Searching for the Life of Harriet Hemings. Commonwealth Speakers Program. Commonwealth Speakers is a program of the Pennsylvania Humanities Council, supported in part by the National Endowment for the Humanities.
Sometime in 1822 Harriet Hemings (the second of Sally Hemings' children) left Thomas Jefferson's Monticello, boarded a stagecoach to Philadelphia and all but disappeared. Fifty years later, her brother Madison Hemings talks of Harriet passing as white. Her identity as a fugitive slave was never discovered in her lifetime. This talk follows her childhood, weighs her apparent choices and documents the detective work to locate a woman determined to disappear from the historical record. It uses images to imagine her life at Monticello and later in Philadelphia and Washington. This exploration of Jefferson's families both white and black tells a larger story of gender, race and citizenship.
Sponsoring Organization: Lycoming County Genealogical Society