Mulberry Row's buildings have all but disappeared—only the remains of four survive. Before re-creating lost buildings and roads, we look at information from many sources. How do we know about this important place and the history of its people, enslaved and free?
For historical accuracy and context, we use Jefferson's terms—noted in quotes—for the buildings on Mulberry Row. The word "enslaved" indicates that men, women and children were held in bondage against their will by their masters.
We are in the process of re-creating and restoring some of Mulberry Row's lost buildings and roads. What you will see unfold is the product of more than 50 years of study. Learn more and comment at monticello.org/mulberryrow.
Jefferson's record-keeping makes Monticello one of the best documented plantations anywhere. Historians study letters, maps, and account books to discover valuable information about who lived here, what they did, and how and why Mulberry Row changed over time.
Since the 1950s, archaeologists have located the foundations of the buildings on Jefferson's Mutual Assurance plat, discovered more structures and unearthed thousands of artifacts. These artifacts provide evidence about how enslaved and free people lived and worked.
What did the buildings on Mulberry Row look like in Jefferson's time? Architects and historians use archaeological evidence and knowledge of building techniques to create drawings and digital models of the lost buildings. These models will serve as a guide to re-creating dwellings, workshops and storehouses.
(left to right): Jefferson's Mutual Assurance plat, 1796. For insurance purposes, Jefferson sketched and described the Mulberry Row dwellings, storehouses, and workshops near his main house (A.) and what is now the South Pavilion (B.). Massachusetts Historical Society
Slave roll, Jefferson's Farm Book, 1810. Massachusetts Historical Society
Excavation of slave dwellings r and s.
Digital model of slave dwelling s.