What does Wiencek mean when he writes on p. 230 that ““The brutal racial order split the Hemings family apart and drove some of them underground’?

Directions: Based on your reading of chapters 14-16 in Master of the Mountain answer the questions below.

First, be sure to type your answers using this Word file after downloading it to your desktop (hit the file download link above). Keep the original numbered questions along with your answers and upload your completed assignment.

Instead of one or two sentences, strive for a minimum of four to five. Remember, this is your chance to discuss the history we are studying and to show me what you have learned from the assigned materials.

Be sure the words you write are your own, and not copied. If you quote from the book, be sure to use quotation marks and explain exactly WHO is being quoted.

It is also a good idea to review my comments from the previous homework assignments and re-check the Scoring Rubric for Homework Assignments.


  1. What does Wiencek mean by writing on p. 210: “Jefferson constantly moved the boundaries on his moral map to make the horrific tolerable to him”?
  2. What were the “two realms” or the “double” at Monticello?
  3. How/why did Wiencek use the title of chapter 15 – “I Only Am Escaped Alone to Tell Thee” – to frame the story of Madison Hemings? (pp .227-228)
  4. What does he mean on p. 220 that Madison Hemings’s account of his family’s life “take us deep into the psychology of slavery at Monticello.”
  5. Some authors have suggested that the relationship between Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemings was a love affair. Did Madison Hemings see it that way? If not, how did he depict their relationship, and for that matter, his own relationship with Jefferson?
  6. What does Wiencek mean when he writes on p. 230 that ““The brutal racial order split the Hemings family apart and drove some of them underground’?
  7. Historians have often argued that Jefferson did the best he could to support the emancipation of slaves at a time when that was very difficult. What alternative view does the story of Edward Coles suggest? How does their exchange of letters in 1814 help us to understand the choices available to Jefferson, and his ultimate commitment to emancipation?Note: see their letters which I have linked in our Unit III module

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