Saturday, February 7, 2015

Hemmings's Cabin at Monticello

I just stumbled across this post from the Monticello website.  Really interesting.  Here is a taste:

While study of Mulberry Row has been underway for nearly 60 years, Monticello curators just discovered new important information about the furnishings of John and Priscilla Hemmings’s cabin. We could hardly believe our luck to find a very rare, first-person account about the interior of a slave dwelling. It was written by the last great-grandchild born at Monticello, Martha Jefferson Trist Burke (1826–1915). Amazingly, Martha Burke vividly remembered the interior of the Hemmngs’s dwelling because of the strong impression it made upon her at 2 ½ years of age. Written in her own hand in a lined notebook in 1889, she notes,
 “I remember the appearance of the interior of that cabin, the position of the bed with it’s white counterpane & ruffled pillow cases & of the little table with it’s clean white cloth, & a shelf over it, on which stood an old fashioned band box with wall paper covering, representing dogs running, this box excited my admiration and probably fixed the whole scene in my mind…”