Jefferson's Sons: A Founding Father’s Secret Children

4.03 avg rating
( 4,324 ratings by Goodreads )
 
9780142421840: Jefferson's Sons: A Founding Father’s Secret Children

This story of Thomas Jefferson's children by one of his slaves, Sally Hemings, tells a darker piece of America's history from an often unseen perspective-that of three of Jefferson's slaves-including two of his own children. As each child grows up and tells his story, the contradiction between slavery and freedom becomes starker, calliing into question the real meaning of "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness." This poignant story sheds light on what life was like as one of Jefferson's invisible offspring.

"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.

About the Author:

Kimberly Brubaker Bradleylives on a forty-two-acre farm inBristol, Tennessee.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

When you’re free, you’re free.

“Nobody will ever whip you. Nobody will ever catch you,” Mama said soothingly. “When you’re free, you’ll be just that—free. Not escaped. Free.”

“Why won’t anybody catch us? The white man that caught James Hubbard, he wasn’t from around here. He got paid too, for catching him.”

“Nobody will be looking for you,” Mama said. “You have to be reported as missing for slave catchers to know to look for you. And you won’t be. Your father will let you go. He’ll stay quiet. No one will capture you.”

“We’re supposed to trust Master Jefferson?” Maddy said. Mama nodded. Maddy thought of James Hubbard. He said, “What if Master Jefferson changes his mind?”

“He won’t,” Mama said. She looked at Maddy for a while and then she said, “You don’t have to trust him. All you have to do is trust me.”

Maddy nodded. That, he could do.

OTHER BOOKS YOU MAY ENJOY

Amos Fortune, Free Man Elizabeth Yates

The Apothecary Maile Meloy

The Best Bad Luck I Ever Had Kristin Levine

A Diamond in the Desert Kathryn Fitzmaurice

The Liberation of Gabriel King K. L. Going

The Lions of Little Rock Kristin Levine

A Long Way from Chicago Richard Peck

My Side of the Mountain Jean Craighead George

Saint Louis Armstrong Beach Brenda Woods

To Be a Slave Julius Lester

The War That Saved My Life Kimberly Brubaker Bradley

A Year Down Yonder Richard Peck

Table of Contents

 

When You're Free, You're Free

Other Books You May Enjoy

Title Page

Dedication

Copyright Page

 

Spring 1805

Chapter One - The Violin

Chapter Two - Papa

Chapter Three - Run

 

Autumn 1805

Chapter Four - James Hubbard’s Back

 

Winter 1805

Chapter Five - Great-grandma and the Sea Captain

 

Christmas 1805

Chapter Six - Home for Christmas

 

Summer 1806

Chapter Seven - Joe Fossett

 

Christmas 1806

Chapter Eight - Hidden in Plain Sight

 

1807

Chapter Nine - The Lines on the Hearth

 

Summer 1808

Chapter Ten - A Carpenter’s Apprentice

 

Summer 1809

Chapter Eleven - Home to Stay

Chapter Twelve - The End of Tranquility

Chapter Thirteen - Nothing

 

Three Years Later, Summer 1812

Chapter Fourteen - Maddy Learns

Chapter Fifteen - Miss Sally’s Son

Chapter Sixteen - Miss Ellen

Chapter Seventeen - The Mockingbird

Chapter Eighteen - They All Play the Violin

Chapter Nineteen - James Hubbard Flogged Again

 

January 1813

Chapter Twenty - Maddy on His Own

 

1813 into 1814

Chapter Twenty-one - A Landau, Septimia, and a Funny Sort of Sweet Potato

 

Spring 1814

Chapter Twenty-two - Money Musk

 

Autumn 1814

Chapter Twenty-three - Field-Hand Socks

 

1815

Chapter Twenty-four - Peter Fossett

 

Summer 1815

Chapter Twenty-five - The Declaration

 

1816

Chapter Twenty-six - Master Jefferson Sells James

 

