The Monticello plantation was a complex community dependent on the labor of many people—especially its enslaved field hands, artisans, and domestic workers. Enslaved people worked from sunrise to sunset six days a week, with only Sundays off. They also had the usual holidays for slaves in Virginia: Christmas, Easter, and Whitsun (seven weeks after Easter).
Several extended families lived in slavery at Monticello for three or more generations. Among them were the families of Elizabeth Hemings and her children; Edward and Jane Gillette; George and Ursula Granger; David and Isabel Hern; and James and Cate Hubbard.