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Life on the Monticello Plantation

In the 1750s Peter Jefferson established a tobacco farm on the slopes of a small mountain across the Rivanna River from Shadwell. Thomas Jefferson called this mountain Monticello and made it the center of his world.  Over the next 40 years, free and enslaved workers built and rebuilt his now-famous house, and enslaved laborers produced his cash crops of tobacco and wheat until his death in 1826.


At any one time, about 130 enslaved men, women, and children lived and worked on the 5,000-acre Monticello plantation.

Mulberry Row was the hub of the plantation and was the site of more than 20 workshops, dwellings, and storage buildings.

Jefferson designed one of the most architecturally significant residences in America and filled it with furnishings and collections reflecting his education, broad interests, and status.


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