Spring and Summer 1816

Chapter Twenty-seven - Moving On

 

Autumn 1816

Chapter Twenty-eight - Poplar Forest

 

December 1818

Chapter Twenty-nine - Three Months of Grief

 

Spring 1819

Chapter Thirty - Beverly’s Twenty-first Birthday

 

Summer 1819

Chapter Thirty-one - Hailstorm

Chapter Thirty-two - Beverly’s Story

 

Three Years Later 1822

Chapter Thirty-three - The Luckiest Boy

 

Summer 1822

Chapter Thirty-four - Harriet Turns Twenty-one

 

Autumn 1822

Chapter Thirty-five - As Long as Master Jefferson Lives

 

Nearly Two Years Later, 1824

Chapter Thirty-six - Freedom Fighters

 

1825

Chapter Thirty-seven - Extra

 

1826

Chapter Thirty-eight - Waiting for the Fourth of July

 

Early January 1827

Chapter Thirty-nine - Washington, D.C.

 

January 14 1827

Chapter Forty - The Graveyard

 

January 15, 1827

Chapter Forty-one - The End

 

Afterword

Most Useful Sources for Further Study

Most Useful Sources for Further Study

Most Useful Sources for Further Study

Discussion Questions for Jefferson's Sons

An Exciting Preview of The War That Saved My Life

Descendents of Thomas Jefferson

To Bart, Matthew,
and Katie

DIAL BOOKS FOR YOUNG READERS

A division of Penguin Young Readers Group · Published by The Penguin Group

 

Penguin Group (USA) Inc., 375 Hudson Street, New York, NY 10014, U.S.A. · Penguin Group (Canada), 90 Eglinton Avenue East, Suite 700, Toronto, Ontario, Canada M4P 2Y3 (a division of Pearson Penguin Canada Inc.) · Penguin Books Ltd, 80 Strand, London WC2R 0RL, England · Penguin Ireland, 25 St. Stephen’s Green, Dublin 2, Ireland (a division of Penguin Books Ltd) · Penguin Group (Australia), 250 Camberwell Road, Camberwell, Victoria 3124, Australia (a division of Pearson Australia Group Pty Ltd) · Penguin Books India Pvt Ltd, 11 Community Centre, Panchsheel Park, New Delhi - 110 017, India · Penguin Group (NZ), 67 Apollo Drive, Rosedale, Auckland 0632, New Zealand (a division of Pearson New Zealand Ltd) · Penguin Books (South Africa) (Pty) Ltd, 24 Sturdee Avenue, Rosebank, Johannesburg 2196, South Africa · Penguin Books Ltd, Registered Offices: 80 Strand, London WC2R 0RL, England

 

Copyright © 2011 by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley · All rights reserved · The publisher does not have any control over and does not assume any responsibility for author or third-party websites or their content. Type set in Minion ·

 

 

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data

Bradley, Kimberly Brubaker.

Jefferson’s sons : a founding father’s secret children / by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley.

p. cm.

Summary: A fictionalized look at the last twenty years of Thomas Jefferson’s life at Monticello through the eyes of three of his slaves, two of whom were his sons by his slave Sally Hemings.

ISBN: 9781101529454

1. Jefferson, Thomas, 1743–1826—Juvenile fiction. 2. Hemings, Sally—Juvenile fiction. [1. Jefferson, Thomas, 1743–1826—Fiction. 2. Hemings, Sally—Fiction. 3. Slavery—Fiction. 4. African Americans—Fiction. 5. Monticello (Va.)—Fiction. 6. Monticello (Va.)—Fiction. 7. Virginia—History—1775–1865—Fiction.] I. Title.

PZ7.B7247Je 2011

[Fic]—dc22

2010049650

Spring 1805

Chapter One

The Violin

It was April and all Monticello was stirring, but in their cabin Mama had just put baby Maddy down to sleep and she told Beverly and Harriet to be still.

Beverly did not want to be still.

