Living on the Monticello Plantation

Making Hard Decisions: Running Away

If you were enslaved at Monticello, would you have run away? Explore this and other challenges faced by Monticello's slaves.

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Aerial view of Monticello showing House, Mulberry Row, and Vegetable Garden.
Thomas Jefferson Foundation

At any one time, about 130 enslaved men, women, and children lived and worked at Monticello. Jefferson initially acquired most of his slaves through inheritance from his father and father-in-law. The Monticello plantation comprised 5,000 acres divided into four farms: the Monticello home farm, Shadwell, Tufton, and Lego. Farm laborers lived near the fields where they worked. House servants and artisans lived in log dwellings on the mountaintop along Mulberry Row or in rooms under the south terrace of the main house.

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