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. No known records document the departure of other slaves without pursuit. Additionally, some enslaved individuals successfully escaped from Monticello despite pursuit.