j. nailery

George Granger, Jr.

1759–1799 Nailer, Manager, Blacksmith

Learn more about George Granger, Jr.’s life history. More »

“excepted from the whip altogether”

In a Jan. 31, 1801 postscript, Jefferson's son-in-law, Thomas Mann Randolph, Jr., describes how Jefferson’s orders are being carried out in the nailery. Read the letter »

<strong>j. nailery</strong>, overhead view of site excavation.The nailery was built around 1796 as an addition to the “smith’s shop.”   Used for nail-making until 1802, Jefferson described the workshop as a wooden “shed … 50. feet by 18. f. for the nailers.”  Archaeological evidence suggests that the enslaved nailers—boys aged 10 to 16—worked, lived, and slept in this large building.  Using nailrod shipped from Philadelphia, the nailboys produced about 5,000 to 10,000 nails each day in seven different sizes, including fourpenny brads cut from hoop iron with a nail-cutting machine.  Enslaved blacksmith George Granger, Jr. supervised the nailboys and received a portion of the profits, earning $42 in 1796.  Jefferson weighed the nailrod and nails daily to calculate the loss of iron and assess the efficiency of his young workers; he sold the nails to local stores and to neighbors. 

Hired white supervisor:

Enslaved supervisor:

Enslaved nailers:

  • Burwell Colbert (1783–1862), 1794–
  • Barnaby Gillette (1783–after 1827), 1794–
  • Ben Hix (1784–1799), 1794–
  • James Hubbard (b. 1783), 1794–
  • Phil Hubbard (1786–1819), 1794–
  • Wormley Hughes (1781–1858), 1794–
  • David Hern (the younger, 1784–after 1829), 1794–
  • Shepherd (b. 1782), 1794–
  • Joseph Fossett (1780-1858), 1794–
  • Moses Hern (b. 1779), 1794–
  • John (b. 1785), 1796–
  • Kit Hix (b. 1786), 1796–
  • Davy (b. 1785), 1796–
  • Ben (b. 1785), 1796–
  • Brown Colbert (1785–1833), 1796– 
  • Isaac Granger Jefferson (b. 1775), 1796–98
  • Cary (b. 1785), 1796–1803
  • James Hemings (b. 1787), 1799–
  • Lewis (b. 1788), 1800–
  • Bartlet (b. 1786), 1800–

Tags

None
Login or register to tag items

Add comment

Login or register to post comments