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The Hemingses of Monticello: An American Family is a 2008 book by American historian Annette Gordon-Reed. It recounts the history of four generations of the African-American Hemings family, from their African and Virginia origins until the 1826 death of Thomas Jefferson, their master and the father of Sally Hemings' children.[1]

The Hemingses of Monticello: An American Family
The Hemingses of Monticello- An American Family.jpg
AuthorAnnette Gordon-Reed
CountryUnited States
GenreHistory, biography
PublisherW. W. Norton
Publication date

It is based on Gordon-Reed's study of legal records, diaries, farm books, letters, wills, newspapers, archives, and oral history.[1] Gordon-Reed wanted readers to "see slave people as individuals" and to "tell the story of this family in a way not done before".[1] Jefferson scholar Joseph Ellis has called the book "the best study of a slave family ever written".[1]

The book has won sixteen awards and was a finalist for the 2008 National Book Critics Circle Award in Biography and the 2009 Mark Lynton History Prize.[2][3][4]


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In 2010 Annette Gordon-Reed was awarded a MacArthur Fellowship for her works on colonial and early American history, race and slavery. The Foundation noted that her "persistent investigation into the life of an iconic American president has dramatically changed the course of Jeffersonian scholarship."[13][14]


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