“When we came from Virginia we brought one daughter with us, leaving the dust of a son in the soil near Monticello.”
–Madison Hemings, 1873
Men, women, and children of Monticello’s African-American community are believed to have been buried here. Almost four hundred persons lived in slavery at Monticello over a sixty-year-period and well over forty graves are estimated to be within this area. Some of the graves have uninscribed fieldstones at the head or foot, but most have no surviving markers.
Although the names of Monticello's enslaved residents are known, it has not been possible to identify where particular individuals were buried. No graves were disturbed in the course of the archaeological investigations.
The graveyard is located 250 feet to the southwest of the David M. Rubenstein Visitor Center.
The African American Burial Ground at Monticello affords an opportunity for honoring and reflecting on the over 400 enslaved people who lived at Monticello. The burial ground, which holds over 40 graves and was likely used beginning in the 18th century, was rededicated in 2001. In 2021, the Thomas Jefferson Foundation will install new paths, plantings, seating, and signs to reinvigorate this sacred space while preserving its solemn, healing atmosphere.