United States

Historians Uncover Slave Quarters of Sally Hemings at Thomas Jefferson's Monticello

Archaeologists have excavated an area of Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello mansion that is believed to have been the living quarters of Sally Hemings, the enslaved woman who historians believe gave birth to six children Jefferson fathered, NBCBLK reported.

"Some of Sally’s children may have been born in this room,” said Gardiner Hallock, director of restoration for Jefferson’s mountaintop plantation in Charlottesville, Virginia. “It’s important because it shows Sally as a human being — a mother, daughter, and sister — and brings out the relationships in her life.”

Hemings' room — 14 feet, 8 inches wide and 13 feet long — went unnoticed for decades. The space was converted into a men’s bathroom in 1941, considered by some as the final insult to Hemings’ legacy.

Physical evidence shows that Hemings probably lived a higher-level lifestyle than other enslaved people on Jefferson’s plantation. Still, her room had no windows and would have been dark, damp and uncomfortable.

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