In August 1791, Thomas Jefferson and George Washington went to the farm of Samuel Powel (1739-1793) southwest of Philadelphia to see the threshing machine invented by Alexander Anderson in 1782, a drum and beater type model. By 1792, Jefferson asked Thomas Pinckney in London to get a model. Jefferson wrote in his Memorandum Book in 1793, "Gave order on bank US for 62.8 to John Vaughan for his bill fo 13-13 sterl. on Byrd, Savage & Byrd paiable to T.
Jefferson Quotes & Family Letters is a companion to the letterpress volumes of The Papers of Thomas Jefferson: Retirement Series. The content presented as part of this collection includes Family Letters: full, searchable transcriptions of a rich body of correspondence to and between Jefferson's immediate and extended family.
Robert Hemings (1762-1819) was the son of Betty Hemings, a slave of John Wayles, Jefferson's father-in-law. Born in 1762, he was the first child of her alleged liaison with her master. Betty Hemings and her children became the property of Martha and Thomas Jefferson after Wayles' death in May 1773.
The struggle to unite and keep families together is illustrated again and again by the stories of Monticello's enslaved people. The records in Plantation Management reveal the efforts of enslaved men and women to preserve their marriages. In 1805 and 1806, for example, two men, who had what are known as "abroad" spouses, asked Jefferson to purchase their wives from other owners.