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"Those Who Labor for My Happiness": Slavery at Thomas Jefferson's Monticello (Jeffersonian America) Paperback – February 2, 2012


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"Those Who Labor for My Happiness": Slavery at Thomas Jefferson's Monticello (Jeffersonian America) + Master of the Mountain: Thomas Jefferson and His Slaves
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Product Details

  • Series: Jeffersonian America
  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: University of Virginia Press (February 2, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0813932238
  • ISBN-13: 978-0813932231
  • Product Dimensions: 0.9 x 6.3 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #478,868 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

I have great admiration for these varied pieces, and the title essay is simply magisterial. I doubt it will ever be bettered. It is a remarkably empathetic piece, recovering the inner world of slaves and their myriad connections to their owner.

(Philip D. Morgan, Johns Hopkins University, author of African American Life in the Georgia Lowcountry: The Atlantic World and the Gullah Geechee)

Invaluable

(New York Times)

About the Author

Lucia Stanton is Shannon Senior Historian at the Thomas Jefferson Foundation at Monticello.


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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Ronald H. Clark VINE VOICE on April 9, 2012
Format: Paperback
This interesting book is released at a very opportune time since the Smithsonian Museum of African American History and Culture mounted in late January an exhibition on Jefferson and Slavery which runs through October 14, 2012. This is a collection of essays mostly previously published by Lucia Stanton, the Shannon Senior Historian at the TJ Foundation at Monticello. Ms. Stanton has studied slavery at Monticello for decades and has a firm and thorough hand on the existing historical evidence and related materials. First off is a helpful Introduction by Peter S. Onuf and Professor Annette Gordon-Reed, that offers some initial insights into the topic. Gordon-Reed, now of Harvard Law School, has especially written extensively on the personal family dynamics at Monticello.

The first group of essays focuses on Jefferson's relationship to slavery. The essays on household management, rational plantation management, and his personal interactions with his slaves I found to be particularly interesting. How TJ ran his nailery, relying upon child labor in the extreme, was somewhat jarring; but the overall tone of the essays is that TJ ran a humane and generally harmonious enslaved operation at Monticello. Ms. Stanton is one of the prime movers in the "Getting Word project," which searches out the descendants of the Monticello slaves and interviews them for a family history view of slave life under Jefferson. Some of these insights are incorporated into this first group of essays.

The second group of essays is captioned "Families in Slavery." One essay tries to assess TJ through the eyes of his slaves and is quite interesting. But the bulk of this section is taken up with the republication of Ms.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By carol lowe on February 13, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I didn't realize that this was a compilation of individual articles--I thought it was many chapters of one book. I was hoping for something more definitive.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Joanne L. Yeck on October 7, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If you have ever wondered about the lives of African Americans before Emancipation, read Cinder Stanton's ground-breaking work. You won't just learn about life at Monticello, you'll meet wonderful individuals with moving stories, impressive talents, and the fortitude to endure slavery. This volume includes the now out-of-print "Free Some Day," an excellent monograph concerning the major slave families owned by Thomas Jefferson.

These essays represent a career dedicated to exploring primary resources concerning life at Monticello and are essential reading for anyone interested in daily life at Jefferson's endlessly fascinating plantation.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is a very interesting read if you like history and want to know more about Thomas Jefferson and life in Virginia in the late 1700's and early 1800's, It is not always easy to read because it is not a "story" but for the most part actual copies of letters and writings of the people involved.
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