Abstract for 2008 Honors Colloquium

Sarah Thomas


"'To Labour For Another': Thomas Jefferson and the Landscape of Slavery"

Some people view Thomas Jefferson as a demigod of a founding father. In the last decades of the twentieth-century, however, scholars have begun to think about Jefferson in a different light - as a slave owner. With my thesis, I will examine the everyday lives and material culture of the slaves that Thomas Jefferson inherited from his father, Peter Jefferson, and how their lives changed from 1760 to 1774. Using archaeological evidence, account books, inventories, correspondence, and other primary documents, I will paint the world of Jefferson's slaves at Shadwell, Monticello, Lego, and the surrounding Albemarle landscape.