Read Jefferson's Sons Online

Authors: Kimberly Bradley

Jefferson's Sons

Table of Contents
Descendents of Thomas Jefferson
To Bart, Matthew,
and Katie
A division of Penguin Young Readers Group · Published by The Penguin Group
Penguin Group (USA) Inc., 375 Hudson Street, New York, NY 10014, U.S.A. · Penguin Group (Canada), 90 Eglinton Avenue East, Suite 700, Toronto, Ontario, Canada M4P 2Y3 (a division of Pearson Penguin Canada Inc.) · Penguin Books Ltd, 80 Strand, London WC2R 0RL, England · Penguin Ireland, 25 St. Stephen's Green, Dublin 2, Ireland (a division of Penguin Books Ltd) · Penguin Group (Australia), 250 Camberwell Road, Camberwell, Victoria 3124, Australia (a division of Pearson Australia Group Pty Ltd) · Penguin Books India Pvt Ltd, 11 Community Centre, Panchsheel Park, New Delhi - 110 017, India · Penguin Group (NZ), 67 Apollo Drive, Rosedale, Auckland 0632, New Zealand (a division of Pearson New Zealand Ltd) · Penguin Books (South Africa) (Pty) Ltd, 24 Sturdee Avenue, Rosebank, Johannesburg 2196, South Africa · Penguin Books Ltd, Registered Offices: 80 Strand, London WC2R 0RL, England
Copyright © 2011 by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley · All rights reserved · The publisher does not have any control over and does not assume any responsibility for author or third-party websites or their content. Type set in Minion ·
Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
Bradley, Kimberly Brubaker.
Jefferson's sons : a founding father's secret children / by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley.
p. cm.
Summary: A fictionalized look at the last twenty years of Thomas Jefferson's life at Monticello through the eyes of three of his slaves, two of whom were his sons by his slave Sally Hemings.
ISBN : 978-1-101-52945-4
1. Jefferson, Thomas, 1743–1826—Juvenile fiction. 2. Hemings, Sally—Juvenile fiction. [1. Jefferson, Thomas, 1743–1826—Fiction. 2. Hemings, Sally—Fiction. 3. Slavery—Fiction. 4. African Americans—Fiction. 5. Monticello (Va.)—Fiction. 6. Monticello (Va.)—Fiction. 7. Virginia—History—1775–1865—Fiction.] I. Title.
PZ7.B7247Je 2011

Spring 1805
Chapter One
The Violin
It was April and all Monticello was stirring, but in their cabin Mama had just put baby Maddy down to sleep and she told Beverly and Harriet to be still.
Beverly did not want to be still.
Harriet reached under the bed for the box where she kept things and pulled out the sampler Mama was teaching her to sew. Beverly knew what would happen next. Harriet and Mama would talk sewing, and ignore him. He aimed a kick at his little sister. “Don't do
” he said. “Let's do something fun.”
Harriet sat down on the stool beside the hearth. She beamed at Mama with what Beverly called her good-girl smile, like she was trying to show off how sweet she was. Harriet was almost four years old. She was not a sitting-still little girl, but sometimes she took a mood to act like one. Beverly reached out with his foot again. His toe grazed the end of one of Harriet's braids. Harriet screeched.
“Beverly,” Mama said, not even looking up, “don't wake your brother.”
“I didn't yell,” Beverly said. “Harriet did.”
“You're the one looking for trouble,” Mama replied. “Do you need something to do?”
Beverly knew better than to say yes. Mama would make him do chores. “No, ma'am,” he said. “I guess I'll go visit Uncle Peter.”
“Don't you bother him, neither,” Mama said, but she let him go.
Beverly went out the cabin and down Mulberry Row. The spring wind whipped the still-bare branches of the mulberry trees. The packed dirt road felt cool and firm beneath his bare feet. Beverly spread his arms into the wild wind. He felt wild too.
The kitchen was halfway down the row, in the basement of a little brick guesthouse. Uncle Peter, one of Mama's brothers, was the cook. Uncle Peter didn't hand out treats very often, but you never knew. It was midmorning. If the folks in the great house hadn't been hungry at breakfast, there might be muffins left over.
Beverly slid through the open door. On the hearth, Dutch ovens steamed in a row over piles of coals. Uncle Peter and the two girls that helped him stood behind the long table, chopping vegetables. Uncle Peter gave Beverly an eye. “What do you want?” he asked.
“Nothing,” Beverly said. He edged closer to the table. There
muffins left, and slices of ham too.
Uncle Peter whapped Beverly's hand with the end of a towel. The girls laughed. “Get out of here, Beverly!” Uncle Peter said. “Two hours since breakfast, you can't be hungry yet!”
“Can too,” said Beverly, but he went.
Outside, the wind still howled. Beverly stopped and thought about what he wanted to do. He was too little to have a real job. Most days he helped Mama while she sewed in the cabin, or visited his aunts and uncles, or ran around the gardens or the orchards. Sometimes he walked with Mama to the great house, where she checked to see that everything in Master Jefferson's room was all right. Master Jefferson spent most of the year in Washington. When he was gone the great house stood empty. Besides taking care of Beverly and Harriet and Maddy, Mama didn't have much to do.
Now Master Jefferson was home for a month and everything had changed. He'd brought his grown-up daughter and all her children with him, and invited friends to visit, so the house was full to bursting. Mama worked and worked. What's more, she stayed up at the great house every night.
Beverly didn't mind the bustle. But whenever he thought about Master Jefferson, his stomach gave a little twist, almost like he was hungry. It twisted now. He wished Uncle Peter had given him a muffin.

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