Several members of the enslaved community at Monticello became free men and women. Freedom from slavery could be granted, purchased, or earned by means of escape. An individual who was "given his time" achieved an "unofficial" freedom.
Thomas Jefferson granted freedom to seven enslaved men. Two were freed during Jefferson's lifetime and five were freed by the terms of Jefferson's will. All seven were skilled tradesmen, ideally capable of finding employment as freed men.
During Jefferson's lifetime, three enslaved members of the Hemings family were allowed to leave Monticello without pursuit. Additionally, some enslaved individuals successfully escaped from Monticello despite pursuit.
About 200 individuals were sold at estate sales after Jefferson's death. Some of those sold from Monticello eventually acquired freedom.
The lists below provide the names of enslaved members of the Monticello community who are known to have achieved freedom. The dates of the person's life span are provided where available.
(Please note that this list does not include those who gained their freedom through the Thirteenth Amendment in 1865.)
Explore: Slavery at Monticello Mobile Guide
Available in Our Online Shop: "Those Who Labor for My Happiness"
Available in Our Online Shop: The Hemingses of Monticello: An American Family
931 Thomas Jefferson Parkway
Charlottesville, VA 22902