Harriet reached under the bed for the box where she kept things and pulled out the sampler Mama was teaching her to sew. Beverly knew what would happen next. Harriet and Mama would talk sewing, and ignore him. He aimed a kick at his little sister. “Don’t do that,” he said. “Let’s do something fun.”

Harriet sat down on the stool beside the hearth. She beamed at Mama with what Beverly called her good-girl smile, like she was trying to show off how sweet she was. Harriet was almost four years old. She was not a sitting-still little girl, but sometimes she took a mood to act like one. Beverly reached out with his foot again. His toe grazed the end of one of Harriet’s braids. Harriet screeched.

“Beverly,” Mama said, not even looking up, “don’t wake your brother.”

“I didn’t yell,” Beverly said. “Harriet did.”

“You’re the one looking for trouble,” Mama replied. “Do you need something to do?”

Beverly knew better than to say yes. Mama would make him do chores. “No, ma’am,” he said. “I guess I’ll go visit Uncle Peter.”

“Don’t you bother him, neither,” Mama said, but she let him go.

Beverly went out the cabin and down Mulberry Row. The spring wind whipped the still-bare branches of the mulberry trees. The packed dirt road felt cool and firm beneath his bare feet. Beverly spread his arms into the wild wind. He felt wild too.

The kitchen was halfway down the row, in the basement of a little brick guesthouse. Uncle Peter, one of Mama’s brothers, was the cook. Uncle Peter didn’t hand out treats very often, but you never knew. It was midmorning. If the folks in the great house hadn’t been hungry at breakfast, there might be muffins left over.

Beverly slid through the open door. On the hearth, Dutch ovens steamed in a row over piles of coals. Uncle Peter and the two girls that helped him stood behind the long table, chopping vegetables. Uncle Peter gave Beverly an eye. “What do you want?” he asked.

“Nothing,” Beverly said. He edged closer to the table. There were muffins left, and slices of ham too.

Uncle Peter whapped Beverly’s hand with the end of a towel. The girls laughed. “Get out of here, Beverly!” Uncle Peter said. “Two hours since breakfast, you can’t be hungry yet!”

“Can too,” said Beverly, but he went.

Outside, the wind still howled. Beverly stopped and thought about what he wanted to do. He was too little to have a real job. Most days he helped Mama while she sewed in the cabin, or visited his aunts and uncles, or ran around the gardens or the orchards. Sometimes he walked with Mama to the great house, where she checked to see that everything in Master Jefferson’s room was all right. Master Jefferson spent most of the year in Washington. When he was gone the great house stood empty. Besides taking care of Beverly and Harriet and Maddy, Mama didn’t have much to do.

Now Master Jefferson was home for a month and everything had changed. He’d brought his grown-up daughter and all her children with him, and invited friends to visit, so the house was full to bursting. Mama worked and worked. What’s more, she stayed up at the great house every night.

Beverly didn’t mind the bustle. But whenever he thought about Master Jefferson, his stomach gave a little twist, almost like he was hungry. It twisted now. He wished Uncle Peter had given him a muffin.

He looked to his left, toward the woodshop. His uncle John worked there, learning fancy carpentry from a white Irishman named Mr. Dismore. Beverly loved Uncle John, and he loved watching him make things out of wood, but he wasn’t sure how he felt about Mr. Dismore. Unlike the overseers, Mr. Dismore was cheerful and funny, but he also sometimes said things like, “I don’t want you pickaninnies hanging around my shop.”

Beverly hated the word pickaninny. It sounded like something you’d stomp on if you saw it running across the floor. He was not, he thought, a pickaninny.

Straight across the road was the smokehouse, locked so the hams couldn’t grow legs and wander away. To the right was the blacksmith’s shop. Beverly often went there to watch the nail boys work. He knew he’d be a nail boy himself when he was older. The nail boys made nails all day long, tap, tap, tap! They cut nail rod into short pieces, then hammered one end of each piece long and pointy and the other square and firm. The nail boys’ muscles stood out on their arms. Master Jefferson was proud of them.

