"No see to no see," said our docent at Monticello explaining the laboring hours of the enslaved farm workers of Thomas Jefferson. The docent spoke faster than a machine gun and crammed an amazing amount of information into a 45-minute walking tour of Mulberry Lane, the commercial part of Monticello where joinery, nailery, dairy and cloth making activities thrived.
Slave children up to the age of six didn't have jobs; from six to twelve years old they cared for younger children; from about twelve they worked in the various enterprises on the plantation and if they were good they'd get a plummy job in the house or on Mulberry road. If they weren't efficient and productive they'd be sent out to the fields to work year round in blazing heat or freezing snow, no see to no see meaning before sunup to after sundown.
I've always wanted to see Monticello and despite many trips to DC never made it. This time, even though it's a long drive (2 1/2 hours each way), we did it. The trip actually flew by as we were accompanied by Richard's longtime friend Tom, who told us stories about his experience as a mock prisoner of war in survival training in the navy. For me, the conversation was fascinating as they talked about their experiences in the CIA.
Above and below is the vegetable garden, one thousand feet long by twenty feet wide.
The trees are just beginning to color.