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Clarifying Jefferson’s freeing of his slaves

Clarifying Jefferson’s freeing of his slaves

Barbara Fontaine, Keswick, Virginia 


Re April 29 op-ed, “Should we rethink Jefferson’s role in history?,” by Karen Cookson: Nice article about Jefferson. 

Corrections regarding freed slaves: Jefferson allowed Sally Hemmings’ oldest two children to run away. In his lifetime, he freed two other slaves. In his will, he freed five more slaves.

All freed were members of the Hemmings family. Daughter Martha did not technically free Sally Hemmings; she “gave her her time,” no formal manumission papers.

I am a Schenectady native, and I recently retired after being a guide at Monticello, the home of Thomas Jefferson.

You may verify my comments at monticello.org.

Barbara Fontaine

Keswick, Virginia 

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