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Bartholomew Kindred

Hired White Workers

Bartholomew Kindred was head weaver at Monticello from 1776 to 1778.  He and his family may have lived at Shadwell, the probable location of the textile shop.  Kindred arrived at Monticello in the midst of the American Revolution, which had caused a shortage of cloth normally imported from Britain.  Kindred compensated for this scarcity by producing wool, hemp, and flax cloth for Jefferson’s plantation and neighbors.  Jefferson’s wife, Martha, recorded the kinds of cloth Kindred produced.  For the white members of Jefferson’s household, Kindred wove “fine cotton for the children,” and “very fine linen shirts for Mr. Jefferson.”  For enslaved people, Kindred made “good linen for house servants” and coarser “hemp linen” or “yarne cloth” for “out negroes,” meaning field slaves or artisans.  In exchange for his work, Kindred received a percentage of the profits.  In 1782, Jefferson agreed that Kindred should receive “half the earnings of the shop.”

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