 22 years of age when we married. We lived and labored together in Virginia till 1836, when we voluntarily left and came to Ohio. We settled in Pebble township, Pike County. We lived there four or five years and during my stay in the county I worked at my trade [as a]carpenter. When we came from Virginia we brought one daughter (Sarah) with us, leaving the dust of a son in the soil near Monticello. We have born to us in this State nine children. Two are dead.  All the others are married and raising families.

QUESTIONS FOR READING AND DISCUSSION

1. Heming’s was interviewed in Ohio nearly a half century after Jefferson’s death in Virginia. Do you think his testimony is credible? Why or why not?

2. Madison Heming’s said Thomas Jefferson “was not in the habit of showing partiality or fatherly affection to us children,” yet he “was affectionate toward his white grandchildren.” What might have accounted for this difference?

3. Why did Heming’s gain his freedom, according to his account? Is there any evidence that Heming’s was favored by Jefferson?

4. What do Heming’s experiences suggest about the sexual behavior of white slave owners and slave women, as well as the meanings of race and family in the slave South? Do you think Heming’s experiences were typical or atypical? Why or why not?

I had two day, now only day.. Due today by 12:00 pm central time. Need three sentence for each question.

Posted in Uncategorized