The dynamic arcs of travel illustrated on this map are signs of a new era. Before the Civil War, many of the relocations of Monticello’s African Americans and their descendants were enforced journeys made by still-enslaved people. Even those who were free, like the Hemingses and the Fossetts, were impelled to leave Virginia by the worsening conditions for free blacks there. From 1865, an expanding transportation network made travel easier and everyone was free, free to choose their residences, free to seek a better life for their families.
In 1887 Madison Hemings's youngest daughter Ellen Hemings Roberts moved with her family from Ohio to Los Angeles, where her husband Andrew J. Roberts established the first black-owned mortuary.
About 1900 Mary Hemings Johnson's daughter Nellie moved to Chicago with her husband, Henry Jones, who owned cabarets and jazz clubs on State Street.