Thomas Jefferson Papers

Deed of Manumission for James Hemings, 5 February 1796

Deed of Manumission for James Hemings

This indenture made at Monticello in the county of Albemarle and commonwealth of Virginia on the fifth day of February one thousand seven hundred and ninety six witnesseth that I Thomas Jefferson of Monticello aforesaid do emancipate, manumit and make free James Hemings, son of Betty Hemings, which said James is now of the age of thirty years so that in future he shall be free and of free condition, and discharged of all duties and claims of servitude whatsoever, and shall have all the rights and privileges of a freedman. In witness whereof I have hereto set my hand and seal on the day and year abovewritten, and have made these presents double of the same date, tenor and indenture one whereof is lodged in the court of Albemarle aforesaid to be recorded, and the other is delivered by me to the said James Hemings to be produced when and where it may be necessary.

Th: Jefferson

Signed, sealed and delivered

in presence of

John Carr

Francis Anderson

MS (ViU); in TJ’s hand, except for signatures of Carr and Anderson; indented, with TJ’s seal affixed; notation on verso: “At Albemarle April Court 1796. This Deed of Manumission was produced into Court and proved by the Oaths of John Carr and Francis Anderson witnesses thereto & ordered to be Recorded, teste Jno. Nicholas, CAC”; endorsed in several hands: “Jefferson to Hemings} Deed,” “April 1796 proved and to be recorded,” and “Recorded & exmd.” Tr (Albemarle County Deed Book No. 12, Albemarle County Circuit Court Clerk’s Office, Charlottesville); with Nicholas’s attestation at foot of text; in left margin: “Jefferson to Hemings} Deed exd.” Entered 5 Apr. 1796 in Albemarle County Court Order Book, 1795–98, in same.

For an earlier document setting forth the conditions of manumission, see Agreement with James Hemings, 15 Sep. 1793.

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