The only problem with visiting the blacksmith shop was Mr. Stewart. He was head blacksmith, a white man, and mean when he was drunk. Lately he stayed drunk all the time. Only yesterday, Master Jefferson’s daughter, Miss Martha, said it was about time she took matters into her own hands and showed Mr. Stewart the door, before he grew careless in his inebriation and burned the blacksmith shop down. She said it was a good thing they had Joe Fossett, or that place would be a ruin.

Beverly’d heard her. He was good at hearing things. “If you’re smart,” Mama often told him, “you’ll keep your mouth shut and your ears open. You’re a smart boy, aren’t you?”

“Yes, ma’am,” he’d say, proud that it was true.

Beverly loved the word inebriation, even though Mama said it was just a fancy name for drunk. Beverly savored beautiful words. They were like music in his head. He didn’t care what words meant nearly as much as how they sounded. He loved it when Mama and Miss Martha spoke French together, even though they only did it so no one else could understand them.

“Teach me,” he begged Mama. “Teach me how to talk like that.”

Mama taught him a song in French, and how to say “I love you, Mama,” but she said she didn’t have time to teach him more, and besides it would upset Miss Martha. No good ever came from upsetting Miss Martha.

Miss Martha’s full name was Mrs. Martha Randolph. She was the only one of her mama’s children still alive. She loved to come to Monticello and act like the boss of everything. But she wasn’t the real boss—Master Jefferson was—and she wasn’t there very often. Beverly didn’t care if he upset her or not. When he said so, Mama shook her head. “Trust me,” she said. “It’s better to stay on her good side.”

“Does she have a good side?” asked Beverly.

For a moment Mama looked like she might laugh, but then she set her lips together and told Beverly not to act like he was too big for his britches. She said everyone had a good side, even if with some folks you had to look mighty hard to find it. She told him again that smart boys kept their mouths shut, was Beverly listening?

Beverly was. He wondered where Miss Martha kept her good side. On the sole of her left foot, maybe, safe inside her shoe.

Miss Martha was two years older than Mama. Once upon a time, after Master Jefferson’s wife died, but when Miss Martha was still just a girl, Master Jefferson and Miss Martha went to live in France. After a few years they sent for Master Jefferson’s other daughter, Miss Maria, who was still alive back then, but little and scared. Beverly’s mama was just fourteen years old, but she got the job of taking Miss Maria on a ship across the wide ocean to France. They all lived in Paris for three more years. That was where Mama learned French.

Miss Maria grew up, married a nice man, had a son, and died. Mama told Beverly that. Miss Martha grew up, married a loud, angry man, and had too many children. She walked around looking like she’d just tasted sour milk. Mama didn’t have to tell Beverly that; he could see it for himself.

Beverly had two dead sisters and one dead brother. He couldn’t remember any of them, but Mama told him and Harriet about them because she said it was important to keep their stories alive. Family counted, living or dead.

Baby Madison seemed healthy, Mama said, but you never knew for sure. One of the dead sisters had lived for over a year, walked and talked and everything.

Beve...

"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.

Top Search Results from the AbeBooks Marketplace

1.

Bradley, Kimberly Brubaker; Bradley, Kimberly
ISBN 10: 0142421847 ISBN 13: 9780142421840
New Quantity Available: 5
Seller:
GreatBookPrices
(Columbia, MD, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # 18475639-n

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
£ 4.10
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: £ 2
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

2.

Bradley, Kimberly Brubaker
ISBN 10: 0142421847 ISBN 13: 9780142421840
New Quantity Available: > 20
Seller:
Pbshop
(Wood Dale, IL, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description 2013. PAP. Book Condition: New. New Book.Shipped from US within 10 to 14 business days. Established seller since 2000. Bookseller Inventory # IB-9780142421840

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
£ 3.10
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: £ 3.02
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

3.

