While Thomas Jefferson's letters rarely acknowledge the people who kept the Monticello plantation operation running, his Farm Book, a management tool detailing daily activities, illustrates myriad tasks and the many skills enslaved men and women brought to their working lives. They made bricks and barrels, they operated machines to make yarn and thresh wheat, they used gunpowder, and some, like Wormley Hughes, traveled alone across Virginia transporting objects of value.
THE WORKING LIVES OF THE ENSLAVED
Today, the Farm Book and Jefferson's other records help to open a unique window into the daily working lives of the enslaved residents of Monticello. What follows is a small sampling of extracts from the archive illustrating the seasonal activities at Monticello over the years.