Isaac Granger Jefferson, courtesy Special Collections, University of Virginia Library
A nailer, blacksmith, and tinsmith, Isaac Granger was the youngest son of George Granger, Sr. and his wife Ursula. From January to June 1796, Granger was the most productive nailer in Mulberry Row’s nailery, forging 1,000 pounds of nails in six sizes.1 In the 1790s Jefferson took Granger to Philadelphia to learn tinsmithing, where he mastered making cups and lining copperwares. Upon his return to Monticello, he worked in a short-lived tinsmith shop located in the storehouse for iron on Mulberry Row. He then went back to work at the forges of the smith’s shop and nailery. In 1797, Jefferson gave Granger, his wife Iris, and their two sons to his daughter Maria and her new husband, John Eppes, but the Grangers were soon hired and purchased by Jefferson’s other son-in-law, Thomas Mann Randolph. Isaac Granger was also known by the surname of Jefferson when he lived in Petersburg. Charles Campbell recorded the blacksmith’s recollections in the 1840s in Petersburg, where Granger was still a practicing smith.
This account is compiled from Lucia Stanton, “Those Who Labor for My Happiness:” Slavery at Thomas Jefferson's Monticello (University of Virginia Press and Thomas Jefferson Foundation, 2012).