Excavation at Jefferson’s Monticello Mansion Reveals Home Of Sally Hemings

Archaeologists have excavated an area of Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello mansion that has revealed the home of Jefferson’s slave/mistress Sally Hemings, who was also the mother to six of Jefferson’s children.

The Mountaintop Project Restores Monticello Mansion

#1. Sally Heming’s Room

Excavation at Jefferson’s Monticello Mansion Reveals Home Of Sally Hemings
Photo: Denver Post

The funding for the massive restoration comes from the Mountaintop Project, a $35-million initiative focused on reviving Monticello as it was in the glory days of Thomas Jefferson. The goal is complete transparency, as the truth unfolds about those both enslaved and free, who lived and toiled on the 5,000-acre Virginia plantation. Slavery’s despicable scars are revealed both through tours that focus solely on the 600 slaves who labored there and the Heming Family Tour.

#2. Monticello Restoration

Excavation at Jefferson’s Monticello Mansion Reveals Home Of Sally Hemings  Excavation at Jefferson’s Monticello Mansion Reveals Home Of Sally Hemings
Photo: Mont Pelier Restoration

According to Fraser Neiman, director of archeology at Monticello, archaeologists began their digging in the South Wing where a grandson of Jefferson provided an old description of Sally Heming’s living quarters, a room some 14 feet, 8 inches wide and 13 feet long, which was just a few steps away from where Jefferson and his wife slept. They soon found a brick hearth and fireplace, the structure for a stove and original flooring from the early 1800s. “This room is a real connection to the past,” said Neiman. “We are discovering many, many artifacts from this time.”

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