Kimberly Brubaker Bradley
Published by Penguin Putnam Inc, United States (2013)
ISBN 10: 0142421847 ISBN 13: 9780142421840
New Paperback Quantity Available: 10
Seller:
The Book Depository US
(London, United Kingdom)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Penguin Putnam Inc, United States, 2013. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. This story of Thomas Jefferson s children by one of his slaves, Sally Hemings, tells a darker piece of America s history from an often unseen perspective-that of three of Jefferson s slaves-including two of his own children. As each child grows up and tells his story, the contradiction between slavery and freedom becomes starker, calliing into question the real meaning of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. This poignant story sheds light on what life was like as one of Jefferson s invisible offspring. Bookseller Inventory # ABZ9780142421840

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
£ 6.15
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
From United Kingdom to U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

4.

Bradley, Kimberly Brubaker
ISBN 10: 0142421847 ISBN 13: 9780142421840
New Quantity Available: 6
Seller:
Paperbackshop-US
(Wood Dale, IL, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description 2013. PAP. Book Condition: New. New Book. Shipped from US within 10 to 14 business days. Established seller since 2000. Bookseller Inventory # KB-9780142421840

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
£ 3.16
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: £ 3.02
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

5.

Kimberly Brubaker Bradley
Published by Penguin Random House
ISBN 10: 0142421847 ISBN 13: 9780142421840
New Quantity Available: > 20
Seller:
INDOO
(Avenel, NJ, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Penguin Random House. Book Condition: New. Brand New. Bookseller Inventory # 0142421847

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
£ 3.63
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: £ 2.65
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

6.

Kimberly Brubaker Bradley
Published by Penguin Putnam Inc, United States (2013)
ISBN 10: 0142421847 ISBN 13: 9780142421840
New Paperback Quantity Available: 10
Seller:
The Book Depository
(London, United Kingdom)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Penguin Putnam Inc, United States, 2013. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. This story of Thomas Jefferson s children by one of his slaves, Sally Hemings, tells a darker piece of America s history from an often unseen perspective-that of three of Jefferson s slaves-including two of his own children. As each child grows up and tells his story, the contradiction between slavery and freedom becomes starker, calliing into question the real meaning of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. This poignant story sheds light on what life was like as one of Jefferson s invisible offspring. Bookseller Inventory # ABZ9780142421840

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
£ 6.36
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
From United Kingdom to U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

7.

Bradley, Kimberly Brubaker
Published by Puffin Books (2013)
ISBN 10: 0142421847 ISBN 13: 9780142421840
New Paperback Quantity Available: 1
Seller:
Save With Sam
(North Miami, FL, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Puffin Books, 2013. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Brand New!. Bookseller Inventory # 0142421847

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
£ 4.13
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: £ 2.27
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

8.

Bradley, Kimberly Brubaker
Published by Puffin Books 1/10/2013 (2013)
ISBN 10: 0142421847 ISBN 13: 9780142421840
New Paperback or Softback Quantity Available: 10
Seller:
BargainBookStores
(Grand Rapids, MI, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Puffin Books 1/10/2013, 2013. Paperback or Softback. Book Condition: New. Jefferson's Sons: A Founding Father's Secret Children. Book. Bookseller Inventory # BBS-9780142421840

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
£ 6.47
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

9.

Bradley, Kimberly Brubaker
Published by Puffin Books (2013)
ISBN 10: 0142421847 ISBN 13: 9780142421840
New Paperback Quantity Available: > 20
Seller:
Murray Media
(North Miami Beach, FL, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Puffin Books, 2013. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Never used!. Bookseller Inventory # 0142421847

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
£ 4.98
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: £ 1.51
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

10.

Kimberly Brubaker Bradley
ISBN 10: 0142421847 ISBN 13: 9780142421840
New Quantity Available: 5
Seller:
ReadWhiz
(Portland, OR, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # ria9780142421840_ing

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
£ 7.01
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

There are more copies of this book

View all search results for this book