Edmund Bacon

Edmund Bacon (1785-1866), a native of Albemarle County, was the overseer at Monticello from 1806 until 1822.

He lived with his family near the base of Monticello mountain, close to a nailery, stable, and several dwellings for enslaved families.  Bacon had few agricultural responsibilities; instead, most tasks related to manufacturing elements of the plantation: “superintending 10. or 12. nailers, providing their coal, selling the nails &c. and some attention hereafter to a grist mill kept” for Jefferson. The Monticello Department of Archaeology identified the likely site of Bacon's home during an archaeological survey project, and recorded it as Site 17, and several field seasons recovered hundreds of artifacts including glass, ceramic, and architectural materials. [1] 

In 1823, Bacon and his family moved to Trigg County, Kentucky, where he farmed successfully until his death.

Bacon's recollections of his experiences as overseer at Monticello and his relationship with Thomas Jefferson were collected by the Reverend Hamilton W. Pierson and published as Jefferson at Monticello in 1862.[2]

Further Sources


  1. ^ Bell, A., Gaylord, D., & Sharman, K. (2019). “All My Little Might of Money”: Signaling, Structure, and Mobility among the Middling in Nineteenth-Century Virginia and Kentucky. Historical Archaeology, 53(2), 372–392.
  2. ^ Hamilton W. Pierson, Jefferson at Monticello: The Private Life of Thomas Jefferson (New York: Charles Scribner, 1862).