The Plantation

Monticello was a 5,000-acre working plantation where over 400 enslaved individuals lived and worked during Jefferson's lifetime.

Slavery FAQS

Frequently asked questions about People, Property, Life and Work under Slavery at Monticello.

Understanding Freedom & The Legacies of Slavery

Explore the stories of remarkable families and individuals — free and enslaved — from over seven generations, through Monticello's tours, exhibitions, digital resources and special events.


 

Online Exhibitions Related to Slavery

1827 Slave Auction at Monticello

Following Jefferson's death in 1826, 130 enslaved individuals were offered for sale on Monticello's West Lawn to help settle his enormous debts.

Paradox of Liberty: Slavery at Jefferson’s Monticello:

How could the author of the Declaration of the Independence own slaves? How could twenty percent of the population of the newly created United States live in bondage? What was life like for enslaved people in the early republic? This exhibition uses Monticello as a lens through which to examine these questions.