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Joseph Fossett  (1780-1858) was the son of Mary Hemings, the eldest daughter of Elizabeth "Betty" Hemings. He was a member of the Hemings family that came to Monticello through Thomas Jefferson's marriage to Martha Wayles Skelton. Joseph was foreman of the Monticello blacksmith shop and one of only five enslaved men freed by Jefferson in his will. He was later able to purchase the freedom of his wife and some of his eight children and move with them to Ohio in about 1840.