Beverly Hemings (1798-after 1822) was the oldest surviving son of Sally Hemings and Thomas Jefferson. Jefferson listed Beverly Hemings among Monticello's tradesmen[1] and Jefferson's correspondence with his overseer Edmund Bacon indicates he worked as a carpenter and assistant to Monticello's coopers making barrels.[2] He may have assisted his uncle, John Hemmings, during the construction of Poplar Forest.[3]

Hemings was also remembered as a musician, called upon to play violin for dances arranged by Jefferson's granddaughters.[4]

Sometime in late 1821 or early 1822, he left Monticello, possibly in the company of his sister Harriet, and was not pursued. According to his brother Madison, Beverly Hemings passed into white society and raised a family in Washington, D.C., or possibly Maryland. There is no other record of his life following his departure.

-David Thorson, 2023

Further Sources

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  1. ^ Farm Book, 1774-1824, p.128, by Thomas Jefferson [electronic edition], Thomas Jefferson Papers: An Electronic Archive (Boston: Massachusetts Historical Society, 2003).
  2. ^ Edmund Bacon to Thomas Jefferson, September 4, 1819, in PTJTranscription available at Founders Online.
  3. ^ MBTranscription available at Founders Online.
  4. ^ Lucia C. Stanton, Those Who Labor for My Happiness, Slavery at Thomas Jefferson's Monticello (Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2012).