Author: Isaac Jefferson


“Life of Isaac Jefferson of Petersburg, Virginia, Blacksmith” by Isaac Jefferson (1847)

“Life of Isaac Jefferson of Petersburg, Virginia, Blacksmith” is the recollections of Isaac Jefferson as dictated to the Reverend Charles Campbell in 1847. Also known as Isaac Granger, Jefferson was a former slave of Thomas Jefferson, and recollections promise “a full and faithful account of Monticello and the family there, with notices of the many distinguished characters that visited there, with his Revolutionary experience and travels, adventures, observations and opinions, the whole taken down from his [Isaac Jefferson’s] own words.” A manuscript version dates to 1871. The University of Virginia Press published the account first in 1951 and then again, but without chapter headings, in 1967. Using the 1951 edition as a guide, the following is a transcription of the original manuscript, altering somewhat the placement of notes and eliminating instances of crossed-out text.