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William Rice

Male
Indentured Servants
Work: 
Stonecutter

William Rice was an indentured servant and stonecutter at Monticello from 1775 to 1780. On Mulberry Row, Rice most likely lived in the workmen’s house along with joiner Joseph Neilson and carpenter William Fossett.  Likely an immigrant, Rice’s indenture was purchased by Jefferson in Philadelphia.  Rice’s main task at Monticello was to cut stone for use in the construction of Monticello I (1769-83).  In February 1778, Jefferson “Agreed with Wm. Rice that he shall make 3 stone columns, to find himself provisions & assist in quarrying: I am to allow him the caps & bases which are done, the labor of my two stonecutters & give him £10 a column.” Rice, often assisted by two slaves, harvested and cut limestone, and brought it back to the plantation.  Jupiter, Jefferson’s enslaved valet, assisted and learned from Rice, as did Charles, an enslaved farm laborer inherited from Peter Jefferson’s estate.  

Learn more at Monticello.org»

1743–1800
Coachman, Hostler, Stonecutter, Valet

Learn more about Jupiter Evans' life history.

Explore the workmen’s house, a structure that served as a dwelling and textile workshop during Jefferson’s lifetime.

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